Roof rafter support?

I inspected a Bungalo ranch today that had a dormer on the left side of the home. The pics are from the right side of the unfinished attic. What I don’t think is right is the rafter are only supported by the outside wall and knee wall! There is nothing holding them at the top(Ridge beam, hanger etc…) It was built over 20 years ago which means nothing, howerver would you recommend a second look??

Thanks in advance!


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r u saying they just are hanging in the air… cannot tell from the picture… insulation holding them up? I see a lot of staining there too…

how did it look from the roof? outside?

i am a stinkin membah!

so I was late renewing… now I have new number… login… blah blah blah…

Hey Jcampbell…they just end at the insulation and have no bearing on anything. The exterior roof looked ok. Should there at least be hangers or support posts to transfer the load?

I would think so… it that the peak? in the second photo?

Yes it is… The dormer studs run up the wall where the roof rafters terminate into nothing? Let me see if I can get you a pic of the outside.

Here is a pic of the outside. The right side of the home has the rafter’s that have no support(other than knee wall).


I’ve seen plenty of roofs where the old rafters just meet at the peak and there is not ridge pole…

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the rafter butt up against the dormer? not even nailed? into the studs for the dormer?

It looks unconventional… never seen anything like it…

I would likely recommend further review… but again, i am not 100% sure what I am looking at…

So even though they don’t meet anything but the isnulation and wall studs(not secured to anything) it’s ok?

I am guessing they are or at least should be nailed into the studs (side by each) and that is not necessarily conventional practice… review by a contractor may warrant adding hangers or even a ledger board for added stability…

The top ends of the rafters should definitely be attached to the new wall, which if I’m seeing it right, extends up past the rafter ends. Sometimes a horizontal 2X6 or similar can be nailed to the wall to catch the rafter ends.

It looks like the flashing is leaking there as well. Call for an evaluation by a qualified builder.

exactly… a horizontal ledger board to catch the ends of the rafter… as well as toe nailed into the studs… cannot hurt to recommend further review…

yes i echo the staining… moisture content? active? old? probably prior to last roofing job, but worth flagging…

Thanks guys… I measured the stains and no moisture, roof was only 10yrs
old, house was 70yrs. Thought the same thing there should at least be a ledger board to secure these rafters. They were just floating above the insulation. Have a good night and thanks again!!


OMG, a piece of house just fell out of the sky and landed on the roof of that poor little house…but what a coincidence, it has the same siding as the house it fell on.

Rafters can cantilever, too, you know. Someone should check it…better a qualified design professional than a contractor. 2x8s cantilevering three feet? Might work, might not.

hmm… any cantilever would have the tendency to move some… and where this abutts a wall on the dormer… i do not think it is a good idea to have it able to move at all… nail it and nail it again!

OK, if you’re going to nail the rafter ends to the dormer wall, then tell me, what’s directly under the dormer wall which can take the load of the rafters?
My guess is: nothing! So do you want a load which does not have a direct path to the earth? Do you want excessive deflection in the probably-barely-adequate-if-that former ceiling joists below?

Think before you nail, and if you’re not certain about what you’re nailing, then consult someone who knows before going off half cocked.

At least allow for the possibilty that whoever designed this cockamamie additon, if there was anyone who did, just might have known what they were doing.

nail the pi$$ out of it…

I was being a smart A$$… read my earlier post saying he should refer it to be looked at… of course there is more to be seen here but saying it is better to leave it floating is not wise either…

I think he now sees that referring it out to be looked at further is a good idea and just because it has been there for years does not make it right.

Agreed. (NOT that you were being a smart-a$$, but that it needs to be looked at!)