I Thought Gussets Were Something Grandmother Wore

Ordinary wood siding is usually painted and doesn’t present any particular maintenance problem other than a fresh coat when needed. Logs or log sided homes on the other hand, are a horse of a different color, so to speak, and those of us who appreciate the natural beauty of wood understand that somewhat more upkeep may be needed to preserve the appearance of our home. However, to all but the aesthetically obsessed, there is a limit to how much time and effort we are willing to devote.
Roof overhang, the species of wood, and the choice of the wood finishing product used, all affect the longevity of any wood siding. Our take on the benefits of the different wood species and finishing products can be discussed another time. In the meantime, if you are anticipating (anticipating?) an eve extension project, below is yet another method of building in wider eves that will give more protection from the elements as well as add appeal and value to your home.
This method is ideal for homes without any roof overhang such as some WWII era houses and manufactured homes. Two advantages are: you will end up with an attractive soffit for your efforts and less roofing and sheathing needs to be removed than “sistering” as described in the last newsletter.
First off, remove about 12 inches of roofing and sheathing from the edges of the roof to expose the lower ends of the rafters. And I hope you like production work because the next step requires the assembly of a whole bunch of gussets cut to duplicate the pitch of the roof. To build a gusset, a 2X4 is cut to the angle and length for the desired amount of overhang Parts Of Roof Framing and another is angled for a horizontal “return” to the house. This gusset assembly is secured with matching shapes of plywood (3/8″ will do) nailed to each side. Pre-cutting all the plywood pieces to the proper shape beforehand will speed up the job. A notch (as per the drawing) is left to accept a 2X4 nailing plate running the length of the house.
Set the gussets in place against the existing rafters and secure the butt joints at the top edge with 20 gauge sheet metal strips cut to1-1/2″ X 24″ and pre-drilled for the nails. The returns are toe nailed from each side into the 2X4 plate. This procedure will provide plenty of strength for eve additions of up to two feet in width. Since the above is a structural change to your home, the local building department might be interested in your project (they need the money).
For overhang at the gable ends of the house, remove enough roofing and sheathing to expose the last three rafters. 2X4s on the flat are let into notches cut into the rafters in the same manner as described in the last article.
The returns and 2X4 nailer make for a straight forward soffit installation (which is going to hide your handiwork – but that could be good thing). Cut panels to the width needed from sheets of ungrooved T-111 plywood and tack into place with the textured side out – letting the seams fall on the returns. Stain to the same color as the rest of the house, stand back and admire your home’s new look.
I’m sure you and the little woman will be happy with the improved appearance and added protection Journeyman Roofer your efforts have produced. That is, if you got the roof back on before it started raining!
Ron Berge – Modulog Industries

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