Sagging gable ends
May 10, 2010 3:27 PM   Subscribe

I'm planning on re-roofing my house and I'm reasonably comfortable with most aspects of the work. One thing that I'm not sure about though is how to repair the sagging gable ends of the roof.

I haven't yet pulled up singles to examine things in detail, but here's what I know right now. The house is about 100 years old, and the roof decking is 1-by boards. The gable ends are about 24 inches, and are only supported by box supports that extend perpendicular to the side of the house, just under the roof, so there's not much support at all.

It was suggested to me that the sag could be removed by jacking the ends back up and then could be permanently fixed by building in the proper supports. This sounds good to me, but I'm not convinced that jacking will actually work. If they've sagged over the course of 100 years, I imagine the jacking would have to go pretty slowly and I'd still risk cracking the decking.

However, the only other remedy I can think of would be to cut away the sagging boards and completely replace them. That's quite a bit of work and some areas would be pretty tricky in which to work.

Anyway, anyone have experience with this sort of problem? What do you recommend?
posted by Ickster to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Could you link a picture of this? This sounds a lot like my house but I may be way off base and I don't want to type up some long winded "what I did" explanation that doesn't match your problem or, worst still, creates confusion.

Mine is a 1917 Arts and Crafts bungalow, so odds are we have some overlap in technique and construction details.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:17 PM on May 10, 2010

My handy husband and contractor father-in-law asked if you could take a photo of how it exists now. Thanx
posted by sandra_s at 5:18 PM on May 10, 2010

Sure. I'll get out there today and take a couple of pictures.
posted by Ickster at 5:53 AM on May 11, 2010

To clarify, you are saying that your gable end overhangs are sagging, correct? "Gable end" is the name of the vertical triangle shaped wall on the end of the house.

I'll wait to see pics before I offer up a suggestion.
posted by davey_darling at 4:41 PM on May 11, 2010

Sorry I haven't posted pics yet; been busy & it's been raining. I'll get them up this weekend.

The answer to your question, davey_darling, is that yes, the overhangs are sagging, not the actual gables.
posted by Ickster at 9:33 AM on May 14, 2010

Here are the long-promised pictures, should anyone still be reading . . .
posted by Ickster at 2:27 PM on May 15, 2010

My guess here is that the overhangs are a later addition to the roof here. The original roof could have had very narrow or nonexistent overhangs. It looks like the overhangs have been attached to the edge of the roof, when they really should extend into the roof for support.

One way to fix this would be to remove roof sheathing in sections that will allow you to anchor your overhangs to the inside roof rafters similar to this.

I don't think you have to worry about the jacking - I don't think that your roof sheathing boards extend onto the roof.
posted by davey_darling at 1:13 PM on May 20, 2010

If you follow my flicker link you'll see the house we worked on not too long ago. On ours there are three big square beams that stick out and hold up the eaves (and they sag a bit and were lots worse before we redid the roof.

Here's what we found during the tear off and re-decking. Those big beams only go in maybe three feet and nail into a rafter! I think jacking them up and putting in some kind of knee braces is probably your best answer.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:49 PM on May 24, 2010

One other thing - that bead board is just shy of 3/4 thick. Be very careful what nails you use to hold down your shingles or you'll be able to see nail points from the ground.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:50 PM on May 24, 2010

Thanks for the answers. When I get things pulled apart, I'll let you know what was what.
posted by Ickster at 2:12 PM on May 25, 2010

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