Rafter

Rafter

[raf-ter, rahf-]
For the tennis player, see Patrick Rafter.
A rafter is one of a series of sloped structural members, that extend from the ridge or hip to the downslope perimeter or eave, designed to support the roof deck and its associated loads.

A type of beam, which supports the roof of a building. In home construction, rafters are typically made of wood. Exposed rafters are a feature of traditional roof styles.

In many buildings, rafters have been replaced by engineered trusses (trussed rafters), normally because of span limitations and/or roof load (weight from above).

Carpenters build rafters to frame the pitch of a roof. Roof pitch is measured as rise over span (a unitless fraction). In the United States slope is given in units of pitch for the ratio of inches (in) rise per 12 in of run or inches of rise per 1 foot (ft) of run. For example, "4:12 pitch" would mean 4 in of rise over 12 in of run and "4 pitch(es)" would mean 4 in of rise over of run. In Australia, a roof pitch is given in degrees (°) of inclination.

In sports arenas, rafters are used to drape championship banners.

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