The Complicated Roof – A Cut and Stack Workbook

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Increase your roof framing knowledge and understanding as you follow veteran roof cutter Will Holladay through the process of calculating two custom-home roofs.

Weight 0.6600
ISBN 978-0-945186-01-4
Page Count 100
Author Will Holladay
Publisher WH Publishing
Dimensions 8-1/2 x 11

Increase your roof framing knowledge and understanding as you follow veteran roof cutter Will Holladay through the process of calculating two custom-home roofs.

In The Complicated Roof – A Cut and Stack Workbook, you'll see the principles of Holladay's A Roof Cutter's Secrets come alive. Accompany Will as he methodically builds two “real life” complicated roofs. You'll see firsthand how to determine angles and calculations for the actual cuts, based on the plans in the back of this book. When you complete the exercises presented, you'll not only know how to cut complicated roofs faster and more efficiently, you'll also be able to “think like a roof cutter” and formulate your own plan of approach to actual roof cutting based on a set of plans.

The roof framing details featured in The Complicated Roof – A Cut and Stack Workbook expand on the descriptions found in A Roof Cutter's Secrets.

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Preface, v
Abbreviations, vi
Book Guidelines, vii

Roof 1- Medford OR 1997, 10/12 Pitch, JD Resner Construction
Questions 1-1, -2, -3, roof ratios and rafter heelstands, 1
Questions 1-4, -5, -6, -9, common rafters, 1
Questions 1-7, -8, TOR heights, 2
Questions 1-10, -11, -12, -13, -14, -20, regular hips, 4
Questions 1-15, -16, -17, -18, -19, supported valleys, 6
Question 1-21, dual purpose hip/valley, 9
Questions 1-22, -23, -24, -25, ridge lengths, 10
Question 1-26, shed dormer, 11
Question 1-27, wall valley, 12
Questions 1-28, -29, tall wall and rake wall, 13
Questions 1-30, -31, -32, -33, -34, -35, -36, -37, -38, bay roofs, 15
Question 1-39, special gable end commons, 24
Questions 1-40, -41, -42, -43, regular hip and valley jacks, 25
Questions 1-45, -46, regular parallel hip-valley jacks, 27
Question 1-46, regular diverging hip-valley jacks, 27
Question 1-47, over-under intersection, 28
Roof 2 - Monte Sereno CA 2000,6/12 Pitch, SR Freeman Construction
Phase 1
Questions 2-1, -2, -3, roof ratios and rafter heelstands, 31
Question 2-4, common rafters, 32
Questions 2-5, -6, TOR heights, 32
Question 2-7, regular hips and valleys, 35
Questions 2-8, -9, ridge lengths, 36
Questions 2-10, -11, -22, broken hips, 36
Question 2-12, finding plate height difference, 39
Questions 2-13, -14, regular hip and valley jacks, 40
Questions 2-15, -16, -19, regular parallel hip-valley jacks, 40
Questions 2-17, -18, -20, regular diverging hip-valley jacks, 42
Question 2-21, California framed diverging hip-valley jacks, 44
Question 2-23, roof skeleton schematic, 49
Phase 2
Questions 2-24, -25, common rafters and TOR, 51
Question 2-26, ridge lengths, 53
Question 2-27, V6 and H9, 55
Question 2-28, -32, dogleg hips and valleys, 56
Question 2-29, V7 and H8, 56
Question 2-30, -35, bastard broken hips, 59
Question 2-31, H 10, 60
Question 2-33, DV3 and H11, 61
Question 2-34, BH6, 63
Question 2-36, -37, -38, -39, -40, dormer at R9, 65
Questions 2-41, -42, -43, -44, -45, roof skeleton top connections, 69
Question 2-46, regular hip and valley jacks, 75
Question 2-47, regular parallel hip-valley jacks, 75
Question 2-48, dogleg hip and valley jacks, 75
Question 2-49, bastard broken hip jacks, 76
Questions 2-50, -51, -52, -53, -54, -55, -56, -57, jack fill for non-standard areas, 77
Cut-out copies of Roof Plans, 93


This workbook is an application of the methods presented in A Roof Cutter's Secrets (RCS). By following alongside as I walk thru the process of solving two "real life" complicated roofs, one will have the best opportunity to learn how "this particular roof cutter" approaches and solves a difficult roof. This workbook parallels the thinking process that I use when solving these types of roofs. While there are many items included that would have normally only warranted a brief subconscious acknowledgement on my part here in this workbook, they are expanded upon by my choosing for the sake of the reader. As with any workbook where the answers are given directly following the question, the full benefit of the exercise can only be gotten when one uses a separate sheet of paper to hide the answer and associated drawing while challenging one's brain to answer the question without assistance. The method I used to solve any roof section is shown in the answer's explanation. If desired, a deeper study into a specific topic and it's methodology can be found by referring to RCS. As an aid to this process, the applicable section in RCS is noted along with the given answer/explanation. Explanations for a specific roof situation are only given once in the workbook. If an explanation was given for a situation on Roof 1 and the same or similar situation is found on Roof 2, only the calculations will be shown. Cut out copies of each of the roof plans are available at the back of the book. Having the applicable plan off to the side while answering the questions will save a lot of page flipping.

The two roofs featured in this workbook were also featured as the cover and interior cover of the 2002 revised edition of RCS. They were chosen in both cases because of the rich variety of roof framing situations found in each. I personally cut both roofs and helped lead the stacking on these projects. The house with the supporting hips and various bay roof extensions is located in Medford, Oregon and was framed by contractor Jack Resner in 1997. The house with the angular chopped up hip roof is located in Monte Sereno, California and was framed by contractor Shone Freeman in 2000. The roof for Shone is perhaps the most difficult roof I have cut in my lifetime. Both projects were great fun and involved a variety of very talented carpenters of whom I was privileged to be a one.

In a real job, after calculating any rafter length, I would write this measurement on the roof framing plan in its actual location (i.e.: hip, valley or common). I do the same for ridge heights and any calculated ridge lengths. I make small drawings around the borders of the plans for any special situations that need a little visual help to detail a connection or as reminders of how I decided to cut a particular section. Obviously, when one has all the necessary rafter lengths written on the plans, the puzzle has been solved and it is time to arrange the rafter material on racks to mark layout for gang cutting.

In addition to a copy of RCS you will need either a #4065 Construction Master® Pro V 3.1 series, #4080 CM Pro Trig or a #4050 CM5 (substitute M+ for Stor 1) to follow many of my answers. The workbook has been laid out so that one can solve the simpler questions with a regular calculator (without special roof functions), while the more difficult questions are solved using the CM calculator. This is the calculator I normally use and have used for many years. It made no sense to go thru all the complicated extra steps to solve the difficult questions with a regular calculator when the majority of you would be using a roof or trig calculator anyhow. The CM calculator can find angles and solve bastard rafters in no time. If you are using the CM calculator for all the workbook questions, you undoubtedly know how to enter the appropriate "roof pitch" into the calculators memory in place of applying the RR and LL ratios. You will save a few key strokes here and there. I often double check my results by using one method against the other (ratios vs CM calculator). Better yet, I like someone else to solve the same roof independently of any input by me to make sure I didn't make many errors. While there are bound to be mistakes in this book, I pray they are few and irrelevant. If you do spot one let us know.

Since this is a workbook on calculating "complicated roofs" NOT entry level roofs, little time is afforded for questions of that grade such as: the layout of rafters, birdsmouths, ridge-cuts, etc. Only in special case situations of the above might these types of questions be included. You will find a few wall related questions in the text. Typically, wall construction isn't considered part of roof cutting but does play an important role in roof stacking. You as a roof cutter will many times be asked for input on special situations like those included in the book.

Please note: I've used the "< >" symbols occasionally in equations to denote a subtotal or serve as benchmark of what should be in the calculator at that stage. Depending in what you last had in the calculator (roof pitch/12 or degrees) regulates the number of times "Pitch" must be pressed in the CM calculator to get the desired pitch or degrees.

I hope you enjoy the book and it helps to increase your roof framing skills. Most likely, this book will be my last. I thank the Lord once again for the opportunity to pass along what I have learned in this lifetime. God Bless you all.

Increase your roof framing knowledge and understanding as you follow veteran roof cutter Will Holladay through the process of calculating two custom home roofs. In this book you will see the principles of A ROOF CUTTER'S SECRETS come alive. 250 questions and 61 figures.

Will Holladay learned production roof cutting in the Los Angeles housing tracts during the mid-1970s. When roof trusses gained prominence in the late-1970s he moved north into the custom home market along the central California coast where he specialized in framing homes with "complicated roofs." Over the years Will has done jobs up and down the West Coast and as far away as New England. In 1988, he wrote the now classic framing book entitled A ROOF CUTTER'S SECRETS to Framing the Custom Home. It was revised and republished in 2002 by Hanley Wood. Will continues to keep his hand in roof framing by working as a free lance consultant. ( )