Did you know that 40 percent of all problems associated with buildings stem from water intrusion? Or that, on average, roofs only last about half the length of their designated lifetimes?

Why such poor performance? The most common culprit when it comes to roofs that fail early is improper installation. In other words, a roof gets improperly laid and a seam or joint starts to leak.

Fortunately, when you go with roofing professionals who understand the intricacies of their industry, from hip roof framing to gables, you can rest assured your new roof will go the distance.

Read on for five of the most common problems associated with framing a roof and how you can avoid them by hiring an experienced contractor.

1. The Wrong Nails

When constructing a roof’s frame, some contractors use the wrong nail sizes with roof rafters and rafter hangers. The result? Inadequate nails impact your roof’s ability to handle the load assigned to it by the architect.

This can lead to structural issues down the road. These prove costly and can affect your ability to sell your home.

2. The Wrong Pitch

The pitch refers to the slope of your roof. This number either gets expressed in inches or as a fraction. For example, a 6/12 pitch means that for every 12 inches of horizontal distance or run, the roof ascends six inches.

For new roof framers or do-it-yourselfers, accurately calculating the pitch represents a major pitfall. An inaccurate pitch can impact every aspect of your roof from the position of the ridge board to the angle of the bird’s mouth.

3. The Bird’s Mouth Cut

Speaking of the bird’s mouth cut, this refers to the two-sided cut made towards the bottom of the rafter. This cut allows it to fit tightly on the top plate. The ends closest to the cut represent your roof’s eaves.

Improperly angling this cut can result in problems with the ridge board and the rafter’s length. This can translate into wasted lumber (at best) and structural issues (at worst).

4. The Line Length

What’s line length and why is it important? It refers to the length of the rafters once they are cut to the specified size. When rafters are ready to install, they should look like a parallelogram.

The line length refers to the measurement from the top edge to the opposite top edge. If this measurement isn’t precise, you’ll experience issues getting the rafters to fit properly to the top plate or ridge board.

5. Cantilevered Joists

If you’ve been reading up on roof framing for any length of time, then you may have run across the old adage, “One out to two in” in the context of cantilevered joists. But this rule of thumb only applies to non-bearing features.

For example, a bay window sitting on the end of a cantilever that measures two feet would be classified as nonbearing. That means you could come back four feet. This scenario aside, cantilevered joists get complex quickly.

Based on the depth of the joist from the support, cantilevers may need to be engineered. This is a process best handled by a team of roofing professionals with plenty of experience.

What You Need to Know About Framing a Roof

When it comes to properly framing a roof, it can get complicated very quickly. But a seasoned roofing professional with a proven track record can provide you with an expertly framed roof in no time.

Framing represents the crucial foundation upon which a healthy roof is built. One that can go the distance. From ceiling joists to ceiling rafters, roof pitch to the bird’s mouth cut, an expert team won’t leave anything to chance.

Want more roofing tips? Read on for six things to ask your roofer before signing a contract and get in touch with us when it’s time for your next roof replacement or repair.