A reader's Roofs and roofing question: Square hipped roof?

Linda   from   Vero Beach, United States   had this Square hipped roof question.

Hello. We are currently looking at building a square hip roof shelter for our horses measuring 16X16.

We have found information on how to brace a rectangle hip roof at the center but not how to effectively brace a square one.

Do we need a round metal bracing bracket for this size and if so could you tell us where to find it.

If this is not needed we are not sure as to how to actually brace the center to make it structurally sound.

Also the roof will be shingled in a light brown color so what would you suggest for the top center of the roof. Are there places to purchase an item like this? Thank you so much for any help you could offer to us with our project. Linda

Bill's reply

Square hipped roof - Sketch of proposed roof

  • Linda, above is my idea of what you are building.
  • A square roof like this is self bracing.
  • It consists of four triangles, and as you are using shingles then you may be sheeting it with ply or OSB so you can't get stiffer than that.
  • The joint at the top won't need anything special in the way of fittings. Just join the four hips at the top with nail plate connectors. In fact we use them everywhere in timber roofs.
  • You will need four fairy stiff beams to hold the rafters, well fixed to the columns.
  • What you may have to look at is the bracing of the columns.
  • You mention a shelter so I am guessing that there are no walls.
  • You need fairly strong stiff columns (We would just pour RHS steel into concrete footings for this job).
  • I am guessing that you will be using lumber, so I suggest putting something like the knee braces that I have sketched in red above. A pair at each corner.
  • If you are putting in two walls, or even two part walls then the wall panels will provide the stiffness.

For the flashing at the very top just make it up out of shingle material.s

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