In construction, a ridge beam is the beam that runs along the top of the roof with the rafters attached to it holding the roof in place. This ridge beam supports the roof line and helps to lift up the rafters. Ties are carefully attached to the ridge beam and are either made of wood or metal. While may ridge beams are hidden in the attic or above the ceiling, some can be found exposed to attain the rustic look. The ridge beam is often thought to be one of the more attractive aspects of a home, especially in structures that are cabin designs.
If the ridge beam of a structure breaks or suffers damage due to a disaster, it may need to be shored up. This might require that additional beams be added to the original beam until it is secure. In most cases the ridge beam provides extra storage space or room in a home and can be used to raise a roof to accommodate the need for additional space. The ridge beam is often larger than the other beams used in the roof and is often found to be 4×12 in size. The beam carries the most weight of the building due to gravitational pull. The larger beam can be challenging to put in place and it takes the work of an expert to ensure that it is done correctly. Achieving both function and design can be best accomplished by someone that understands how the ridge beam works and what is necessary for success.