Newbie exposed rafters question
Long time lurker, first time poster (I think anyway).
I’m not a builder or tradesman, but I am owner/building a house right now. My design calls for a hand framed roof with exposed rafters (unboxed) to the exterior.
My first question is, what would be the better way to have my sub frame the rafters, using a bird’s mouth cut or to use false rafter tails? My overhangs are in the 2-3′ range.
My second question is, what type of wood or wood product would work best in an exposed application? I am not sure if I want to paint or other wise treat the bare wood appearance. Is there such as thing as an engineered and treated product that can be exposed to the elements? Or, another select grade of wood? I would rather not use regular kiln dried framing for appearance purposed (should I not do the faux tails).
Dude, Full one piece rafters if you can, birdsmouthed. Your span/pitch/overhang will determine your rafter length. faux tails are a pain.
The exposed tails on my own house are 100 yrs. old. When I added on a sizeable addition, I matched the detail with my new roof.
I considered going with "fake tails".....but felt it might undermine the strength. I also was looking forward to the challenge of the craftsmanship required.
Around here, Doug Fir is the framing lumber of choice. It might take a bit of hand selection to find lengths with one end up to snuff to being exposed...but its do-able.
It will need to be treated in some manner.....even if only some clear coat finish.
Just curious - seeing that you live in NY, is the douglas fir shipped from out west or where? Is the Doug Fir used in wall framing as well?
Comes in from all over....depending on where you're buying.
Yep....wall studs, floor joists, the whole shabang....Doug Fir.
Doug fir or Hem/Fir. ?
what is the sheathing material you will be using? -
the underside of the sheathing and rafter tails will be a major appearance statement and need to compliment each other -
you might consider a stain instead of paint to blend/mellow the look -
I would be open to suggestions for sheathing material. Would it be possible to mix a plywood type material on the non-exposed sections with a T&G material for the exposed parts?
Would it be possible to mix a plywood type material on the non-exposed sections with a T&G material for the exposed parts?
is this a 'craftsman' detailed plan?
often I see beaded T&G exposed on the overhangs with shiplapped pine thru the field of the roof on bungalow style homes of 100 years ago - turned out several hundred feet of beaded board with a Belsaw several years ago for a repair situation on such a house -
Doug fir has already been mentioned - southern yellow pine would be more readily available around here (midwest) -
another possibility is native wood cut to your specification - you might have to get an engineer stamp of approval on something like that, depending on inspection specifics - white oak is good - red oak less decay resistant - walnut is good, but less strong - bandsaw mills (with sharp blades) leave a pleasant surface - could have the roof sheathing cut at the same time - poplar is good for sheathing - walnut for the exposed wood - depends on where you are, you might find significant $ savings -
just starting to ramble -
"there's enough for everyone"
My house is a modern take on the connected farmhouse topology.
Thanks for the ideas, looks like my next step is to see what a local sawmill can do for me.
I, too, had the modern farmhouse idea when I built my home 3 years ago. I pre-primed the ends before my framer put them up. I didn't get back to do the final painting until this past summer. Not the easiest things to paint!!!
I thought I had a section detail, but I can't find it right now. If you are interested, I can dig it up and post.
Yes, that's exactly it! What wood did you use for your rafters and for your T&G material?
The rafters are just typical framing lumber, #2 and better spruce I believe. Take a look at the attached detail. I used sheets of fir T-111 plywood for the soffits. It was definitely faster to install and looks pretty good, but after knowing how long it took to paint it, I might have looked into some T&G 1x6 or something similar.
Hope this helps.
That's nice detailing on your house. A question though. With 3/4" boards, how did you avoid the roofing nails penetrating through? I have pretty much given up on soffits, but I have always used 1 1/2" t and g material because of the nails and also that it makes the gable framing easier. I set down the gable wall 1 1/2" and run every third board in 2'-0" to the next roof joist. The fascia gets nailed to the butt ends of the 2x's and with the sheathing on top, the overhangs are very solid.
If you look at the section detail I posted, I cut a shallow notch, 5/8" deep by 24" long, in each of the rafters to accept the ripped sheets of 5/8" T-111. The roof sheathing was then installed normally so you end up with 1-1/2" of material at the soffits. At the gable ends, the last 2 rafters each had 5/8" ripped off their width so again, the roof sheathing would be flush with the top of the T-111 and the other rafters.
Hope this helps.
Craig. I had somehow missed your section. All is explained. Thanks.
It depends. Applied rafter tails have their place esp. with any type of profile or dimension that dose'nt match the rafters per say. they're not that hard to put in place and it gives you more flexibility in the final appearance of the job.
where are you located (state) the reason I ask is you have another options... depending on where you are..
you could do timber framed rafters at modest cost. If you are a check writter there are places in Canada that will quickly give you a quote. If a do-it-yourselfer you can save dramatically buying from a local sawmill rather than a lumberyard..
A hybred. (stick built walls and timberframed rafters) aren't that rare. Plus you'd get the fun of selecting wood species.. what color would you like your rafters to be?
Yes. I live in Upstate NY (central NY). My father has some contacts with local saw mills. I might do some investigating this week to see what may be available to me.
there are guildlines to market price of all woods. most sawmills subscribe to them (they come out weekly)
here's a quick and dirty guildline for wood prices just so you can compare costs to what your local sawmill is charging.. Some sawmills charge retail for any customers, some charge retail for small orders, Some sell at wholesale to anybody..
The following are Millrun prices.. (means just as it comes off the tree, the heart center is normally a lower grade than the outer wood. So it should be priced accordingly most timbers are created out of heart centers.. So I'd expect to pay about 70% of these prices on a decent sized order..
Soft Maple $1.10
Black walnut $1.45
All of the above are per board foot, rough and green at the sawmill..
While there are some regional differances this should place you in the ball park.
I've found the best prices come not from the small (less than a Million bd.ft ) sawmills or from the large sawmills but the medium sawmills.. one to three million bd.ft.)
Ask if they have any special prices on wood, for example maybe they have too much Elm or Poplar and are willing to make a real deal just so it doesn't go bad on them or they don't have a market for it..
I've bought wood that way for as little as a dime a bd.ft.
One bd.ft. equals 12 inches by 12 inches by one inch thick thus a six by six by 12 inch timber would be 3 bd.ft if you bought a 15 foot pine 6x6 it should cost around $13.50 or in Oak it's $36.00
Shipping and sales tax are your baby at these prices..
I checked the most local sawmill for prices today.
They offer pine, hemlock and larch for $0.50 a foot, and I was told "it's going to go up too."
So you checked with sawmills?
Where are you, South, East, West?
Is the stuff rough cut or planed?
Green or Kiln?
Do you just get forklift batches of studs or can you order a complete house package?
I'm in the northeast - the quote was for rough cut, green lumber. I didn't specifically ask about quantity discounts because I am only looking for rafters.
in considering sawmill wood, take a close, critical look at it - all 'rough cuts' are not equal - depending on the blade/band, there can be a pleasant, lightly grooved surface or an wildly uneven, quite coarse exposure - there will likely be more variation in dimensions as tension in the logs are exhibited -
a good sawyer should provide material + or - 1/4" with a consistant surface - make sure you communicate with him your expectations -
"there's enough for everyone"
sawmills sell wood at these prices rough green and at the mill. normally the best prices are reserved for those who buy full lifts at a time (typically around 1000 bd.ft.)
Because I've purchased so much wood from my sawmill they will sell a single board or a small amount at the good prices and will often saw it the same day I call.. Don't expect such service when you first buy!
Using sawmill wood is not an issue, I get less splinters and such from the wood even when it's rough and green than I get from studs I buy at the lumberyard.. Green is a relative term..
The wood at a lumberyard is typically around 19% moisture.. (KD 19 means Kiln dried to 19% moisture plus or minus 2 points) a growing tree may be only a few points higher.. So the end result will be the same building.
However since the wood is actaul size and not nominal (a 2x4 is actaully 1 1/2x 3 1/2 ) while a sawmill 2x4 is 20% stronger since it's actaully 2inches by 4 inches.
I've built my home out of all hardwood, nearly 50,000 bd.,ft. and I haven't spent $20,000.00
That's black walnut, cherry, maple, oak, etc.. if I built it like a typical stick built house instead of the double timberframe I wouldn't have spent $5000. (that's for over 5500 sq. ft.) If I'd wanted to build to the minimum the way most homes are you could cut at least another 1/3 off that number! For example the floor joists are 2x12's that span only 9 feet they are 12 inches on centerand overlap by at least half. My stair stringers are made from 2x15's and I use 5 on a stair only 4 feet wide running less than 5 feet!
Is the rough cut dimension in depth consistent enough for joist?
Just a question. Around here all framing lumber (read structural) has to be Graded and Stamped by an approved grading agency or be graded by a knowledgable structural engineer.
How are your codes differant ? or are you getting away with it without anything being said?
Please reread the code. Exceptions are made for timbers. I got the manual, brought it into my building inspector and showed him the chapter & verse before I started.. That way he was covered and has never made an issue out of it.. I did one other thing that made him happy, I massively overbuilt.. First I liked the look, second it ensures that should there be a misscalculation you are covered anyway.
If you do timberframe the roof rafters, show your building inspector that you are being proactive, build to European fire codes* rather than American fire codes and explain why..
Once he understands that you are honestly concerned about safety issues and are proactive rather than reactive you will have a lot more respect.. A byproduct of that respect is latitude in acceptance..
IF you read Ted Benson's book it's a position he advocates as well. His first structure he designed turned out to appear too flimsy to everyone. It met the requirements properly but simply looked too flimsy.
* If interested I can easily explain the differance and how to comply inexpensecively.
Thanks, I was curious how it worked. On the rare occasions when I have had to deal with the situation here I either bought a friend of mine who is a lumber grader a 6 pack of beer and he checked things out and away I went, or did the same with a structural eng. who specialized in wood framed buildings.
One of the guys who buys wood from a sawmill had a stamp made up that he stamps on the wood for the inspector. It looks and reads just like a grade stamp. He paid $35.00 for it and stamps wood only when he wants to feature it someplace his inspector might look and give him a hard time. Carefull reading of the stamp shows a combination of hardwood assciation grades and softwood drying. ;-)
His intention isn't to decieve simply to avoid training every building inspector he runs into.
Personally I hate the paperwork hassle that they can create if they choose to. A timber used is generally massively oversized for the load it carries, otherwise it just looks flimsy. Requiring a grade stamp is wrong but since they have these red tags he simply humors them with a few well placed stamps in places he knows will be sanded off before the home is finished..
Fake stamp made up just to show an unwitting inspector and you expect me to believe: ""His intention isn't to decieve simply to avoid training every building inspector he runs into."" I happen to Own some Ocean front property in Kansas too.
If the inspector really knows about timberframes, he knows the rules don't require grade stamps and won't bother to ask to see them.. If he's one of those stuck in the rut type who does everything the same way or looks for problems simply to toss his weight around. (and there are a few of those around as well we all know) rather than fight it and go home and drag out your manuals to read him chapter and verse you becom a little creative..
How is he hurting anybody? If you build a timberframe or use a few pieces of timber to enhance the appearance, the rules require so little it simply looks flimsy.. So you over build and put a few stamps to satisfy some inspector who doesn't know what he's looking for..
I was carefull to educate my inspector and we've had a decent rlationship but I can afford to take the time. Plus my inspector is fairly intelligent and once shown the relavent passage accepted it. There certainly are those out there who want people to jump whenever they say boo, and in those cases a little ink is certainly not fraud..
I could care less about the guy doing what he does with the stamp. I get along very well with all my inspectors and always have. I too can read the code book and have no problem having an intelligent discussion about what it says.
I seriously doubt I would have any trouble with an inspector if I were to build a timber frame.
But to make the statement I qouted is pure bull on your part. Of course that is why he is doing it, I am just asking you to call a spade a spade.
The guy is lying to the inspector.. I have as well . I tell my inspector upfront I will never lie to them unless I have to to get the job I am tasked with finishing done.
They laugh and say "You and everybody else"
Edited 12/20/2006 8:42 pm ET by dovetail97128
I don't know him well enough except to repeat what he tells me.. I made my case why his point is valid, I'm in a differant situation so I don't need or have a grade stamp but you'd have to admit they can be bought extremely easily couldn't they?
"The wood at a lumberyard is typically around 19% moisture.. (KD 19 means Kiln dried to 19% moisture plus or minus 2 points) a growing tree may be only a few points higher.. So the end result will be the same building."B!S!As was pointed out to you long ago a growing tree had MUCH, MUCH higher moisture levels than 19%.http://forums.taunton.com/n/mb/message.asp?webtag=tp-breaktime&msg=72079.16The first is the heartwood and the 2nd the sawp wood.cottonwood 162%/146%
Norther red oak 80/69
white oak 64/78
walnut 90/73western red cedar 58/249
d fir 37/115
ponderosa pine 40/148http://forums.prospero.com/tp-breaktime/messages?msg=72161.33.
Hey every group has to have one. And I have been elected to be the one. I should make that my tagline.
For example the floor joists are 2x12's that span only 9 feet they are 12 inches on centerand overlap by at least half. My stair stringers are made from 2x15's and I use 5 on a stair only 4 feet wide running less than 5 feet
I've suspected it, but now I know: you are crazy lol!
You shouldn't lap more than a couple inches past the bearing point. It causes squeaks and nail pops.
Blue eyed devil
squeeks and nail pops? Good! About the squeeks, as to nail pops I took steps to prevent that from happening.
I know it sounds wacky but I want the floor to have squeeks!
The homes that I've been in that seem so much like a real home not simply a dwelling that people live in all seemed to have squeeky floors. Stairs creak and floors squeek.. I know the easy way to make the floors squeek and stairs creak is to simply skimp on the underpinnings.. I can't do that! I am too anal to accept poor structure and it would drive me crazy. So I massively overbuild. I want the house to have real character, which is why if you saw me build this place I put every timber charcter out.. Sure I could have had nice straight grained timbers out and some would prefer that lok I suppose. I deliberatly placed some curved timbers in place. Now when you do that you dramatically add to the work load because now you need to scribe timbers and boards to fit rather than simply measure and cut square..
You' crazy boy!
blue eyed devil,
ain't never denied that! <G>
Gee, you're supposed to buy now because it's going to go up soon? Why because of all the new construction going on? Actaully sawmill sales are really in the toilet due to the lack of new home contruction.. New home starts are off 47% over last year (Minnesota) Remodeling still has legs since interest rates are below appreciation in many markets.. Commercial as well remains strong, but neither are big users of hardwoods.
They may want to raise their prices however that will likely reduce their markets.. You don't buy gas from the most expensive gas station in town usually..
I accept that prices in New York are likely to be higher than here in the midwest but you definately are getting the high end of the price structure..
Buy now! special offer! limited time only! now where have I heard that pitch before?
I like the look of open tails. Be sure to carefully layout the rafters so that the space is even. Inconsistent spacing is an eye catcher and an amateur mistake. Also carefully place your frieze blocks so that there is an even reveal along the siding and trim you chose. Here is what I did on my house. The underside has redwood 1 x 10 barn wood. The tails are custom milled 3x8 redwood at 2' Centers. They are false tails added to a 2x 12 Doug fir roof system at 16" OC. It was more work but ... Hey, I work for free.
I recently finished framing a small MBR addition on a 1920's house in a Historic district. Used exposed tails. The tails wre notched 5/16' so the 3/4" T&G worked out flush with the sheathing
Heres 's the thread number. Do an advanced search. 79773.45
live, work, build, ...better with wood
> I am not sure if I want to paint or other wise treat the bare wood appearance. Is there such as thing as an engineered and treated product that can be exposed to the elements?
At least here on the West coast, the best thing for treating exposed wood is Jasco's Termin-8, a copper napthenate product. Pre-cut your rafters, and soak the tails, up to and including the bird's mouth, in the stuff. It stinks like hell for a couple weeks, and takes a few months to go from bright green to weathered gray-brown. But termites and dry rot won't touch it. I had some Doug fir in direct contact with the ground, and it took 35 years for the bugs to get past the Termin-8.
If you do decide to paint over it, give it a couple weeks or more, and then prime it with an alcohol based product like Zerolac.