Ridge Board....What's That?

Howdy All,

Ok, I know it was common back in the early 1900’s to butt end the ceiling joists like this. However, since I noticed no real suppport for this roof and when I did find one it was CUT in half…what would YOU suggest on this roof joist system.

Personally…I recommended they add additional supports for the roof joists.

And no those are not ORB’s floating around…:slight_smile:


Check with Marcel Cyr he will know I think some Collar ties would be enough Roy Cooke


This type of construction uses collar ties and/or ceiling joist to keep things held together. I would assume this house has them in place. Unless this house is a new construction warranty inspection or you saw significant signs of failure, there is nothing to report.

I agree, nothing to report.

What is the Ridge? [INDENT]In a general statement the ridge is any horizontal framing member that either a common, hip or valley rafter can be nail to.
In earlier times almost all roofs had no* ridge*. The opposing commons where just nailed to each other. Over time the use of a 1x was used and it proved to aid in the “nailing” of the commons. Nowadays, just about any size ridge can be used.
One thing to bear in mind is that the “larger” the ridge is the greater the load the roof must carry.
The one special type of ridge is what is known as a “support” ridge. This means that the ridges acts as a “beam” and carries some of the roof load. The ridge can only be supporting if it is supported down to the foundation.

In the case of a low pitch roof as shown in the picture, it would have been customary to have provided collar ties with 1 x 's at each rafter.

The use of a three foot knee wall could also have been provided to transfer some of the roof loads down to bearing walls below.

Framing of this type, although commen for this era, was not adequately framed to support live loads anticipated and should be upgraded to meet todays standard of live load supports.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

I always recommend collar ties on those older roof systems that have no ridge board.

With a roof this old, if the exterior roof field is not showing any signs of sagging, adding collar ties is simply …a precaution. Collar ties won’t do much today. Especially if the roof field appears to be level throughout.

Just thought some of you might enjoy this.

Bread and butter

Still have it.

Palo Alto, California
Price $2.50
Copyright by A. F. J. Riechers 1917 and 1944

Belonged to my Father and have preserved it all this time. He used to be able to cut a hip roof on the ground piece by piece and not climb the roof. Would just hand up the pieces and they would fit. This always amazed me back then as to how he did it. After he died in 1973, I found his little trick book.
I have used it myself quite a few times, up until the smart calculators come out.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile: </IMG></IMG></IMG>

I have to agree with Curtis Coombs post above, also.
My thought is that it may have been considered acceptable nearly a century ago when it was built, and it has stood the test of time. It will probably outlast all of us. Why recommend repairs to something that isn’t broke?

Another fine reference is the Audels Carpenters and Builders Guide set. 1923.
And their Masonary, Heating, and Electrical sets. Worth thier money in gold.
Mine came from an estate pre-sale. Yup! I did the pre-listing inspection.
Sometimes we just get lucky.

Nope, no ties were installed and my original concern was due to them cutting away any supports I did see. The slope on this roof was like a 3-12 it seems…flatter than the last few I have been on…here is a picture of the house.

IN this image you can notice the back part of the house where the crack is, it actually shows up even on this but that back side of the house is where it was sloping down and they attempted to jack it up…:slight_smile:


Oh…here is the GABLE vents they added in the remodel…notice the only real supports they had on the end were cut for those vents…yet only 3" of OLD insulation in the roof and no heat upstairs…they did cut some vents in the floor to let the heat rise…oil heat furnace that was EMPTY of oil on the inspection and could not be tested…lol


Bought a set of those for the first time in 1968, you are right, they were worth their weight in gold. Wish I still had them. Very good reference books.

Are they still Published?

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

They appear to be roof rafters, not ceiling joists. Ridge boards can either be structural or just an easier way to put up the rafters. I’d rather see collar ties here than a ridge board. The triangle created by the two rafters plus a ceiling joist makes for a strong system. Trusses use the triangle to gain great strength with smaller timbers (and don’t require a ridge board).

Look at the ridge line from outside. Is it sagging? Look along wall along the roof eaves. Is it bowing out. If not, the rafter system is prob working fine structuraly.


sorry…fast typo error…yes they are roof rafters…Sorry…

I did not see any sagging, just based it on the low slope and fact that I saw supports cut away recently to add the vents and so on. Simply did not feel comfortable saying it was fine and then WHAMO…it fall in because we have yet to have a serious snow storm up here in a few years…well before this structure was altered or " Remodels" were done.

The vertical member cut to install the vent looks like backing for the siding. Even if intact it wouldn’t do anything structurally.

Paul, how many layers of shingles on the roof?

Just (1)…Metal Roof…

Whoops ! I did not read that before .
They are almost self supporting I would not be too concerned about collar ties You get very little snow in your area and most could slide off.
( that can be a concern ) ( plunk on the head with 200 lbs of snow could get your attention ).
Did a home with out avalanche guards .
I recommend immediate instillation of Avalance guards .
What does the Home Inspector know this home has not needed them in 4 years .
Well she left her Mercidies in the wrong place $28,000.00 damage hood fenders windshield and roof.
I guess the snow told her that HI did know a little .

Roy Cooke A Happy Nachi Member

Different picture now.
They say a picture is a thousand words, but I have to disagree.

You can only evaluate what you see in the picture and not evaluate the panoramic vision of the Human eye with the experiece factor behind it.

Marcel:) :slight_smile: :stuck_out_tongue: