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Community and Q&A

Strength of braces/brackets

Chan Joye | Posted in GBA Pro Help on

My forty year-old house by a lake has 48″ eaves (yes, 4 feet). There is a little sag at the corners, which are about 65 inches diagonally away from the corner of the house. The 48″ overhang is covered by a flat section of roof that runs all the way around the house (hipped roof)– creating something of a Japanese pagoda look. It was possible to walk all the way around the roof on a flat surface.

I have converted the roof to a gable end roof but have kept the overhang– that has certain advantages. ( I constructed a “full return” from eave to eave on the gable end.) I would like to eliminate the sag at the outside corners of the overhang. It is not practiceable to change anything internal to the attic to perhaps rectify the condition.

My thought is to jack up the corners of the eaves and install a nice looking brace / bracket, perhaps reinforced with flat steel that I would try to hide.

A major problem for me is determining the needed strength of the bracket and whether or not the steel reinforcing would be necessary. Most braces/brackets I have looked at on the web seem to be non-structural. There is no strength info given.

Suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. Expert Member
    Malcolm Taylor | | #1

    If you construct the bracket out out of 4"x4" lumber with let-in joints it will almost certainly take any loads your roof exerts. But that's not the problem. The weakness will be in finding a bearing surface in the existing exterior wall you are mounting it to which can resist those loads - both horizontal and vertical - and choosing appropriate hardware to secure the bracket to the wall.

  2. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #2

    Malcolm gave good advice. Common sense should work here -- make the bracket sturdy, and secure it with sturdy lag screws or through bolts to solid framing. In some cases, you have to worry about flashing details to prevent water entry, but in your case -- a bracket directly under the roof -- you should be OK on that score.

    If you don't have the woodworking or welding skills to fabricate your own brackets, or you are unsure that the design of your bracket will handle the loads, you can always consult an engineer.

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