We make finding a quality roofing contractor easy.
Get Free Recommendations
on Local Roofers Now
Zip code:

Roof Rafters

Information on Roof Rafters

Rafters make up the main framework of all roofs. Rafters rest on the top of the building wall and are inclined up to meet the ridge or another rafter which they are fastened to. Rafters will be spaced every 16 - 48 inches depending upon the design of the roof. The rafter will often extend beyond the wall (overhang) which creates the eaves of the building to help protect the siding and windows of the building as well as make sure that water from rain and/or snow will run off the roof farther away from the foundation of the house.

  • Common Rafters - Common to all types of roofs these beams extend at right angles from the plate to the roof ridge. They are used as the basis for laying out other rafter types.
  • Hip Rafters - The roof beams that extend from the corner of the plate to the ridge.
  • Valley Rafters - The roof beams that extend from the plate to the ridge along an intersection between two roofs. (i.e. - cross hip or cross gable roof)
  • Jack Rafters - See below
    • Hip Jack - Roof beam that extends from the plate to the hip rafter
    • Valley Jack - Roof beam that extends from the ridge to the valley rafter
    • Cripple jack - Roof beam that is placed between a hip rafter and a valley rafter. It does not touch the ridge or the roof or the plate

See also: Roof Components - Roof Truss


Bookmark Roof Helper

About Our Service

Tell us about your project.

Get matched to quality local contractors.

Receive free estimates with no obligation.

What People Say

I will not be looking through the phone book at contractor ads ever again and I'm telling all my friends and family to use this service.



Customer Experience

Are you a Roof Helper customer? Tell us about your experience - Click Here.

We respect your Privacy!