A ridgepole is the horizontal log beam located at the highest peak of a log or timber home. This is the main beam that holds up the roof of the house and is typically the heaviest, the largest and the longest log. The rafters attach to this pole which crowns the home.
Ridgepoles might be one of the last logs to be installed in a home, but should be one of the first chosen as they are a signature piece to every home.
Ridgepoles help to bring character into the home as they are typically exposed; they may be visible in living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms or vaulted areas. Most timber homes have one ridgepole but some creative modern designs require two intermediate ridgepoles.
In many ancient building practices, there was much ceremony in the hoisting of the ridgepole and it is
still one of the most exciting moments in a home’s construction. In some cultures, nailing a coin to a ridgepole of a home was believed to bring good luck to the family; and conversely, bad luck might be attracted if the ridgepole was raised in the evening. Many builders would carve or paint symbols or messages of good luck on the ridgepole.
One of the personal touches that we do with our ridgepoles is to carve an “A” for Artisan into them. By the time we complete each log home we have also built a friendship with the homeowner, and this is our way to leave a little memory of us with them.
Visit our Log Homes 101 section where you will find answers to frequently asked questions.