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Project Description

The look of exposed rafter tails on a roof is a beautiful accent, but to build them right is a challenge. This article shows how I got the look and made the rafter tails and eves maintenance free using PVC trim.


The pictures below are just a sample of what is in the photo gallery, visit the gallery to check out all the pictures of this project:

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The Rafter Tails
The exposed rafter tails were made as a unit in the shop. The rafter tails unit is screwed to a horizontal board that attachs to the rough framing (the ends of the actual structural rafters).
Rafter Tails
Installing the Unit
The ends of the structural rafters were cut flush with the front wall of the dormer and the unit with the exposed tails on it was screwed to the structural rafters.
Rafter Tails
Beaded Boards
Beaded boards are added to the top of the faux rafter tails so that they are flush with the structural rafters. Plywood sheathing will cover the structural and faux rafters on the same plane.
Rafter Tails
Supporting the Rake Board
The rake board is supported by hardwood boards that get attached to the first inside rafter and then interlock with the outermost rafter by a notch. The rake board has a dado in it's top edge to receive beaded boards that will be flush with the structural rafters.
Rafter Tails
Coming together
From the ground, you can appreciate the beaded boards that line the underside of the dormer's roof system.
Rafter Tails
Maintenance Free Exterior
The PVC trim that the exposed rafter tails and beaded board are made from will never rot and never need painting..
Rafter Tails
The Finished Dormer
The exposed rafter tails on this dormer create a custom look and bring the house closer to looking like it was built 100 years ago.
Rafter Tails
American Craftsman
The dormer ties in nicely with some other Craftsman touches on the house.
Rafter Tails

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