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Rmwoiak 02-18-2013 03:31 PM

Attic Cross Member Question
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I am getting ready to put some flooring down in my attic to make more room for storage. I have three cross members (?) in my attic that I was unsure about. I have included a few pictures below. They are located in my town house which was a gable roof. The cross members are about 8in tall but only a 1/2 in thick. They don't seem very sturdy so I cant imagine they are structural. I wanted to see if anyone could identify them and see if I am able to safely remove them. Thanks guys.

nealtw 02-18-2013 03:48 PM

They are ties to stop the roof from sagging. They are very much structural and should not be removed.

Rmwoiak 02-18-2013 04:17 PM

Thanks, I just wanted to double check before I did anything dumb.

Wuzzat? 02-18-2013 05:01 PM

How are they fastened at the ends? For structural purposes I'd think they'd use through bolts and thicker wood and a lot more of them.

Since the force spreading the roof is uniform, the horizontal roof line should look wavy when sighted at right angles to these boards if these are resisting a tensile force. The roof width would then be narrower at the few places where these strips are anchored.

JoeD 02-18-2013 05:31 PM

Ignore Wuzzat.
They are called collar ties and they are needed.

Wuzzat? 02-18-2013 08:07 PM

Ignore JoeD.

The ones on my porch are 2 bys, three sandwiched with a center one for appearance. At least 12 nails at each end.

poppa 02-18-2013 08:22 PM

I'm an old carpenter and we called those wind braces and put one on every other set of rafters. You really should put more in you don't have enough.

CallMeVilla 02-23-2013 11:29 AM

When I built a large shed last year, I used 2x4 lumber for the ties to the rafters. Solid roof. Never going to sag and the wind will not lift it.

KEEP those ties in place.

PS If you are putting down plywood for storage, DO NOT lay the wood over any wires which are sitting on top of the ceiling joists. This could be hazardous! :p

AndyGump 02-24-2013 10:00 AM

If you want to do away with them you would have to get a permit to make a relatively small change like this and install 20 gauge x 1-1/4" straps across the ridge from rafter to rafter.


nealtw 02-25-2013 07:35 AM

Andy: I would like to be polite but, wrong. Collar ties are placed in steep roofs at the half way from the birds mouth to the peak to supply support against sag. By adding this support, they make the span of the rafter 1/2 of the full length. Your straps would be added to prevent failure in high winds and is a different problem.

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