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Ridge beam questions

HandyDave's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 17

03-07-06, 11:15 AM   #1  
Ridge beam questions

I'm building 12'x 16' workshop/motorcycle garage. I want a vaulted ceiling and want the ridge beam to span the 16". The rafters will be 2x6 16" o.c. What sized beam will I need and what material should it be made of? I have heard; solid beam, engineered (or glue-lam), and I've been told I can simply glue and fasten three full length 2x(?)'s together... (umm, really?)

Also, will three 2x4's (inside the exterior walls) at either end be sufficient to support this ridge beam at the ends or will I need something bigger? There is a possiblity that I can add an add'l support post at 10' in the 16' span.

Thanks in advance...


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awesomedell's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,425

03-07-06, 11:38 AM   #2  
given the footprint of this small structure, a double 2"x8", glued and screwed together, should be all you need, in fact yout 2"x6" rafters are a tad overkill, 2"x4" would be ok for this project, again lookin at just a 12 x16 shed. HTH

HandyDave's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 17

03-07-06, 12:22 PM   #3  
Thx awesomedell, that's good to hear. That's me though... I typically over-engineer just about everything I do; probably so that I won't have to do it again later. I wanted to go with 2x6 to ensure good ventilation with my ridge vent. Not necessary?

What do think about the support for this ridge beam at either end?


P.S. And this isn't just a 'shed' (in dimensions, yes - a shed)!! lol... no offense taken, but this will be my workshop/home away from home (and doghouse when in trouble), and the garage for my motorcycle, so I intend to finish it nicely inside. It'll have 110 and 220 power, internet and skylights. Sorry, can you tell I'm a little excited... it's been two years in the making (since the planning stages). The slab went down last saturday - woo hoo!

clardl's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 67

03-12-06, 04:24 PM   #4  
for the ridge beam, i would use (2)2x10's. assuming you have asphalt shingles on the roof, and ceiling below, you may see some sag in the middle after some years if you use 2x8.

that beam size is based on a 30 psf roof load (10 psf dead load, 20 psf snow load), which would be reasonable in most states. if you live somewhere north with large snow potential, aka michigan or upstate newyork, you should probably use 2x12's.

if you plan to heat or cool the space, you will want to insulate the roof, which may push you to 2x8 rafters so you can get decent insulation in the space.

Good luck. i have a detached garage that has become my sanctuary, so i understand the excitement.

Concretemasonry's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 6,125

03-12-06, 04:53 PM   #5  
Ridge beam questions

If you get any deflection in the ridge beam, you will automatically get spreading of the 16' long walls. Simple geometry. It may take a while, but it will happen. The pitch of the roof will have a lot to do with it.

The stiffer, the ridge beam, the less the deflection and the less the spreading.

Snoonyb's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,150

03-12-06, 04:53 PM   #6  
Dbl 2x12's or a 4x12 DFSS, 2x10 [email protected], 5/8 board. Support the ridge full length from the mudsill.

HandyDave's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 17

04-03-06, 12:50 AM   #7  
Thanks for all the advice. I am going to combine the advice here and my initial instincts and screw and glue three 2x10's for the 16'9" ridge beam. It'll be supported full-length from the mudsill by three screwed and glued 2x4's.


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