Useful knowledge: Shapes of the rafter head

Everyone has heard of rafters, including that they have a foot or a head. But why the head is shaped differently is usually not so clear. But there is a simple explanation for this.

Explanation of terms

The rafters run from the ridge to the eaves of a roof. The lower end is called the rafter foot or rafter head. The difference between the two terms lies in the construction of the roof: There are rafters that end on the outer wall (the base), then one speaks of the rafter base. If the end of the rafter protrudes beyond the outer wall of the building, it is called a rafter head.

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Reasons for differently shaped rafter heads

If the rafter extends beyond the outer wall, it is visible. This has advantages - the roof looks a little more airy, and an awning can also be attached to the rafters if necessary. But it also has a disadvantage: when it rains, at least in strong winds, the rainwater can get to the rafter head. The shape of the rafter head comes into play both in terms of appearance and protection against rainwater.

Rafters cut straight

The simplest variant is the butt-sawn rafter head. Whether it is chosen for the roof is mostly a question of finances. It takes less effort not to give the rafter head a special shape, so these rafters are cheaper than other shaped rafters. It is said, however, that a rafter head that has just been sawn off is prone to rot because the front side is open and possibly. water arriving there cannot drain off as well.

Rafter head with bevel

Most houses have rafters with angled heads. Firstly, it looks nicer, secondly, it may be. Any moisture that is present does not penetrate the slope as well as it would in a straight sawed-off face, and the water runs off better. The latter point is, however, considered to be controversial. Actually, the rafter head is tapered for optical reasons.

Decorated rafter head

It used to be common in some areas to decorate the rafter heads with traditional ornaments. Such rafter heads can be found, for example, on wooden houses in mountain or rural regions. The decoration is purely about the appearance, not about allowing the water to drain off better.