History

Easy Rafters was originally developed in the early '90s as an add-on for a popular Cadd program and was later redeveloped as a standalone DOS program when the Cadd program was discontinued.

The first Windows version (2.0) was developed using Microsoft Visual Basic 3.0 and was written around the time of Windows 95. Version 3 was upgraded to Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 and released in the late '90s.

Between the time Easy Rafters was first released and the current version 4 release, Windows and Visual Basic have both undergone drastic changes. It has become increasingly difficult to keep up with the operating system changes and the code itself has become difficult to maintain making upgrades in functionality almost impossible.

Easy Rafters 4.0 has been completely rewritten in Visual Basic.Net making it more compatible with the latest versions of Windows while still allowing it to run on Windows 7 and Windows 8. The code is also much better organized making it far easier to maintain and upgrade.

What's New in Version 4

During the upgrade some functionality was added, some was dropped, and some features were combined or streamlined.

  • Terminology has changed and required inputs have changed in many cases. In the previous version, many roof types required the run of the common rafter to be input and the overhang was input without including the fascia board thickness. All roofs in this version except the Saltbox and Polygon use the width of the building instead of the common rafter run and all roofs use the total overhang including the fascia board to calculate the rafters.
  • The Octagon roof has been replaced with the Polygon roof type which allows for roofs with from three to twelve sides.
  • The Dual Slope roof has been renamed to Saltbox and the front & rear spans, overhangs, heel & seat, kneewalls, and rafter sizes of the Saltbox roof can now be entered independently.
  • The Dutch Hip roof type has been eliminated as a choice in the Roof Type dropdown list. It is still possible to calculate a Dutch Hip by combining a Gable Roof with an appropriately sized 90 degree Bay Roof.
  • The Valley and Unequal Span Valley roofs have been combined into a single Valley roof option.
  • Valley roofs now have jack rafter layout functionality similar to the Hip Roof layout.
  • Hip, Blind Valley, Polygon, and Bay Roofs have a Sheathing tab showing dimensions and angles useful for calculating and cutting roof sheathing. Valley roofs list the sheathing angle on the Layout tab.
  • DXF files are now output in AutoCad 2000 format.
  • Print Preview functionality has been added. Previews include the header and footer with roof and rafter data that was previously only seen when printed.
  • Drawings for the current roof can be previewed or printed all at once or individually.

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