The Roof Building Manual
The Easy Step by Step Guide with Tables & Bevels

5th Edition
by Allan Staines

(Australian Publication)

210 x 295mm

Published by Pinedale Press, Caloundra, QLD


ISBN 9781875217328

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As reviewed in House & HOME Issue 46

Traditional stick-built roof framing has been largely replaced by the use of pre-fab trusses, but there are still situations where it is appropriate, such as smaller buildings (garages, sheds and the like), cathedral ceilings in houses, unusual house designs where prefab loses its economic advantage, and renovations where stick-built is the easier method to work.

If you can build a wall frame, you can probably pitch a roof, if you know the correct angles! Many carpenters use The Roof Builders Manual as their guide. Originally published in 1988, its usefulness is proven by the fact that it has been reprinted seven times and has just recently been released as a Second Edition. The book is aimed particularly at carpenter apprentices and presents the often complex maths and trigonometry involved in the most straightforward manner possible - simple charts. Half the book consists of charts which provide the angles for the hip plumb cut, purlin face cut, rafter plumb cut, purlin edge cut, hip edge cut, jack rafter edge cut, rafter seat cut and the hip seat cut - for every angle roof pitch from 5-75 degrees.

Using the tables, the length of the rafters and hips can be calculated through a series of simple additions rather than resorting to trigonometry. The bevel diagrams are designed so that the builder can set the angle of the part by laying a sliding bevel face onto the edge of the book and aligning the blade with the line provided for the angle.

The manual provides explanations of the most common roof styles, such as gable, skillion and lean-to, dual pitched, unequal pitch gable, Jerkinhead, dutch gable, hip, and hip and valley roofs. A large composite diagram of a roof lists all the common roofing members and shows clearly where they fit.

Perhaps most importantly, the book demonstrates good work practice by explaining how to draw up a diagram with all the roof elements in place, and how to prepare a cutting list so that parts can be made in order and marked off as they are done. This will reduce confusion and increase productivity in every roof carpenter, not just apprentices.

Combine all of the above with a definitive explanation of how to mark out top plates, ridges and rafters, as well as cutting the parts and erecting the roof itself - and you get the ultimate guide for Australian roof building.

Illustrations: Black & White

Units of Measurement: Metric


Simple Roofing Basics
Roof Designs
Roofing Members & Where they Fit
Roofing Terms
The Triangle Makes it Easy
The Rafter Length
The Slope

Marking out the Top PIates & Ridge
For Hip Roofs
For Hip & Valley Roofs
For Gable Roofs

Marking Out Rafters
Make the Common Rafter Pattern
The Birdsmouth Rule
Make the Hip Jack Pattern Rafters
Valley Jack & Cripple Jack Rafters
End Jack Rafters
Hip & Valley Rafters

Cutting Out

Erecting the Roof
Erecting Common Rafters & Ridges
Site Measuring & Erecting Hip Rafters
Erecting Hip Jack Rafters
Erecting Broken Hip Rafters
Site Measuring & Erecting Valley Rafters
Erecting Valley Jack & Cripple Jack Rafters
Aligning Members

Other Roof Members
Measuring & Cutting Struts
Ceiling Joists & Hanging Beams
Cathedral Ceiling Roofs
Tie-down & Roof Bracing
Eaves Construction

Rafter Lengths & BeveIs
Actual Examples
Marking the Cutting Lengths
Tables & Bevels