Ridge Beam Question

The past couple of inspections, I have come across a situation where the ridge beam is not a continuos length from the gable on one side of the house to the gable on the other side of the house. The ridge beam is in two sections just butted up against each other approx in the middle of the house. There are no supports under this joint to safely bring the two butted beams to the load bearing walls below.

The ridge beam is suppose to hold up the rafters. In these cases I feel that the rafters are holding up the ridge beams.

The span is about 60 feet. Why would a framer not run a continuos length of a beam gable to gable?

Thanks for your help,


I’ve never seen a 60’ piece of lumber, never seen a 20’x30’ sheet of plywood either.

OK **Linas **now be nice! A ridge is not needed in some cases at all when the roof has a proper pitch and the rafters oppose each other.


If the rafters are directly opposite each other than it’s a ridge board not a ridge beam and it only aids in placing the rafters, no structural function. Many older houses were framed without a ridge board. If the rafters are NOT directly opposite then it is considered a ridge beam and should be designed to take the bending forces created by the offset rafters.

Where did you come up with that one?

Of course the rafters are holding up the ridge beam! Do you think it hangs up there in mid-air?

Simply amazing!!.. again

BTW: Did you know water runs down hill (sometimes)?

Here are pictures from InterNachi graphics to explain.


Thanks for your clear answer.

As for David, You sound like a nice tough guy I would like to meet. I would like to see your in the flesh (SAILOR)

Ridge Beam


Ridge Board


With the proper hangers you can sometimes have a Ridge Board Beam. :slight_smile:

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Are you mad at Dave for pointing out how stupid your question was? How did you know Dave is a former Navy Seal?

Sorry, This influx of untrained inspectors gets on my nerves about every cycle of FNG’s.

I really don’t think anyone that does not know the basic “tension - torsion & shear” principles should be inspecting houses…

Just my screwed up warped sense of expectation from self proclaimed experts.

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The rafters hold up the ridge board… not the ridge beam. The ridge beam will holdup the rafters.

all right, quit being so damn picky! :slight_smile: I’m using his terminology right wrong or indifferent. I don’t want to confuse them any more than they already are.

too late !

Rick, I always call out an unsupported ridge when it has a splice/joint in it. I have here a link to a photo from an inspection showing the ridge with a joint in it with only a brace to one side, instead of directley below the joint, with the unbraced side appearing to have dropped. http://www.jwkhomeinspections.com/roof/frame/bracing/ridge/braces/home/inspector/floresville/texas.html This is an example of why there is no reason why a ridge with a joint in it should not be braced either directly under it or on each side. It didn’t help in this case that there were no collar ties in this roof frame. So, I do always call out no bracing under a joint in the ridge. How tough would it be for framers to have thrown in a brace under a joint as they went along with the frame?

Kevin or anyone
That graphic shows a load bearing wall on the second floor. I thought trusses needed no intermediate support between exterior walls.

You are very correct in most cases. I depends on the roof design. Some trusses or monolithic trusses only go part of the way for design features. If you build a duplex and the peak is in the middle of the home the trusses mono’s will sit on the common wall with a 1 inch air space inbetween. This is just an example of the truss bearing on an interior wall.:slight_smile:

You are correct that trusses are designed to send the load to the outside walls, but the other floor joists will still bear on the central load bearing wall.

There are exceptions to this(in very small homes), but in most platform framing the span of the first or second floor joists will be divided at the load bearing wall. It is possible the illustration is referring to the highest level as a load bearing to eliminate confusion, but there are some truss situations which will use that wall to support load. (cathedral, vaulted or a mix of trusses and rafters would be some examples)

So everyone here is exemplifying the need for threads like this.
I have to agree with post # 11 to a degree.
Torsion, tension and compaction, shear, and all other live or dead load forces should be worked on at once when you see your reasoning or structural hypotheses needs further studies.

Perhaps we are witnessing some of the very “work” you are encouraging. :wink: