Hip Roof Question

My upstairs bedroom has a deck that we do not use because of the elements and the bugs. I would like to make this space more usable by covering it with a roof and screening in the walls. The house is a salt-box style house with no gable end lookouts, just frieze board. The deck is attached to one of the gable ends.
At first I was going to use the same roof pitches (2 different) but lower the ceiling about 1 foot so that the roof line is broken up a bit instead of just extending it out level with the existing roof. But now I've got the hankering to build it as a hipped roof. That way I can maintain the 8' ceiling and still break up the roof line. The hip roof will give the house a different look, currently it is a square box.
What is the most common pitch for a hip roof? I read 2/12 but I haven't found any other suggestions.
Refer to this picture for deck reference. The upper part is, of course, the one I want to roof.
http://img406.imageshack.us/my.php?image=roof3ty3.jpg
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Needing Advice wrote:

Really hard to see the roof you want to modify in that photo.
I don't really need it to answer your question, however. There is no standard pitch for a hip roof.
Whatever pitch you have is generally the one you use, but sometimes you use a different pitch than the main body of the roof on the hip side or face. This is called a bastard hip (probably referring to how much more dificult it makes the framing).
One thing you said is that there are two roof pitches. Do you mean that the roof has one pitch on one side and a different on the other? If so, you are going to have even more fun than if it were a standard bastard hip.
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Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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Hi Robert, The house has a salt-box style roof. The front of the house has a very steep roof that is flat to the peak. The rear has a smaller roof with a little less pitch to it. It's like this house except the rear has slightly less pitch than the front.
http://img206.imageshack.us/my.php?image=sboxsc5.jpg
It's 1 1/2 story with a 2 br loft upstairs. If you can imagine the deck being where that rear set of upstairs windows are in that picture above. I don't want to extend the current roof line. My first idea was to keep the same roof pitch(es) but drop the ceiling a bit on the deck to break up the roof line. The new deck roof would tie in to the side of the house just under the old.
But then I started to think about using a hip roof so that I could still add something different and keep a nice high ceiling over the deck. Do you think that would look awkward? A hipped roof attached to the gable end of a salbox like that?

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Needing Advice wrote:

Depends on how you do it. The hip roof could be added to the gable end fairly easily. The determining factor for your slope would be the closest roof line that you would be coming near. It is hard to describe, but you would almost certainly have a bastard hip which can be a real pain to frame even for experienced carpenters. You better do alot of studying before you attempt it.
If it is not a perfect square, then the hip would either be a bastard hip, or a hip with a partial ridge.
You would end up with something like this;
http://www.designers-choice.com/DesignersChoicePages/SpecPorchProject5.htm

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Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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Yeah, I would use a partial ridge to get the rafter run the same for all common rafters. So on a 10ft deck the ridge would come out about 5ft to get the run correct. If I use the same pitch as the nearest roof line I would be back at dropping the ceiling so I'll probably do a different pitch altogether. It should look fine, I hope!
Have you ever seen metal connectors for the end of a ridge/hip connection? With the 2 hips and common rafter hitting the end of the ridge, what's the best way to hurricane proof it?
As far as experience goes, you have to earn it by doing things that can be risky or hard. Nobody ever learned anything without getting their hands dirty!
Thanks for the feedback, it is much appreciated.

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wrote:

can be risky or hard.<<<
True enough but it helps to be working with an experienced hand as opposed to "going it alone". Esp one something as important & long lasting as a new roof add-on framing job.
If you screw up a sink or cabinet install you can easily fix it.
As Robert suggests...studying up a lot before jumping in is advisable, having experienced help would be even better.
As to roof pitch, 2 in 12 is pretty shallow. Where is the project located? If you're going to "go it alone", I'd take a look at other roof pitches in area (shallow ones) & ask the owners if they experience any problems.
I had a open covered patio that had ~2:12 (maybe a little shallower) that the original builder used cedar shingles! Of course it leaked & over time the framing rotted out. I replaced it & went even shallower; I used 1.5 in 12 to maintain header height & give me some upper roof rain gutter clearance. Of course I went with a membrane roof.
In SoCal ranch style homes (in the 60's) were framed 4:12 and covered with cedar shingle, most have been reroofed with asphalt shingles.
Be careful if you decide to go shallow, it would suck to do all that work & have the roof leak.
Low slope roofs (2/12 and 4/12) require special care. If you have the possiblity for ice dams (not likely on an open patio) or wind driven rain the chances of a leak are higher.
cheers Bob
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I'm not going it alone, you guys are there to answer questions. But honestly, I've done things alone so often that I'm afraid sometimes I feel it's the only way to go. Thank you for your opinion Bob. I'll be sure to put lots of thought into it before attempting it. I've been reading lots since I got the bug. And I'll definitely put more pitch on it than 2/12, that's just the number that I read was very common. Seemed too low to me as well. I was thinking 4/12 or a little bit more.
I think I know the answer to this next question but I'll ask to be sure.
I have seen the hips being built 2 different ways. In one way the hip rafters are doubled up and the other rafters are run horizontal from hip to hip.
The other is the more common and that is the hip rafters are single and the jacks go vertical.
Now, are both ways used on residences? I have seen the former often on gazebos etc.
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No.
The hip rafter itself can be single, can be doubled up, have even seen tripled up. Depends on the load and the length of the hip as well as the structural lumber used. The hip rafter is not cut the same angle as the jacks.
The jack rafters run 45 degrees as view directly overhead or directly beneath.
You don't seem to be moving the wall the hip and jacks ride on. The rest of the house is important regarding pitch of the roof. If the pitch is too steep, the high point will be well above the rest of the roof on the house, and vice versa. To maintain such continuity, you have to move the wall to have the same height at the top when increasing the pitch.
There is no strictly "vertical". Both the hip and jacks run horizonally and vertically. If not, they are not rafters. Dave
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I understand what you are saying about the terminology. What I meant by horizontal and vertical was to describe the relative manner in which the rafters are positioned. But I think you got that and I appreciate the correction. A vertical "rafter" would be a stud...
I do plan to extend the wall out from the side of the house and use gable rafters up to that point. The reasoning is pretty much just what you said. In order to get the common rafters to be the same pitch and length on a 10*10 deck, I need to run a ridge out 5' and then the commons will have a run of 5' as well.
I don't plan to stick with the same pitch of the current roof. I am going to have less pitch on the addition roof because I don't want to extend the current roofline out. I like the idea of breaking it up a bit to give some architectural detail. The house is pretty much a box as it is.
I'll post pictures of my progress. I always say I"ll do that and never do. Last summer I did a pretty massive rennovation of my mother's house that I wish I would have documented. She had a single- wide trailor with a house built around it. The house construction was not post and beam but a 2x4 exterior shell. It was twice as wide as the trailor for a nice big porch/bath and bedroom addition. The roof is made of 2x4 trusses. It is nice but the problem with with the ceiling height in the trailer part. It had the low 7 ft ceilings. A tall person would have to watch out for the fans and it was pretty clausterphobic. I convinced her to let me cut the top off the mobile home and raise the walls and tied them in to the rafters. It was hard work but it looks and feels so much better now.
Anyway, take care.

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Yes, I have seen them, but I don't know much about them. See Simpson HRC and MSC connectors.
Wayne
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