I am building a 20' X 24' carport and was trying to decide if a ridge beam / board was necessary, or could i simply use gussets to connect the roof rafters. I'd like to avoid using a 24' beam if possible. The design is using 4 x 4 posts with 2 x 6 rim joist around. The roofing will be a metal roof on purlins (no sheathing). So, gussets or ridge beam (or does it matter)?

  • @isherwood, no ceiling as such - just exposed members. It's a simple carport to shelter the vehicles.
    – Jim
    Jan 9, 2019 at 16:42
  • @isherwood, Yeah, thanks for the input - that's kinda what I figured. Was looking for some confirmation. As long as I put them no more than 1/3rd up, I should be good? Dealing with a beam (either an Lam or otherwise) didn't seem to be worth the trouble if simple rafter ties will do the trick (though I'm still gona have to splice them).
    – Jim
    Jan 9, 2019 at 18:17
  • Having entered the world of carpentry post-truss-rafters, I can't say what the rules are for rafter tie heights. You'll want to do a little research.
    – isherwood
    Jan 9, 2019 at 18:21

1 Answer 1


Gussets wouldn't replace a ridge beam (which is different from a ridge board). You'd need a truss design with collar or rafter ties.

If you don't have a ridge beam (which actually carries the load from the upper half of the rafters), you need rafter ties, which run across from wall to wall. Gussets don't provide the sort of bracing that rafter ties would.

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