Sigh. I think two-and-a-half months without an update is some sort of ignominious record for me. This post has been sitting in draft for most of that time un-posted because I ran into a persistent issue uploading photos. To make up for the delay, I’m going to post updates rapid fire over the next week or so to get things caught up, because while blog posts haven’t been happening, actual house progress has. Where we last left off (back in March), I had framed a new exterior wall to take the place of the bump-out.

First rafter sistered

With the new exterior wall in place, the next step is to sister the roof rafters that are over the bump-out so that they are supported directly on the new wall, rather than on the 2×4 on top of the ceiling joists. Sistering is just putting a new rafter next to the existing one, and “gluing and screwing” them together. The roof slope is nearly 45°, so the rafters are almost 15′ long to span the 10-or-so feet to the center. The existing rafters are true 2x6s, so I “harvested” the five I needed from the 21′ ceiling joists that we’re going to replace.

Will gluing a rafter

Sarah’s brother Will came out, and he was a big help getting this step done. The process itself was fairly straightforward, though it involved a lot of climbing around on wobbly ceiling joists.

All rafters sistered

First we cut the end of the new rafters to length at an angle, including a second cut to take off the “nose” so they matches the existing rafters (the ones that aren’t notched onto the 2×4). Then we cut out a section of the 2×4 adjacent to the existing rafter so that the new rafter would go all the way from the top of the wall to the top of the roof. After a test fit, we put down a squiggle of construction adhesive on the new rafter, clamped it to the existing one, and put in screws all down the length. We selected the order of rafters based on the support of the 2×4, so we were putting any more stress on the existing rafter than we had to. I don’t want the roof to be uneven!

Rafter bracket

There were a few spots we had to cut the ends off of nails sticking through the roof so the new rafter would fit, and I can’t understate how much clamping we did to get the two rafters solidly sistered, since one or both of them tended not to be completely straight. I wasn’t thrilled with the rafters just being toe-nailed onto the top plate, so I picked up some framing angles and put them in on either side of the new rafters. With this done, the ceiling joists are no longer supporting the roof, and we can move on to removing the roof of the bump-out!

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