Small Cabin

Small Cabin Forum
 - Forums - Register/Sign Up - Reply - Search - Statistics -

Small Cabin Forum / Cabin Construction / Ridge Pole Question
Author Message
# Posted: 4 Mar 2009 21:19

Would anyone be able to give me some advice on the proper (suitable) material to use for a ridge pole when constructing a gabled roof. I plan on building a small cabin, 12ft x 16 ft and want to extend the roof out a foot on either end. The only problem is I can't find a beam longer than 16ft. for use as the ridge pole. Is it safe to use for example, 1 x 6 x 12 feet of Spruce doubled up?
Any advice would be appreciated.

# Posted: 5 Mar 2009 15:51

You can put intermediate support along the beam, either useing a vertical post, or a load bearing wall. If you want to run the beam the full 18 feet, you could stack/ laminate one, which is the process of laminating or glueing and nailing several thicknesses together while staggering the joints. Each end joint is thus supported by a neighboring piece which has no joint, or is "sandwiched" between two complete pieces of beam. I am no expert on construction, and you may wish to have someone calculate the beam needed to support the roof/snow load you expect.
It is also possible to obtain lumber up to 20 long, so you may make some inquiries locally to find out who supplies extra long wood.

# Posted: 5 Mar 2009 16:17

If your rafters will be tied together at their bottom ends by the loft or ceiling joists then it doesn't matter too much what you use for the ridge board, as long as the rafters line up in pairs across the ridge. But if you want to have an open cathedral ceiling, then you will need a structural ridge beam. The size depends on your snow load, but a bunch of 1x6s nailed together wouldn't be adequate.

You normally don't need to extend the ridge out to support gable overhangs if they are only 1 foot wide. They are usually just built by overhanging the roof sheathing plywood by a foot, then nailing a "false rafter" on at the edge. 1 foot long pieces of blocking are nailed between the false rafter and the wall. Sometimes two pieces of lumber (one of which will become the false rafter), and the blocking are nailed together on the ground so it looks like a ladder. Then the whole thing is lifted up and nailed to the gable wall before the sheathing is nailed on. Wider overhangs or with significant snow or wind load would need to be more substantial.


# Posted: 10 Mar 2009 13:55

Thanks for the very useful advice gentlemen and wish me luck lol.

I will post some pictures once I get the project going. Good luck to all of you with your respective projects.

# Posted: 23 Mar 2009 23:09

Al, for a clear span, I'd suggest an LVL beam if you can't find dimensional lumber that will work. LVL (laminated veneer lumber) is kinda like plywood, super strong on the vertical axis, and comes in all kinds of sizes.


# Posted: 29 Jan 2010 00:19

I have a 16X18 cabin , roof ridge (according to the plan) was 2X6, and it was 20 footer, this gave me a foot of overhang on each end. Dont expect to find anything over 16 feet at Home Depot etc, you will need to get it at a lumber store.

# Posted: 29 Jan 2010 14:09

This post is old but a piece of I-joist could also be used...if the rafters are paired. I repaired a cabin a few years ago that had a single piece of 3/8" cedar siding used as a ridge took a 7' dump of heavy snow to bring it now has a nice 2x8 and paired rafters.

Your reply
Bold Style  Italic Style  Underlined Style  Thumbnail Image Link  Large Image Link  URL Link           :) ;) :-( :confused: More smilies...

» Username  » Password 
Only registered users can post here. Please enter your login/password details before posting a message, or register here first.