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This article series includes excerpts or adaptations from Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction, by Steven Bliss, courtesy of Wiley & Sons. Continue reading at DECK FLOOR INSTALLATION or select a topic from the More Reading links or topic ARTICLE INDEX shown below. David: you need to find the framing members behind the stucco and connect through the stucco to those. Gail: we'd need at least the country and state or province of your county to research a reasonable answer. Our recommended books about building & mechanical systems design, inspection, problem diagnosis, and repair, and about indoor environment and IAQ testing, diagnosis, and cleanup are at the InspectAPedia Bookstore. Movie Guide Experienced home inspectors and new home inspectors alike are sure to learn invaluable tips in this release designed to take viewers step-by-step through the home inspection process. The Illustrated Home illustrates construction details and building components, a reference for owners & inspectors.
Here we describe various methods for measuring all roof data: roof slope or pitch, rise, run, area, and other features. This article shows how simple measurements can give the roof area without having to walk on the roof surface. Measuring the roof slope, pitch, or rise and run is easy if you've got a tape measure and more accurate still if you've also got a level on hand.
Here are examples of every method we can think of for measuring the pitch or slope of a roof from various positions on the roof, near the roof, and from ground level. There are several neat tricks that allow you to just a carpenter's rule to get a close approximation of the roof slope or pitch.
To use the direct roof slope measurement procedure shown just abofe, in addition to safe access to a roof that won't be damaged by touching or walking on it, you need: a tape measure and a carpenter's level. Hold the carpenter's level in a horizontal position with one end touching the roof surface.
Measure straight down to the roof surface from the mark you just made - the blue line in our sketch. As with measuring roof slope on the roof, inside the attic allw e need is a simple carpenter's level and a tape measure. Then from that point on our level we measure the distance straight up to point of contact with the roof surface. That distance in inches will be the inches of rise per foot of horizontal run for this (horrible leaky) roof. Watch out: if you do not keep the level at right angles to the roof (parallel to the gable end wall of the building) your vertical measurement will be inaccurate.
Or you can make this measurement inside the attic or even inside the building if a cathedral ceiling is installed (photo at left) by holding the level right against the gable end wall as we show at left.
For an outdoor version of this same approach see our example of MEASURING ROOF SLOPE OUTSIDE at the gable end of a building.
You need: a tape measure and, if there is no horizontal siding installed, you will need a carpenter's level. All of the roof data: rise, run, and slope can be calculated from the ground if the building sports horizontal siding such as that shown in our photograph below. Roof width (a): This data allows us to calculate the roof triangle as we know two sides (b) and (c) of the three sides of a right triangle (the red lines in our photo at above left). Given a2 we use our calculator to take the square root and bingo, we have the length of the sloping side of the roof.
Given that we now know all of the lengths of our triangle we can easily obtain roof slope too if we need it. Now finally to get the roof area, we just need one more figure, the length of the roof along the building eaves or ridge. The roof area (RA) is calculated easily: we multiply the Roof Length (c) (which is the sum of building length plus the gable end overhangs of the roof) by the Roof Width of slope (a) that we just figured out above when we computed the hypotenuse of the roof triangle (that's why we needed the roof rise number).
What if the roof is inaccessible from outdoors, and there is no access to the building interior (i.e. A long-standing use of the framing square that is missed by many new carpenters is the rafter table imprinted right on the framing square itself. Details of how we use the tables on a framing square to quickly figure out roof slope, rafter lengths, cuts etc. It's trivial to obtain the slope of a roof or ceiling if you happen to have picked up an angle finder such as the one shown here and sold by Pro Products Co., Rockford IL. We can simply place either of the Level + Angle Finder straight sides against a sloping surface and read the surface slope expressed in degrees right off of the tool's scale. For more accurate angle or slope measurements, for example on a rough shingle surface outdoors, use a straight edge between the angle finder level and the roof surface to give a longer footprint for the sensor. That's how I used the angle finder shown until someone ran over my steel framing square, forcing me to buy a new (aluminum model).
You can see that the angle finder immediately gives the answer to the roof slope: 81 degrees. I'll show that even if we screw up we can still come out ok finding the angle and then the rise and run of a roof using the angle finding level. That makes sense: we travel about 75 inches horizontally for every 12 inches of vertical rise on this low slope 9 degree roof. If you have safe access to the roof surface you can quickly make the needed area measurements: just measure from the ridge to the lower edge or eaves, keeping your tape straight.

Slope is simply the relationship between increase in height and horizontal distance traveled.
So Tangent in its simple use here is just the ratio of increase in unit height for travel in unit run. Frankly, as we illustrate beginning at ROOF MEASUREMENTS, there are some easy and accurate alternatives that can give a good estimate of roof area while making measurements only from the ground. RF: If the eaves overhang and gable end overhang are the same on both front and back and left and right building ends we just add these up to obtain Roof Footprint or RF. RA: Obtain the approximate roof slope to convert Roof Footprint to Roof Area - RA using the ROOF SLOPE MULTIPLIER TABLE given below. To convert the rectangular footprint of the building roof to roof area we need to increase the footprint area to account for the greater area covered by the sloping roof. Notes: for fractional slopes, when estimating roof area use the next higher slope multiplier. For a 12-inch unit-length roof we calculate the hypotenuse dimension to obtain the roof true width for each roof slope. Continue reading at ROOF MEASURE by FOLDING RULE or select a topic from the More Reading links or topic ARTICLE INDEX shown below. Try the search box below or CONTACT US by email if you cannot find the answer you need at InspectApedia. This clay roof tile guide considers the various types of tiles, slates, and roofing materials on the marketA as well asA their uses, how to estimate the required quantities, and where to buy them.
The author, Kevin Taylor, works for the National Federation of Roofing Contractors as a technical manager presenting technical advice and providing education and training for young roofers. 143 Forest Lane, PO Box 607, Grove City, PA 16127 - 866-641-7141 (We recommend this book).
Solar heating, radiative cooling and thermal movement: Their effects on built-up roofing (United States. We once built a roof on a shed in the middle of winter for a friend when it was sub-freezing temperatures. Listen to our discussion with Bill Hippard of the Metal Roofing Alliance - get ideas and tips! Before tackling a porch roof construction project there are several factors you'll want to consider for your overall porch roof plan. Your porch roof pitch should maintain the same pitch (also known as rise and run) as the other roof lines on your home, or as a minimum, the pitch of the roof directly above the porch roof.
You run the risk of detracting from the architectural style of your home if you don't do this.
Now is the time to plan for your ceiling lights, outdoor fans, switches, and yes, even receptacles for your holiday lights! Plan for porch swings or other heavier objects you may want to hang from your porch ceiling.
Cutting and fitting the rafters, probably the trickiest part of roof framing, can be intimidating until you get the hang of it (no pun intended).
Check with your local building codes department to see if you need a permit and to determine the specific requirements for your area. In porch roof construction, the shape of a roof helps to define your home's architectural style while the roof materials define its character. Gable Roofs: Have two sloping surfaces from the ridge (usually in the center, joining at the side walls. To a large extent they are self- bracing with opposite ends pushing inwards, so they are strong in relation to wind forces. The eaves can be made quite wide and they provide shade can increase thermal efficiency and energy savings can be made.
Gambrel Roofs: Often found in French colonial and Ranch styles, gambrel roofs have two slopes to each side, the lower slope being much steeper.
Shed Roofs: Shed roofs often appear as a flat roof from the street and often appear to be one half of a gamble roof. A shed roof has only one slope and is typically the most prevalent porch roof construction design. Shed roofs are easy and fast to build, don't need extensive flashings and have no ridges, hips, or valleys to contend with.
Many homeowners neglect to consider their electrical needs when undertaking a porch roof construction project.
What about those holiday lights you put up every year and run extension cords all over the place. How convenient would it be to have exterior receptacles placed strategically to alleviate those cords? Highly recommend you contact a local electrical contractor to help you determine your electrical needs and to do the electrical work.
See our porch electrical systems guide for more information regarding your electrical system and its capabilities.
The information contained herein is general in nature, no two projects nor any two porches are the same. If you chose to follow any of the steps, approaches or methods shown on this site you must follow them at your own risk. Home improvements, repairs, remodeling and construction are inherently risky, even dangerous.

We strive to highlight and expose the risks for our readers, but we cannot anticipate all possibilities. If you are not absolutely sure of your abilities, we recommend you find a licensed or certified professional. Something like screen tight isn't sturdy enough to screw into the 1" foam board under the stucco What options do I have. But beware: punching holes in the stucco skin of your building, if they are not sealed, can mean leaks, rot, insect damage or worse.
The Everflashing product comes in G-185 and Stainless Steel and is intended for use with treated lumber with copper in it. In addition to being the former president of the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI), a longstanding member of the NAHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), and the Environmental Standard Organization (IESO), host Stephen Showalter has performed over 8000 building inspections - including environmental assessments. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. We include on-roof measurements, roof measurements or estimates that can be made from ground level, and several neat tricks using a folding ruler to measure roof angle or slope. This article series gives clear examples just about every possible way to figure out any or all roof dimensions and measurements expressing the roof area, width, length, slope, rise, run, and unit rise in inches per foot. This procedure to measure roof slope can be performed on the roof or from a ladder at roof edge.
We use the level to measure out from the roof surface horizontally for a distance of 12".
Hold your level with its side tightly against the side of a rafter to keep the level at right angles to the roof surface. From the point you just marked, measure vertically straight up to the edge of the same sloping gable end trim or roof edge.
Let (b) = the vertical rise in the roof and (c) = the roof length (building length + gable overhangs). It helps to have a steady hand and to read the instructions on exactly where to read the inches on the bottom scale in the folding rule triangle that we show at left.
If your framing square is steel (not aluminum), the angle finder level will clamp neatly right onto the framing square.
The angle finder level still works but I have to hold it in place (leaving too scratches on my ceiling as I fumbled around for these photos). We can use the TAN or tangent feature of a calculator as a trivial way to convert degrees of slope (or grade if we're building a sidewalk or road) into units of run per unit of rise. Remember to include in (a) the amount by which the roof extends out over the building walls - its eaves.
In my sketch above if we travel up my triangle along (a) from left to right, we will cross a horizontal distance (b) and we will ascend in height an amount (c). But to understand how some people use a flat or horizontal projection of a roof to guess at roof area, here is the procedure. Park, AIA, Preservation Brief 16, Technical Preservation Services, National Park Service, U.S.
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With a little planning you can avoid having to create work-arounds or in some cases, not being able to have the fixtures you'd like or in the locations that would better suit your needs.
It is less expensive but having to walk across a large porch to turn on specific lights in the dark is inconvenient.
Can you extend an existing circuit or do you have to run new cable from the circuit breaker box? You are usually working with heavy lumber with power tools above your head or are working from ladders and scaffolding.
Everflashing produces a variety of specialty flashing products including flashings for use with decks at deck ledgers and deck perimeters.
Now, the founder of a national home inspection school and inspection training curriculum shares his extensive experience in the inspection industry with everyday viewers looking to learn more about the process of evaluating homes.
If we start counting siding at a horizontal lilne even with the lower roof edge or eaves and count up to the ridge, we've got a close guess at the total roof rise. A table of tangent values for common roof slopes is given at FOLDING RULER to SLOPE DATA TABLE.
Running wire during the construction phase is a lot less expensive than trying to do it later. Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order.
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Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference eBook purchased as a single order.

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