Roof Trusses. 

Step by step instructions on installing roof trusses.... 

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Installing roof trusses.

 

If you’re nervous about cutting rafters from scratch and you don’t mind losing the open attic space,

roof trusses are a roof framing option. Roof trusses are difficult to install, but you can order them in

custom sizes and configurations. Trusses are nothing more than 2+4 webs and 2+4 or 2+6 chords held

together by gussets, which are flat metal or plywood plates. The two top chords and one long bottom

chore form the shape of a gable roof. Webs tie the chords together. Cutting any one of the members

compromises the structural integrity of the entire truss. Residential roof trusses commonly come in

two forms, the W-type and Howe truss. End trusses often don’t have the same web configuration as

the trusses for the interior of the roof. Instead the webs are vertical two by studs installed at 16 or

24 inches on center. You erect trusses right on the top plates, with one truss per stud bay. If you’ve

framed the walls at 24 inches on center, the trusses will occur every 24 inches as well. The easier way

to erect trusses is with a crane.

 

 

 

 

1. Installing the first truss. Have the first truss lifted by crane, and position it at the gable end of the

roof on the cap plate. Fasten the truss using toe nailed 16d nails or metal anchor brackets. Using 2+4s

attached to stakes as diagonal braces, plumb the truss with a level, and nail it off to the braces. Leave

the 2+4 braces in place until you’ve installed and braced all the trusses and nailed down the roof

sheathing. Install a 2+2 backer board to keep the base chord of the truss from moving out of position,

and nail the truss to the 2+2 backer.

 

 

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2. Installing the remaining trusses. Position the remaining trusses, installing spacer blocks between

the trusses at the plates as you proceed. For 24 inch on center spacing, use 2+4 22 ½-inch long. Install

same length blocks between the trusses at the peak to form the ridge board and ensure proper

spacing at the top. You can set the spacer blocks at the plate vertically, flush with the outside edge of

the plate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Installing the braces. With three trusses installed, tack a 2 +4 brace across the top on each side.

Tack braces on additional trusses as you set them in position, midway and then near the bottom of

the span. Also, for lengths of 20 feet or more, run a 1+4 diagonal brace at about a 45 degree angle

from the cap plate to the peak on each side. Nail the diagonal to the underside of the truss top chord.

You can leave the diagonal braces in place for greater stability of the roof.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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