Graphical Construction Glossary >> Roofs and roofing. >> hip rafter

hip rafter
An inclined board immediately under the junction of two roof surfaces, the hip. To which are fixed the jack rafters. It runs from the corner of the wall plates up to the ridge.

plan of a hip roof
Plan showing parts of a hip roof.

In the plan view of a hip roof above the hips (6 of them) are the ones at the external corners at 45 Deg. The external corners in this case are all 90 deg. From this we can surmise that all the roof faces are inclined at the same angle.

  • If the roof faces are all sloping at the same angle then, IN PLAN VIEW the hips bisect the angle of the walls.
  • In the vast majority of cases the walls are 90 Deg. making the hips at 45 degrees IN PLAN.
  • If for example two walls where at 120 Deg. in plan, and the roof pitch was the same on both surfaces then the angle of the hip in plan would be 60 Deg' from each wall.
hip rafter
A slightly mis-drawn hip, they are of course like the ridges deep and narrow.

Hips are usually deeper than the rafters, so it is often necessary to do a level cut at the bottom to stop them hanging below the fascia.

I have shown a square vertical cut at the birdsmouth. If the eaves are exposed then a small 45 deg. corner is cut out of the wall plate.

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