What are collar ties? I often get asked that on a home inspection whenever I point out a sagged roof, particularly on a gable roof. Since there are so many different framing members, and they all have their own name, it is a good question. So let's discuss.
First, since I am an engineer, I have to make the obligatory remark that it actually isn't called a "collar tie". That is actually a colloquial term that almost everyone uses. It is actually called a "collar beam". But we aren't going to split hairs here. Since it is called a collar tie for the most part, that is the term we will use here.
So what is a collar tie? It is easier to show you. Look at the illustration below and notice the top, lateral framing member under the ridge beam.
That right there is a collar tie. It looks pretty unassuming, right? well a collar tie is actually a very important framing member.
Collar ties are under a great deal of strain at any given moment, and it has to take the brunt of the movement of much of the roof's framing toward the top.
But what does that even mean? Let's put it into practical terms.
Let's go back to what I said in the beginning. Whenever I am on a home inspection and a see a sagged roof, I often mention collar ties. When it comes down to it, missing collar ties, or improperly secured collar ties, tend to make the roof uneven. Many times it is not severe, but can lead to some major framing issues down the road.
So there it is, a small framing member with a big job. Questions? Contact me!
PARKER AND WEST ENGINEERING, PLLC.