Tag Archives: building a widow’s peak

Widow’s Peak Construction in 9 Easy Steps

What distinguishing physical feature do Leonardo DiCaprio, John Travolta, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis and Ronald Reagan all share?

I said, “physical feature” so all of them having been movie stars is not the answer we were looking for.

They all have widow’s peaks!

The expression widow’s peak dates from 1849, and the term stems from the belief hair growing to a point on the forehead is suggestive of the peak of a widow’s hood and is an omen of early widowhood.

When it comes to barns, the widow’s peak is the pointed overhang on the front of a barn roof. Originally it was provided with a pulley wheel underneath, for hauling up hay. Most modern widow’s peaks are to provide shelter for a loft door or to add rustic charm.

Having a widow’s peak on your new post frame (pole) building is both fairly simple and affordably done when it comes to planning for it in advance. I happen to have one on the building I live in on a daily basis.

Having provided a significant number of them over the years and actually never having had to supply any special instruction for their installation, I was surprised recently when a professional builder was stymied on what to do with the one on the gambrel roof barn he was assembling.

They had the framing part successfully completed, so I wrote out the instructions and forwarded them via email.

For those of you who are considering a widow’s peak on your new pole building, here are the steps to successful steel roofing and trimming – to provide an idea as to whether you could do it yourself.

Step 1. Cut roof steel at widow’s peak to match outside edges of varge rafters (also known as fly rafters).

Step 2. Place widow’s peak rake trims over top of roof steel, with the flat edge on top of the roof. These rake trims are similar to standard rake and corner trims on one side and the opposite edge is flat with a hem.

Step 3. Lightly place a mark (felt tipped pen works great) on top of roof steel at edge of the flat face of the widow’s peak rake trims.

Step 4. Cut and install rake trim on standard overhanging (or no overhang) portion of roof – high end on “face” (street view) should extend until it hits widow’s peak varge rafter.

Step 5. Run roof side of standard rake trims long by a couple of inches on the uphill (towards peak) end.

Step 6. Cut widow’s peak rake trim to overlap the previously installed standard rake trim, but do not install yet.

Step 7. Take expandable closure strip (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/03/emseal-self-expanding-sealant-tape-closures/) and place on widow’s peak side of previously drawn line (normally hold it about 1/4″ to 1/2″ away from line, just keep it straight).

Step 8. Install widow’s peak trim, using stitch screws through expanding closure into tops of every rib it crosses.

Step 9. Stand back and admire your handiwork!

Some of you fare readers may be aghast – as I have shared, ‘super secret’ information with builders and competitors. Do not fret, it is all for the betterment of our industry. Better pole buildings, make for more a demand for better pole buildings!