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I'm framing the roof of an 8x10 shed with a loft overhang:

framing plan

The plan I am following has no ridge beam nor ridge board and instructs me to "screw or nail the rafters together at the peak" which seems a bit vague/insufficient to me. Here is a photo from the plan:

photograph of roof framing from plan

The rafters will be fastened to the loft joists, but I'm wondering how exactly I should be fastening them together at the peak. I've been considering plywood gussets or metal truss plates--I want to maximise headroom in the loft, so they would need to be fairly small. Since most of the rafters are tied together at ceiling height (due to the loft joists), I initially thought I would just need to connect them in a non-structural way that emulates what a ridge board would be doing (alignment, basically). However, I'm a little anxious because of the steep pitch (16-12), especially after finding out that past 12-12, a structural ridge beam should be used instead of a ridge board. I'd rather not add a ridge beam in (nor a ridge board, for that matter).

Where I'm building, there are about 2 weeks of snow per year and a lot of rain. Uplift winds are something of a concern as the structure is atop a hill.

How can I safely fasten my rafters together at the peak without compromising headroom?

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    If you’re not using a ridge board, then you’ll need blocking for the roof sheathing to nail to.
    – Lee Sam
    Mar 19 at 22:14
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    I use a triangular piece of plywood and block as lee mentions.
    – Ed Beal
    Mar 19 at 22:23
  • You're going to need something temporary connecting each "A" together while constructing to stop horizontal movement. And 2 weeks of snow - how much is going to end up resting on the roof - that seems like quite a load if it can't slide off (say if there's something at ground level preventing it moving).
    – Mr R
    Mar 20 at 2:41
  • I hope there are posts, tied together with some kind of plate, holding up the overhang at the corner of the deck. I'd also consider improving the framing at the front wall (above the overhang) and just putting in a ridge beam (best) or a ridge board (less, but vastly better than nothing). Mar 20 at 2:45
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    @AloysiusDefenestrate the porch posts are not shown in the diagram but you can see one, with a decorative bracket, through the door in the photo.
    – jay613
    Mar 20 at 14:34
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I've built several sheds for myself without rafter or collar ties. They're both 10' wide and rock solid on the roof. I used 1/2" OSB gussets fastened with construction glue and 1½" screws:

enter image description here

enter image description here

The fact that you have a steeply pitched roof isn't a concern. Actually, it reduces stress on the gussets. I would build your gussets about 12-16" high. That shouldn't reduce headroom substantially, as folks rarely walk with their heads in a small triangle anyway.

You can sort of see that I actually took a router with a bullnose bit to the bottom edges of these for a nicer look and feel.

No blocking is needed as the relative angles of the roof planes reduce load at the ridge, and 1/2" sheathing will span just fine. In the many dozens of homes I've built with OSB roofs, not have called for or needed blocking.

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    If there is a study of human willingness to walk through various sized triangles I'd love to read it. :-O. Seriously this looks like the easiest way to do it. With the steeper pitch of OP's roof the gussets will have a much lighter presence / feel anyway.
    – jay613
    Mar 20 at 14:41
  • Re-read the op’s last paragraph. You didn’t answer the question...”without compromising headroom?”
    – Lee Sam
    Mar 20 at 16:26
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First I have a barn that is very very similar - basically exactly the same, but I just enclosed the overhang section.

So I would suggest something similar to the picture below - you can google "roof truss plate". (obviously not a perfect example as that top center hole is not needed... this is not a great example, just the shape of the plates I have used before)

There are simpson ties that you can use shaped like this. Whats the "bottom"? I greatly suggest that you block each rafter connection a few inches below - small 2x6. This will keep uneven loads or winds from pushing one side vs another.

You will also need to rows of blocking on each side. This will not only help secure the sheathing for the roof but are structural against lateral rafter movement.

enter image description here

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  • No truss that's got sheathing on both sides is at risk of lateral movement. Blocking isn't necessary. I'm in a tornado zone and no one blocks ridges here.
    – isherwood
    Mar 20 at 14:22

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