Q:

What are some characteristics of hip roof construction?

A:

Quick Answer

Hip roof construction is very similar to regular gabled roof construction. The only additional steps are the additions of hip and jack rafters on the short sides of the roof. Hip rafters connect the jack rafters to the main ridge board.

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Full Answer

A typical gabled roof uses only common rafters and a ridge board. The ridge board is a large wooden board at the crest of the roof. Viewed from above, all common rafters attach to the ridge board at right angles.

Gabled roofs are easy to frame, but they do have disadvantages. Many homeowners do not like the look of the large gables on either side of the house. Broad gables also increase the risk of damage to the house during hurricanes, tornadoes or other periods with high-speed winds.

In a hip roof, four hip rafters connect to the ridge board at an angle between 90 and 180 degrees. While most of the roof's common rafters still attach to the ridge board at right angles, the common rafters near either end of the wall supporting the roof attach to the hip rafters.

On the short sides of the house, where the gables usually are, the jack rafters attach to the hip rafters. On both short sides, one of the jack rafters attaches directly to the ridge board at a 180-degree angle. This type of construction creates sloped hips on the short sides of the house, which improves the house's appearance and its stability in windy periods.

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