Domestic Roof Construction 101!

Christopher Hunter
February 7, 2012 — 2,033 views  

Most homeowners realize that the roof is one of the most important elements of their home; therefore, they want one that will protect their residence and its contents while providing the comfort that is desired. Roofing companies are always being asked by homeowners to provide a quality roofing system at a reasonable price to protect their residence no matter what the weather outside may be. They also realize that the installation of a roofing system is hazardous, so they want to ensure this process is done in the safest way possible. Information regarding roofing systems and the safest way to build them can be helpful to workers and homeowners alike so that a well-constructed home and roof system can be achieved


A simple ridged roof can be built with rafters, purlins, tie beams, and collar beams. Each of these elements is described below in greater detail.

  • Rafters - Declined rafters usually rest on top of each wall and vertically on wall plates, while the top ends of them meet horizontally on the ridge beam or ridge plate. Rafters are generally triangularly shaped structures that provide stability and support to the roof and distribute its weight.
  • Purlins - Purlins support the covering of the roof and are placed horizontally to the rafters.
  • Tie Beams - These beams are also known as ceiling joints. Their function is to prevent the rafters from spreading and resisting tension.
  • Collar Beams - These beams are also known as collar ties. Their function is to give extra strength to the roofing system.


Installing the framing for the roof exposes workers to a high risk of falling, especially with framing that has larger openings. These falls can cause serious injuries and sometimes even death. These types of accidents can significantly affect the overall progress of the installation procedure. The risk of falling during framing is especially prevalent when: rafters exceed 23.62 inch centers; during the placing of bracing, battens and sarking; and the positioning of metal or tile cladding.

Safety Control Measures

Adopting the appropriate safety control measures in the workplace can help prevent workers from falling. Proper safety procedures should be determined according to the hazards and risks present at each individual construction site. The following are some insights that every construction company should consider for the safety of their workers.

  • Safe Spacing - The installation of rafters can be considered safe as long as the spacing does not exceed the recommended amount of 23.62 inches. Although this spacing is not totally ideal, the distance will allow workers some degree of movement around the framework.
  • Unsafe Spacing - In situations where the frame spacing is greater than 23.62 inches, safety control measures should be in place since the openings significantly affect the safe mobility of workers to freely move around the framework.
  • Barrier Mesh - The proper safety measure to take when the frame spacing is more than the recommended 23.62 inches is the installation of a barrier such as safety mesh, which can help prevent workers from falling. The barrier should be joined and fixed according to the manufacturer's instructions and should have the capability of controlling the risk of workers falling. Construction companies can ask for training from the barrier manufacturer which will instruct workers on how to use the barrier safely and effectively.
  • Fall Arrest Platform - Using a fall arrest platform on the bottom chord of the rafter will provide safety for the workers.

When workers are equipped with the proper knowledge about framing and take the recommended safety precautions while installing rafters, accidents due to falls can be prevented and roofing companies can finish their projects unhindered. Completing construction projects professionally and within the scheduled time frame should satisfy the high expectations homeowners have for the housetop system that is installed on their homes. Hopefully this information about Domestic Roof Construction 101 will be beneficial!




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Christopher Hunter

Schulte Roofing

Christopher Hunter is an expert in roofing information. To find out more about Roof Companies in Houston, go to our main website at: Article Source: