How to Frame a Valley Roof

How to Frame a Valley Roof: A Step-by-Step Guide

Framing a valley roof can be a challenging task, but with the right knowledge and tools, it can be accomplished successfully. A valley roof is a common roofing design that involves two sloping roofs meeting at an angle, creating a valley in between. This article will provide a step-by-step guide on how to frame a valley roof, along with some frequently asked questions and their answers.

Step 1: Measure and calculate
Start by measuring the length of the valley and the pitch of the roofs. Calculate the length of the valley rafter and the bevel cut for the hip rafter. Additionally, determine the length of the common rafters that will intersect the valley.

Step 2: Prepare the valley rafters
Cut the valley rafters to the calculated length, making sure they are long enough to extend beyond the exterior walls. These rafters will provide support for the valley and connect the two sloping roofs.

Step 3: Install the valley rafters
Attach the valley rafters to the wall plates, ensuring they are centered and aligned with the valley line. Secure them using nails or screws, ensuring they are securely fastened.

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Step 4: Cut the bevel for the hip rafter
Using the calculated bevel angle, cut the bevel on the hip rafter. This will allow it to fit precisely against the valley rafter.

Step 5: Install the hip rafter
Position the hip rafter against the valley rafter, ensuring a tight fit. Secure it using nails or screws to provide additional support and stability.

Step 6: Install the common rafters
Cut the common rafters to the appropriate length, considering any overhang required. Install them as you would in a regular roof, ensuring they are securely attached to the wall plates and the hip rafter.

Step 7: Add additional support
To strengthen the valley roof, consider adding collar ties or ridge boards. These will help distribute the weight evenly and provide additional support to the structure.


1. Can I frame a valley roof on my own?
Framing a valley roof requires intermediate to advanced carpentry skills. If you are confident in your abilities and have the necessary tools, you can attempt it. However, it is always recommended to consult with a professional if you are unsure.

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2. What materials do I need to frame a valley roof?
You will need the necessary lumber for rafters, wall plates, and supporting elements. Additionally, you will need nails, screws, a saw, measuring tools, and a level.

3. How do I determine the pitch of the roofs?
The pitch of the roofs can be determined by measuring the rise and run of the roof. The rise is the vertical distance between the top of the roof and the roof’s base, while the run is the horizontal distance.

4. Can I frame a valley roof without using valley rafters?
Using valley rafters is highly recommended as they provide structural support and help prevent water leakage. It is not advisable to frame a valley roof without them.

5. Can I use prefabricated trusses for a valley roof?
Prefabricated trusses are not typically used for valley roofs due to their specific design requirements. Custom framing is usually necessary to ensure proper fit and support.

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6. How long does it take to frame a valley roof?
The time required to frame a valley roof depends on various factors, including the size of the roof, complexity of the design, and the skill level of the person performing the work. It can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.

7. Do I need a permit to frame a valley roof?
Permit requirements vary by location, so it is essential to check with your local building department. In many cases, a permit is required for any significant roofing work to ensure compliance with local building codes and safety standards.

Framing a valley roof requires careful planning, precise measurements, and proper execution. By following these steps and considering the FAQs, you can confidently tackle this roofing project. Remember to prioritize safety and consult with professionals when needed for optimal results.

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