Must One Always Stagger? (Roof Deck)


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Old 04-16-08, 07:31 PM
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Must One Always Stagger? (Roof Deck)

I've been slowly redoing my roof (and a lot of other things while I'm up there) and whenever I've been faced with a quandry, thankfully the helpful people of these forums have been there to help me. I don't know what I'd do without ya, thanks.

Anyway...

I'm now to a section of the roof deck where a tree has obviously rubbed against the edge, sometime over the past 50 years. The previous owners made their repair in this area by cutting-off the last eight inches and running a board, up and down, along the edge.


BTW: My roof deck is plank and I've been replacing any damaged boards, whole or in part and my roofline is cut into several sections, going in every direction.


In one of the other areas where a tree had rubbed, when they made a similar repair, they actually cut along a rafter, so that everything was nailed down (except for one end of one board, which I repaired by cutting a new hole and laying a new boardpiece in the "right" direction)

This time, they didn't cut along a rafter, so both their single repair board and all of the existing decking isn't nailed-to or supported by anything on one side.

In yet another area where the boards had been worn, but where there had been no previous repair, I staggered small pieces and laid them in the right direction. This time, though, these boards run up and down, at an angle, sort of corner to corner and if I stagger, then I'm going to be cutting away a lot of good board.

So, my question (after that long explanation) is whether I could get away with simply taking their repair cut over to a rafter and not stagger about 8' along one edge, up under a tree?

Does anyone have any thoughts about pros and cons? And, if I don't have to stagger, then would there be any potential or foreseeable problems, if I make my repair with a board wider than the rest of the decking? (IOW: There wouldn't be a stagger along the rafter, but there would be a stagger along the seam because I'd be using a 10", up against an 8")

Of course, if I need to clarify, I'll be glad to do it and as always, thanks in advance.
 
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Old 04-17-08, 03:32 AM
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Good Morning,

I don't know if it's because it's early and my mind isn't in full gear yet, but I'm afraid I need a visual for this Could you possibly post a photo or two to accompany your post?

If not, perhaps someone else will come along with the brain power to assist you.

I was with you through the first four paragraphs, and when you began "staggering", I was still there.... I assume you'll have shingles over the top of these boards? And is it not possible to exchange the boards for plywood during your reconstruction?

Connie
 
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Old 04-17-08, 12:53 PM
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I think Connie is thinking staggering shingles and I am thinking you are staggering decking boards. I see nothing wrong with running 8 feet with all boards nailed to the rafter. I would not go much more than that. The whole idea of staggering the joints is to bridge more than 2 rafters so if 1 of them droops it will not cause the whole roof to droop at that spot. Placing splices between rafters is not a good idea anytime. It creates a weak spot in the decking. Over time it will either dip or rise there. If it would be possible to put in cross bracing between rafters to hold the splice tight then that would be ok. Try this test! Put 2 2x4's on the ground 2 feet apart. Place a single board across them. Stand on it. Not much give there. Now do a splice like you have done on your roof and try it on the 2x's See how much more give there is now. With time the splice will weaken even more. Placing bracing between rafters even if they are flat ways to allow for splice piece will be much stronger.
 
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Old 04-17-08, 03:10 PM
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Connie - I'm sure any confusion was caused my unnecessary bits of added information. Sorry.

Badeyeben - Right. I'm talking about staggering boards along one edge for around 8'.


Here's the pic to illustrate my question. Of course, I know that the remaining shingle nails, drip edge and the other trash has to go. I just haven't gotten that far, primarily because I can do that part at night without disturbing the neighbors.



For some reason at this point, the previous owners just cut down a straight line between rafters (maybe 4"), so there's nothing supporting the ends. As you may be able to tell, the obviously damaged (original) board might have cracked when I was pulling the shingles because I didn't know what was under them, or it may have broke sometime since the "repair".

What I'd prefer to do is to simply cut another straight line, this time down the first rafter and just not stagger that section because the rest of the boards are good. I'd really be mostly doing it to hold-up the ends.

Otherwise, because all of the boards were locally milled and that mill has been closed for decades, I've been ripping all of my other replacement boards myself. It seems to me that because I'm not going to be staggering or stairstepping my way down, then I could probably get away with using 10" boards in this section, instead of cutting them down.

Any thoughts, or is there another way that you'd advise me to proceed?

Thanks, again for everyone's help.
---

ETA: I just measured and their "repair" board was a ten-footer, so my repair would also be around 10' and not the eight, I previously thought. Thanks.
 

Last edited by TryAgain; 04-17-08 at 03:48 PM. Reason: Correction
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Old 04-18-08, 04:03 AM
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OK - After taking into consideration Badeyeben's explanation about possible drooping and weighing the whole 8' vs 10' thing, I'm now leaning toward spanning two rafters at a couple of evenly-spaced points in the repair area.

IOW: I'll go between one rafter and the edge for a while with 10" boards, then span two rafters with an 8", then do some more non-staggered 10s, before I span again with another 8".

If this doesn't seem like a good, fairly sturdy solution to anyone, I'd appreciate you letting me know. Otherwise, thanks for the help, the explanation and for serving as a sounding board for my theorizing about this problem.

Thanks.
 
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Old 04-18-08, 05:06 AM
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Yes, I believe what you are suggesting is viable, and if I understood correctly, Ben is in agreement as well.

The picture was a big help Maybe I should try coffee in the mornings

How old is your home? I saw you also have a post about chimney repair...lot of work for you
 
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Old 04-18-08, 09:32 AM
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I can't remember if the disclosure said the house was built in "app. '52" or '54, but one of the toilets was dated '49 and some other folks think the house was built around 1950. Both of the brothers who actually constructed the house have passed, as have their widows, so most of my info is from the next gen and other little clues.

Yeah, lots of work. We bought the place as a fixer-upper about five years ago and it wasn't long until I found this website, all of it's members and terrific advice.

I probably spent a couple of years here, researching how to get everything operational, figuring-out where to start my fixing-upping and getting that going, plus gathering some advice that I've allowed-for in previous steps, but which I haven't actually gotten around to implementing, yet.

In fact, I was around here so much back in the day that I actually became active enough with the advice dispensing, they even gave me a couple of non-construction forums to moderate, but for a variety of reason (including that I had a lot of fixing-upping to do), I eventually took a hiatus and when I came back, I couldn't remember my password. Hence, my odd sort of name.

Thanks again for helping me figure this out. I've been working my way around the roof and the topside since Christmas, doing what should be done at this stage and at the rate I'm going, I'll probably be finished with this phase, sometime around late June, early July. Oh, and so that you know, I can already anticipate a few more future questions, when I get to other parts of the project and learn what I actually have, so you surely haven't heard the last from me.

Thanks.
 
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Old 04-18-08, 05:08 PM
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Well, welcome back!
 
 

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