Ridge Beam/Ridge Board

FYI - Free graphics showing ridge board and ridge beam

Nice graphics Randy, but shouldn’t the Ridge Beam look more like this;

, considering that with a ridge beam, it also needs to hold the exterior walls from spreading?



It can be any configuration big or small depending on the load and span length. My graphic depicts a small ridge beam and yours is on the large size. The graphic I made depicts what I saw today. Here is the photo, although it’s too small or over-spanned for a 2x6 I just wanted to show the difference to the buyer.


It’s OK to lap on top of the beam (typically an exposed structural ridge), but the rafters should actually overlap at least 6". This means you need to cut a corresponding slope to match the opposite side. In my photo, the lower drawing shows a single rafter top cut ready to install, and the upper drawing two rafters installed bearing on a structural ridge with 3 nails through the lap, offset from the center so that the building inspector can see the nailheads once the blocking is installed. (not really drawn correctly. Structural ridges are usually at least 3.5").

Of course, for rafters 24" OC there’d be 22 7/16" anti-rotational blocks down the center of the ridge. On a really clean framing job they’d be ripped to the same angle as the pitch, resting on the ridge, and flush with the top of the rafters to provide perimeter diaphragm nailing for the sheathing.

Marcel’s photo shows hangered rafters, very common in modern framing, and would not require collar ties. An older house would have rafters nailed, and collar ties installed every 4’.

Randy’s photo shows rafters bearing on top of a non-structural, non-exposed ridge, with no collar ties, which is a little unusual, and I can’t see any blocking between rafters, and if the rafter overlap at the peak were only 1.5", as it appears to be, I’d call it poor quality framing and be looking for other framing problems. Lap nails that close to the ends of the boards (¾") are going to split the board ends.