OK... still planning my renovation of the 200+ year old house... Most houses with a peaked roof have rafters running from soffit to ridge... and joists that connect them to make the crossbar of an "A"... not in my house! The joists run parallel with the ridge!!! I'll be removeing the old plaster and lath. The lathing runs across the joists (in the direction that the joists should run) and I'm concerned that the only thing that might be keeping the "A" from becoming a "--" might be the lath!!! :( It has a slate roof (heavy!) So, tell me if this makes sense... the width from soffit to soffit is about 20'... how's about I run cables (3/8" ?) with turnbuckles from top plate to top plate every 4 feet (6' ?) Here's another interesting fact... but not another question: the rafters are 4 x 4's spaced about four feet apart (with 1" plank decking for the slate) that run soffit to ridge... and then halfway between them are short rafters (bark covered... approx 4 x 2 that start at the soffit and run toward the ridge... but they're only about 4 feet long. I'm not quite sure how the house lasted over two hundred years... but it has!