Building "off-grid"

- Lower Rafter Bracing -
(click pictures for larger view)

May 2009:  I'm back to work on the house after my long winter sabbatical.  I'm still doing my hip rehab, so I'm taking it kind of easy, but I wanted to get back at it.  Over the winter I noticed that the rafter bracing I had done worked very well, but so well that the bottoms of the rafters were sort of starting to "sag".  I figured it would best to brace them out, too, which seemed much easier than the last bracing project.  Well, I was wrong, because first I had to completey remove the previously disconnected rafter "ties" (small sheetmetal brackets for holding the rafters in place at the bottom).  That meant spending a couple days lying on my stomach, which simply isn't a comfortable position for prying out nails.  After that I pretty much duplicated the process I had used for the upper bracing.  I put down a few pieces of 2x4 to raise the lower brace (2x8x10'), then nudged it forward with the same jack posts I had used before.  The 2x4 pieces were screwed into the floor with several 3" screws, making sure to hit the floor joists when possible.  The 2x8 brace plank was screwed into the 2x4 pieces with the same screws, and the rafter ties were replaced - this time on top of the brace plank rather than on the original sill plate.   The pictures below pretty much tell the story.

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