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Building Stronger Roofs

How to Make Stick-Frame Roof Connections Stronger

In some regions, Stick-frame roofs may be preferred when flexibility in the roof shape is a desirable design feature. This flexibility can help create open space inside the home or a more spacious attic. The varied roof lines that are possible with stick-frame homes can also enhance curb appeal and market value for some homebuyers.

Our newest connectors have been developed to make stick-frame connections in roofs as intuitive as possible to ensure the construction of safer, stronger homes. Here are three reasons to consider using connectors on your next site-built roof:

  • Ease of construction: Connectors can simplify construction. They not only provide a tested means of making critical connections, but are also simple to install correctly and eliminate complicated, time-consuming toenailing. For example, a common connection point is the jack rafter to the hip. It takes a lot of time and expertise to make a good compound miter cut and a good connection. In many instances, the cut end is simply face-nailed into place with less precision. But making that same connection with a connector helps take out the guesswork while strengthening it.
  • More reliable load path: Purpose-designed and laboratory tested, these roof connectors offer more reliable connections than toenailing, which can be challenging to consistently install correctly.
  • A requirement in certain applications: Instead of an IRC connection with just nails, or with the rafters bearing against each other along a ridge board with a ceiling joist used as a tension tie, a rafter in a cathedral ceiling needs to have vertical support at both ends. As a result, the rafters require a secure connection to the ridge beam.1 Also, with stick framing, hip rafters are often supported by a brace to a bearing partition below.2 That’s not possible with a cathedral ceiling, so a secure connection to the ridge beam is required.

These connection issues can be solved by using connectors, including the LRUZ rafter hanger, HHRC field-slopeable connector and LSSJ field-adjustable jack rafter hanger.

Our Three-Connector System Makes Stronger Roofs Easy

Because of the connection challenges presented with this different load path, our engineering team had installers and designers in mind when we were creating new hangers. These three latest additions — the LSSJ field-adjustable hanger, LRUZ rafter hanger and HHRC field-slopeable hanger — ensure the easiest connection with the best performance available.

LSSJ

The Simpson Strong-Tie LSSJ field-adjustable jack hanger is the ideal hanger for connecting jack rafters to hip/valley members. Its simple design makes installation intuitive and quick, resulting in lower labor costs. Featuring a versatile, hinged seat, the LSSJ is easily field-adjustable to typical rafter slopes, with a max slope of 12:12. It ships prebent with a 45° skew, making it ready to place for the most typical rafter conditions, and can be field-adjusted for lesser skews. Best of all, it can be installed after the jack rafter is temporarily tacked into place.

LSSJ and LSSU Product Information

HHRC

The HHRC is a heavy, field-slopeable connector that attaches hip and roof beams to the end of a ridge beam. It accommodates heavier hip loads and can be used with structural composite lumber, glulam and solid sawn lumber. The HHRC achieves optimal allowable loads installed with Simpson Strong-Tie Strong-Drive® SD Connector screws (included with each connector). An open-back ridge connection allows elevation adjustment, and field-adjustable hip slopes facilitate an easier matchup at time of installation.

HHRC Product Information

LRU

The LRUZ offers a retrofittable solution for those applications requiring an economic, rafter-to-ridge connection. Designed for use with solid sawn 2x rafters, the LRUZ can be installed either before or after the rafter is in place. The field-adjustable seat helps improve job efficiency by eliminating mismatched angles in the field and lead times associated with special orders. The LRUZ’s load capacity compares favorably with that of other rafter hangers at a reduced cost while using fewer fasteners.

LRU Product Information

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