I have a standard 2 car garage (20 feet by 20 feet) built in 1948 with some interesting roof structure. There appears to 5 rafter ties which are separated by 4 ft for the first pair then 2 ft for the 3rd tie then 4 ft to the 4th tie and less than 2ft to the 5th tie. enter image description here

The 5th tie is installed at an angle and intersects one of the rafters on the ceiling and not at the base, this appears to make room for two support boards coming from the ridge beam to the top of the garage door.

enter image description here enter image description here

In three corners there is a diagonal board spanning the corner. you can see one in the image above of the 5th tie and here is a second one.

enter image description here

My questions are:

1)Can the diagonal corner beams be removed? I have heard that these were used to hold the walls in place during construction and are no longer needed.

2)Since it appears I have a structural beam with the rafters crossing over the top of the beam are these rafter ties necessary since the roof appears to be self supported?

enter image description here

2a) If I do need to leave them would it be possible to move the ties closer together and create the look of two oversized gables rather then 5 boards at somewhat random spaces apart? Maybe replace the 2 in the middle which are only 2 feet apart with 1, and remove the 5th to only have 3 boards running across?

  1. Am i correct in assuming the boards connecting the rafter ties together were added for storage platforms or to support the garage door opener and are not structurally significant to the building?

  2. The angled boards that connect the top of the garage door to the support beam make intuitive sense to me to add support for the moving door but i have not come across anything like this in any of the research i have done, does anyone have any other information about these? There is a similar board on the other end which connect the first rafter tie to the support beam which I believe is intended to offer support to the garage door opener.

enter image description here enter image description here I’m looking to spruce up the look of the garage and am thinking about possibly drywalling the ceiling and installing better lighting

  • Take out enough structure, and the whole roof can go ;^) By itself, without any further help from you.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 12:10

1 Answer 1


If the ridge beam is properly supported at each of it's ends then your collar ties can go.

The corner braces are not necessarily just for the construction phase. They do add a structural diaphram of rigidity and squareness to you walls. That being said, the roof structure and plywood sheeting itself do add some sheer rigidity to the structure. Usually these corner braces are put onto houses that do not have a plywood wall covering (either plywood siding or plywood sheer paneling under another type of siding). I would be reluctant to remove those without consulting with and getting approval from an engineer.

  • Disagree strongly that collar ties can be removed. We know very little about how strong the ridge is (even if it is fully supported). OP needs a competent individual on site, not a bunch of well meaning scrollers. Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 13:15
  • Ill bring in an engineer before anything is removed, just wanted to make sure i was reading the structure correctly. for what its worth the main room and extended patio ceilings are vaulted with no ties. they appear to have the same structure (large beams down the middle and on the sides) but i dont know if that was the original design or if additional wall supports were added during a remodel. Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 16:18

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