How to Build Hip Roof Rafters

What You'll Need
Lumber for making hip rafters
Architectural plan (elevation and plan views)
Carpenters square

Hip roof rafters are popularly paired with common rafters. Owing to its 45-degree angled structure, hip roof rafters magnify the beauty of the ridge board and boost the curves of the roofing. Unlike common rafters whose designs are quite simple, hip roof rafters have quite a complicated design. However, despite their innate complexity, you can still fabricate and create your own hip roof rafters. Follow the simple steps below to build one for your own roof.

Step 1 – Getting the Right Length of the Hip Roof Rafters

You can obtain the measurements for your hip roof rafters by using the architectural plan of your roofing. The plan and elevation views would be most helpful in obtaining appropriate figures.  First, get the height measurement from the ceiling to the top ridge. If there is no ceiling yet, just imagine the plane where the slants of the roof ends. Then get the length of the horizontal plane of the ceiling from the center point which is directly below the top ridge, extending to the eaves of the roof. You now have two measurements, which are considered the two sides of a 90-degree, right angled triangle.

Remembering the Pythagorean Theorem, A2 + B2 = C2, where A is the height measurement, B is the horizontal length measurement and C is the hypotenuse. Just get the square of each number and total the answer. The total answer is C2; the next thing is to get the square root of your answer, C2.  Once you have extracted the square root of C2, you will have the correct length to your hip roof rafter.

Step 2 – Cutting and Preparing the Lumber

Based on the measurement you obtained, cut the lumber according to the length required. Make sure that the ends are not obliquely angled but rather should be positioned in 90 degrees. Identify the angles for the edges of each of the hip roof rafters that you have cut. Again, refer to online reference to make this easy.

Once the angles are calculated, cut the ends of the lumber according to the calculated angles using a rotary saw. The end with angle closer to 90 degrees will be attached to the ridge, and the other end joins the top-plate.

Step 3 – Installing Lumber for Hip Roof Rafters

When you have cut the lumber according to the required length and the angles on its end, you must make the final cut for the hip roof rafters to fit into the space formed between intersecting hip roof rafters. Just create a straight side cut on the upper section of the hip roof rafter. Both tops ends should have this side cut and should be enough to fit the sides of the hip roof rafters once they are finally positioned on your roof. You can not fit the preformed hip roof rafter on your roof.