Rafter Framing 1

Here we are putting our minds together to lay out a template for hand framing the gable end truss.  The end truss is “dropped” a few inches so that it can accommodate “lookouts” – framing members that extend out perpendicular to the gable and create an overhang.  Now is the most opportune time to do this, before rafters go up.

roof framing 1

As you can start to see, the roof is a relatively steep 8:12 pitch.  This creates plenty of habitable space in the attic.

Here I am working the dummy end of the ladder.

The picture below shows how the ridge beam fits snugly into a pocket we created for it.  I wish we could have snapped a picture of us lifting the beam into place, but our hands were more than full at the time.  Using rungs on the scaffolding and temporary ledgers screwed to the studs, we lifted the beam incrementally from step to step.

roof framing 4

I will outline for you how to lift such a beam:

  • Step 1: Eat your Wheaties.
  • Step 2: Utilize the strength of a 25-year-old in his prime and the mule-like fortitude of a seasoned 64-year-old vet.
  • Step 3: Be too stubborn to ask for assistance and want to prove that you can manage it yourself.
  • Step 4: Lift for short bursts of time, allowing for moments of rest and grip-shifting.
  • Step 5: Good communication is key.  Coordinate your lifts and know what position you are putting your partner into.  Have an escape plan if things go wrong.  Note – deaf person should shout out verbal cues.
  • Step 6: Don’t high five until beam is successfully screwed down into place.
  • Step 7: Indulge in lemonade from the neighborhood lemonade stand.  You deserve it even if it does cost $1 per cup.  Kids are not supposed to understand the concept of inflation at such a young age.  Either way, it’s for a good cause – it might send her to college or become seed money for a business someday…

Business-savvy Ellie brings us a couple of lemonades and good cheer. We chat about having the same teachers from elementary school.



  1. Renata August 25, 2014 at 9:29 AM #

    Remind me, exactly how heavy was the ridge beam? So impressed the two of you were able to haul it into place safely!


    • Daniel Fros August 26, 2014 at 11:35 PM #

      The ridge beam came in two pieces at about 200 pounds each!


  2. John August 29, 2014 at 9:14 PM #

    Impressive indeed. Got a good kick out of your steps. Would not have been a good day to insert the lemon-flavored beverage we enjoyed today.


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