Toe-Nailing Rafters to Ridge

A new home builder is asking to see the code for correctly toe-nailing the rafter to a supported ridge board. (I know I’m not a code enforcement inspector but I wish to know this answer.)

I call it a deficiency to have 4 nails toe-nailed on one side and 0 nails on the other. There should be nails on both sides of the rafter in my opinion but I can’t find a code requirement for this at the ridge.
I’m thinking he might be right? (Rafters are opposite each other at a 2x ridge.)

I have a 2012 IRC - Table R602.3 Item 6;
Roof rafters to ridge, valley or hip rafters: toe nail face nail / 4-16d 3-16d
(this code does not spell out that toe nailing has to be on both sides)

Pics are of the same rafter

You can call it out anyway. Code is not the end of the discussion. Example, you cannot find a broken shingle in code either.

I do not inspect to code, so he would be out of luck with me.


Welcome to our forum, Bo…Enjoy and participate! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


Welcome to the forum, Bo. Enjoy!!


I did call it out in my report, he refuses to have his framer go into the attic to put a few more nails. But he will if I provide a code requirement.

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What about state amendments? Local amendments? It might be there.

(Code = can-o-worms)

Sounds like you did your job. The client is aware now and it should be between them and their builder to decide if it will be addressed.

With that said, I wouldn’t be too concerned about it not being nailed from both directions.


Don’t even talk to the contractor. You did your job in narrating the recommendation (not code) of nails at rafter ridge board plumb cut on both sides and they can do it or not.

Your agreement is between you and your client.


(Code = can-o-worms) Truth!!! I have spent enough time digging through books and looking online. I was just hoping someone (possibly in Texas) had dealt with this before me and had an answer to back me up.
Unfortunately “best-practice” doesn’t equal requirements.

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Sometimes code has your back. Sometimes your opinion will have to stand. Maybe someone will find an applicable nailing pattern requirement that helps. I did look for you but came up with nothing.


I have to agree, it’s their issue to work through. My issue is, do I continue to call out this specific item as a deficiency?
While I would like to see it nailed on both sides, I think you’re right not to be concerned. It’s not going anywhere, and the rest of the framing work looked to be nicely done.


Well, I know your asking Ryan, but why do you think it is a deficiency? Tell us that and then we can react.

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It was not intended as a question for Ryan, more of a thought bubble I guess/ question for myself to consider.
I am interested in anyone’s opinion on most anything for sure.

-I think it’s a deficiency because if it’s only nailed on one side and the rafter began to warp or twist then it will be restrained in one direction but not the other.
-On the other hand; The reality is that this would likely not happen due to the sum total of all the building components coming together and and the physics of the opposing rafters pressing into each other.

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And the sheathing nailed to it.

But, if you have these concerns or have observed it in the field, you can tell customer why you think it is a problem. I would include it in my defect narrative.

Now, I personally would not call that out.




looking from the back side of the rafter, it is nailed thru the Ridge board also. its not just toe-nailed. the toe nails may have been there to just hold the rafter up. with a stick built house the ridge board really does not add and support for the rafter. its just something used to hold rafters up while its being built. Its not even required. What should be there is collar ties. they serve a bigger purpose then the ridge board.

He nailed it through the back side much like we nail studs in the wall (face nail)…then he added the other rafter and toe nailed it because that’s the way it’s done. You won’t see the face nail because the other rafter covers up the heads of the nails. BTW…it’s not likely a carpenter left a rafter not nailed.