Posted by: Scott McCullough | July 8, 2012

Roof Framing

The house took on a different shape last week. We rented a crane on Friday to hoist the rafters and purlins into place.  Before that had happened the last few items of prep work had been completed.

Twenty-four roof purlins were cut to a taper instead of the original square cut.

Steel collarties were fabricated and fit into the principal rafters.  The remaining corner braces were installed by the timber crew.  Steel gusset plates were installed at the post bases and beam connections.

Friday morning the first pair of rafters were lifted.

We started at the rear of the house and worked our way forward.

The first rafters took some time to set and brace.  After the second pair of rafters was set, and purlins were flown in.

The third pair of rafters was set by mid afternoon, the crane would need to come back on Monday morning to set the fourth pair and the remaining purlins.

Saturday without the crane we decided to install the remaining purlins in the middle bay to ease the workload for the timber framing crew on Monday.

We used the lull to get each piece up to the second floor, then carried them by hand the rest of the way and into place.  It was definitely a job for three healthy people, especially on a humid summer day.

The ridge in the middle bay was the last one we put in on Saturday.  It was a little precarious but it went in smoothly.

These are the steel collar ties we’re using.  The turnbuckle turns to tighten the rods together and pull the rafters.  A steel plate is welded onto the end of each rod on the outside of the rafters.

By the end of the day Monday the last pieces will go in and the frame will be complete.



  1. Great pictures, great progress, phenomenal crew!! Can’t wait to see it.

  2. Amazing work by all. Aunt Jo

  3. Thank you guys, your tips are very useful. Thanks a lot.
    home improvement washington dc

  4. i am curious to know where you got the rafter/collar ties from. I currently have someone looking for some and cannot locate any.

    • Jason, I ordered the turnbuckles and rods from Fastenal, type ‘turnbuckle’ into the search feature on their website. They also fabricated the threaded rods for me.

      • thanks for the help. by the way, nice place!

  5. What diameter rod are the collar ties made from?

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