Valley rafter bearing properly?

I am unclear as to whether this valley rafter is structurally sound as it bears down on the top plate. It is only making contact about 2". Please advise.

I usually see double 2x for valley rafters since they take on some stress from the valley jacks. Should be a seat cut , looks like they just sat a 45 degree end cut on top of a double 2x joist which is on top of the wall plate. I dont think the support of the rafter is compromised since its sitting on a double 2x ,but its attachment is questionable. I say they messed up the seat cut. Maybe rectify it with a bracket of some type for better attachment. We need a roofer to help us properly answer this one i believe.

A roofer to properly answer this?? Roofers have no structural expertise. The bearing is more like 4" to 5" on the double joist, but I do agree that a seat notch or bracket on the valley rafter would be beneficial to prevent sliding.

Valley rafters should have full bearing on the diagonal portion of the 90 degree exterior wall top plates.

The rafter framing in the pictures is defective framing and should be evaluated by a licensed Building Contractor familiar with conventional framing. :slight_smile:

Thanks for everyone’s input.

What Marcel said. Definitely wrong.

That’s impossible in this situation because the plane of that roof surface doesn’t reach to the side wall of the house. There is a small shed roof coming out from that corner. It may be defective, but they will never be able to bear it onto the top plate of the wall.

If it isn’t enough bearing, couldn’t a raising plate be added like the one below the rafters at the left side of the second photo? It could span from the double joist to the next joist to the right, then the end of the valley would have full bearing onto three joists and still bear on the double joist with the same footprint it has now.

Alternatively, if the connection is just not secure enough, wouldn’t a metal tie provide enough reinforcement?

What Cameron said. Trying to rebuild this would be cost prohibitive, but it can be improved by providing a better connection (the bearing is fine for that load). I would not have built that valley like that, but the question is “how do you fix it”. That’s what this Building Contractor with decades of conventional framing experience says…

  1. Shore the hip, bracing down to a wall or stongback.
  2. Cut 1 1/2 inches off the level cut at the bottom of the hip where it now rests on the joists.
  3. Cut a 2x10 long enough to lay flat on top of the joists and slide into place beneath the level cut of the hip and extend across two joist bays (3 rafters). The 2x10 should be held flush with the heel (short point) of the level cut of the hip.
  4. Add 2x10 (or whatever the joists are) anti-rotation blocks between the joists in the bays beneath the hip.
  5. Remove shoring.

The hip now rests on a flat 2x10 that distributes the load across 3 joists. The load will still be on the joists, but the joists are big enough and the load is close enough to the exterior walls so it’s not really a problem. Blocking the bays creates a stable assembly.

Very nice. Break out the sawz-all. :slight_smile:

…and the midget with a flat head and steel teeth.

HA! Yeah that fix is not going to be comfortable to perform. :slight_smile:

Is having the heel of the rafter supported a preferred best practice or is there a specific standard which spells that out?

That’s not even a challenge…:stuck_out_tongue:


It’s best practice. Supporting the entire length of the level cut is ideal, but if most of it is supported and the support held to the heel side it’s fine. If support is toward the toe, the hip is more likely to split. This effectively reduces the strength of the split portion of the hip to whatever the remaining support portion measures.

Only one problem with that, you would not be able to span two bays, only one. There is another rafter to the left, unless you wanted to bear that one too onto the sleeper.

If the consensus is to provide more bearing surface, then the easiest way would be to install a vertical double 2xx support under the short point of the valley rafter, connected (with bracket) to the double ceiling joist, running at 45 degree over to the bearing wall. That would effectively double the bearing surface, and since it is very close to the wall, most of the load would be on the wall. I would also do all of this by removing the drywall and work from underneath (looks like a garage ceiling to me).

Good point, Brad. Actually, if it were my house, I’d probably just install a joist block in the bay beneath the hip so that it picked up the load at the short point of the hip, nail it well or maybe add a couple of metal connectors to help hold the block in place and call it good. That would transfer most of the load to the doubler, and some to the single joist.

Putting the blocking at a 45 from the double joist over to the wall would be perpendicular to the valley rafter, making it easier to secure and stronger. You could even use taller blocking and cut a seat notch into the valley rafter to keep it from slipping.

Not quite sure why you keep calling this a hip, but we know what you meant. A hip rafter is almost self supporting by the hip jacks…this is valley rafter, which is not self supporting and requires a stable footing.

I’m calling it a hip because I’m messing up. I wish I’d kept my mouth shut from the beginning. I thought I had good suggestions, but I’m glad you corrected me. Still, supporting the heel with a block isn’t a bad suggestion, and neither is the notch, but I’d recommend hardware near the notch.