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Help, name this framing technique?


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I don't have a pic so you have to imagine what I'm trying to explain.

What, or is there a name, for a rafter system coming up the rake then interrupted by a knee wall supported sleepers of the same dimension with lath strips the rest of the way to the ridge?

This is all stick framing and the rake plane never changes it's angle.

It has decking atop the rafters and lath surfaces for the shingles.

Any engineering or architectural reason to frame this way instead of continuous rafter?

Also any special name for sleeper with lath only roof framing system?

Thanks in advance.

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Hi Barry,

Apologies, but I'm having a very hard time envisioning the system based on the description you've provided. Do you have a scanner? Is it possible that you could make a rough sketch, scan it, save it as an image and then post it to this thread, so we'll have a better understanding of what you mean?



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Yes a drawing would help but it sounds like what your describing started out as conventional construction then became post frame style construction.

For example in conventional construction the load bearing elements, rafters, run with the slope of the roof where as in post frame they run perpendicular to the slope (purlins).

Chris, Oregon

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As far as why for the design change I suspect the designer was familiar with post frame style and felt that it more economically solved whatever problem he or she were facing.

Post frame style tends to be a more economical form of construction (uses less lumber) and here its commonly the way pole barns and other accessory structures are built.

Joe lstiburek and others have commented on the fact that we use too much wood presently in our structures and could build them safely with significantly less.

The problem is as we try to optimize a design the more we have to take an engineering approach to it. The prescriptive manner that we do most things now tends to save money upfront in the form of less engineering and development costs but may cost us more in the long run.

Chris, Oregon

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Originally posted by Les


This has nothing to do with your post, but I saw this again today and thought of your post.

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I don't know the name of the method, just that it is a common pre-cut rafter truss from mid-fifties. Maybe I'll call it the Shirley Method.

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Is that ridge board cut like a diamond? It looks like it so the rafters butt into it square. That's slick.

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Originally posted by BADAIR


I bet you asked yourself the same question I did.


The rest of yous guys,

I don't want to here squat about Picasso, Pei, or Dali.

OK bring it on.

I love criticism, ask my wife.

My best guess is that someone wanted to squeeze out a few more inches of headroom on the inner side of that kneewall.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Barry, no help on the name, but as to the reason, that makes me think of the chopped up roof lines typical in 70's houses around here that would have been open to the air where the sleepers are in your diagram, making the knee wall really the outside wall of the house. Maybe they closed it in during a remodel. In which case the technical name for the architectural element would be "Billy-Bob's sleeper system";)

Just a thought.


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