What were they thinking? (Part 2)comments (0) December 16th, 2008 in Blogs
Posted by: Rick Arnold
We’ve uncovered a few more “What were they thinking?” items that I thought would be interesting to share before moving on.
When we purchased the property, we wondered who was responsible for adding the two-story porch and roof in the
rear because neither is very functional. At the highest part of the ceiling—the point where the porch roof ran into the main roof—there was a little over 6 ft. of room. Instead of building a shallow roof, the builder kept the same 7-in-12 pitch as the main roof, which quickly drops the ceiling an additional 35 in. or so in its 5-ft. depth.
Because it was rotted, unsafe, and not original to the house, we got permission to remove it and replace it with a simple gable roof over the lower porch and entries.
Now here is where that old saying “They don’t build them like they used to” is meant as a good thing. We found that every rafter top was cut flush to the house’s frame and was only sitting on top of the 1-1/8-in.-thick planking and sometimes the window trim. There were no sistered rafters, hangers, or any other means of solid seating and fastening other than a few toenails here and there. Wow. Now there’s a head-scratcher.
We also found some other surprises inside the main roof that contributed to the house’s disfigurement. For example, a large section of a couple of rafters had been hewn out. Whether this was original to the house is anybody’s guess.
Additionally, we found a couple of collar ties missing in an area where the ceiling joists ran parallel to the ridge. A few of the rafters had been boxed in in a previously finished part of the attic, and the ties were obviously in the way. Some kneewalls were present here and there, but by no means were they structural.
More head-scratching. But at least we’re making progress.
posted in: Blogs, green building, framing, roofs, restorations, porch
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