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What’s in a Roof? Understanding How Your Roof Gets Built


A timber roof frame

Are you looking to build, renovate or upgrade your home? One of the most important features is your roof. It helps to shelter you, it provides insulation and warmth, and it is part of the structural integrity of your property.

But how exactly is your roof made? Read on to find out more!

How a Triangular Roof Gets Built

Each roof has subtle differences, depending on a range of factors. The way a home’s roof gets built will be different to a warehouse. Similarly, terracotta roofing for a home will be different to a metal finish.

For the sake of simplicity, we’ll be looking at a standard triangular-shaped roof for this blog.

  1. The Ridge Board

This is the first component of a triangular roof. It is a horizontal piece of wood at the highest point of the roof. It makes the “apex” or point of the roof’s triangle.

  1. The Rafters

Next up are the rafters. These are pieces of timber (or steel for a steel frame roof), which get attached to the ridge board. They slope downward to get attached to the existing walls. Your rafters will help the roof to resist the forces of gravity. The slope they provide also helps the roof to shed water, keeping your home dry, warm and inhabitable.

  1. Ceiling Joists

Next, you have your ceiling joists. These act as a sort of tie. While the rafters resist the forces of gravity, the ceiling joists help to keep the rafters stable. If the rafters were to thrust outward, the ceiling joists would help to keep them in place, safe and secure.

  1. Purlin

Some, although not all, roofs also have a purlin. A purlin is a wooden board that spans the rafters (or trusses). It provides a way to fasten the roof sheathing and other materials.

Purlins have become popular in residential construction and architecture recently, due to their appearance. They can create the impression that your house is sitting detached, or floating above your rafters. This makes for a striking and distinct-looking roof!

  1. Trusses

Finally, there are the trusses. These are made by connecting wooden and metal plates. They provide structural integrity and support to your roof, helping to keep it all together and keep you sheltered.

Want to Know More?

Would you like to know more about roofs ahead of your roof installation or repair? Feel free to contact ReKote Roofing and Restorations. We’re happy to answer any questions that you may have about roofing. We also offer a free and professional quote for all our work throughout Wollongong and the surrounding areas.