Roof Built on Roof

Thought some people may find this interesting. This roof was built onto the existing roof with no knee wall or extra supports. The rafters were nailed directly to the ridge beam of the previous roof without even removing the shingles.

I’ve seen that many times and it is better with a sleeper board under the rafters for a better connection or at least metal brackets are helpful. And, from what I can see, that is a ridge board…kind of hard to tell without blowing it up and I have to go out for a while now.

Something like this:


The apparent mud/debris and water pooled at the lower left of the pic inside of the attic is very concerning. In addition, there is sunlight streaming onto the wet area (leaks?).

Are those dead leaves I see on the lower left?
New structure adds weight, and it should be engineered or designed by an Architect. A new roof configuration may cause excessive loads on certain parts of the old structure and may not be adequate to support the additional loads. Should be redesigned accordingly and done by a qualified builder.

Yes this house was originally built in 1904. Not sure when the new roof was added but there are massive holes in the current roof. which is why there are leaves and everything else in there. This picture is how they attached the supports to the ridge beam.

Yes, I see now that it is a ridge board and it should be wider than the rafter plumb cut, theoretically.

But it sounds like that is the least of the concerns with that add on…massive holes in the roof?!..a real gem. :flushed:

Thank you for the subtle correction of ridge board.

You’re welcome…I thought you’d want to know. :smile:

In NJ asphalt shingles need to be removed and are not allowed to remain in attic spaces. They are considered the cause of an escalated smoke hazard should fire reach them. If the build up of smoke is too great to escape the attic it begins to fill the home. Removal of shingles and tar paper is required. I learned this the hard way in the 80’s working construction for my dad and never forgot it.

My own own house has an altered section of a roof where it was done the same way to accommodate an addition except they did use sleepers. The inspector never told me. He just stuck his head in the hatch.

Jack, That is good info to know.

The lack of sleepers upon which the bottoms of the new rafters should bear is bad building practice.

  1. Does the existing roof have a ridge board?
  2. Do the new rafters bear directly over existing rafters?
  3. Do those vertical ridge supports rest on a bearing wall?
  4. What type of wind exposure is that house located in?
  5. Recommend SE.