Choosing the Right Bracket Thickness Part I: Perception vs Reality

One question we hear a lot is, “What’s the best size bracket to order?”  While that is purely subjective and based on personal preferences and style, we can provide some guidelines to help in the decision-making process. 

First, we suggest considering height and projection. From there, you will want to look at the thickness or width of the bracket, which are equally important as height and projection.  As you consider these factors, keep in mind that the location of the bracket will play a large role in the final decision. For the sake of this article, we will be discussing thickness and width.  (To learn more about selecting height and projection, read this post about sizing brackets.) 

PERCEPTION: When considering bracket thickness, first consider location and how the product is perceived from street level.  Brackets on porches are mostly viewed from the front; therefore, thickness is not as important.  Brackets located in soffits and gables are viewed from the front as well, but considering how high they are mounted, they are mainly viewed from below, making thickness a priority.  Rafter tails and corbels are installed perpendicular to a structure; therefore, making thickness a priority as well.

So, when considering what size and thickness to order, keep in mind the importance of street level perception. The proper thickness provides visual balance and the illusion of strength and support.  Here are a few rules of thumb to follow:

  • Large post & beam gable brackets are usually a minimum of 3” wide.  
  • Brackets, corbels and rafter tails should be at least 4” unless the size is less than 24” vertical or horizontally.  As size increases, so should the thickness. 
  • Porch brackets are usually ¾” and 1” inch thick.

In our next blog post, we will continue our discussion on bracket thickness, focusing on width and the variations in cost and development. And introduce the Duraform™ process of creating a smooth, extra wide bracket with no seams or extreme cost variation. Stay tuned….

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