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Pavilion Roofing Considerations

July 20, 2023
Timber Frame Pavilion Roofing Considerations

Many considerations for the design and fabrication of a pavilion are rooted in how the finished product will look. Behind the scenes, we make sure that the design is structurally sound. The form and function areas of design are all the while being considered. This is highlighted in the pavilion roof framing through a form that makes the function a visible design parameter. This is how a timber frame gets its shade, not to mention the overall look of the finished product.

Common Roof Styles

Considering a pavilion roof usually starts with the question of roof style. The most popular styles are gabled and hipped. A gable roof has a peak running parallel with the eaves. Principle rafters (members running from eave to peak) are the main support in this type of roof framing. A hipped roof pavilion has a high point to which each eave runs up to. Hip rafters (members funning from each corner to the high point) are the supporting members used in this style of roof.

Gable Roof option for timber frame pavilion

Each design has a unique look and the applications are endless. For example, a gable roof can be square or rectangle with varying roof pitches to accommodate different truss styles and site requirements (existing structures, etc.). Gable truss style options are also seemingly endless varying from king post, queen post, hammer beam an so on. A hip-roofed pavilion has a different set of options that are varied as well. The structure can be square or rectangle but the plate (eave) is of the same height at each side. More often than not a boss pin is used to join the hip rafters at the high point. A square structure receives a singular boss pin while a rectangular structure receives two, one at each high point connected by a timber ridge.

hip roof for custom timber frame pavilion
Other Roof styles

Along with the most common styles of roofing there are others that are also worth mentioning. The mono-pitch or shed roof style lends itself well to a timber frame as it serves with function and

timber frame pavilion with cross gabled roof

Completing the look of a pavilion is done with the roof design. Large timbers with wide spacing can be used to give a bold and heavy look while smaller members can be spaced closer together for a light and airy look. Beam spacing is decided in design adhering to roof loads and a timber's ability to carry that load, as well as provide channels to run electrical wiring, keeping it secure for the elements. Form and function reside together in harmony and the pavilion roof system becomes the structural focal point of the frame. Once the pavilion roof system is sheathed and finished in the owner's selected material, it is time to sit down and look up!

shed roof for outdoor timber frame pavilion
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