Removal of roof truss cross-members, to make for easier attic storage access...[??]

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Thanks John. You're vocabulary has picked-up where mine has fallen short. Yes, it is exactly this "Wal-Mart syndrome", which seems to be afflicting areas ranging from construction to health-insurance, that has got my goat. Well said.
Ken
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What for? You bought it anyway...
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That's the problem - the builders brag about meeting minimum standards (as if that's an accomplishment) and then people buy them regardless. Price comes before quality as usual.
Mike
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And, "what the customer doesn't know won't hurt him..."? Uh huh. I used to work in floor covering and dealt with many a commission salesman... Talk about tunnel-vision! You can recite any of the litany of self-serving excuses all you like. I've heard them all before.
Ken
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Ken Moiarty wrote:

I don't think Goedjn was commenting on the morality of doing inferior work - not that trusses are in and by themselves inferior, but more that the OP didn't have to buy the house in the first place. If he needed attic storage, he should have bought attic storage or insured that it was doable on his budget. If he didn't do the homework, he shouldn't hold it against anyone but himself.
R
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work [...]
I [the OP] didn't take him to be commenting in any way on "morality" in any way. My comment was simply to convey my personal distaste for builders and/or other vendors, even other consumers, etc, who are just plain "cheap". IOW, what's wrong with a little "class"? I will accept however, that most people don't care to possess much in the way of this quality. So I am well out-voted by the majority here.
Ken
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snipped-for-privacy@shaw.ca wrote:

How does "class" enter into it? I'm not sure what you could mean by that. Do you mean that a builder should just throw in all sorts of extras and upgrades for free to show he has class?
You wrote: "Rant: For a home that sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars, you'd think the builder could've been a little more liberal budgetwise and built the house to higher spec."
The builder didn't set prices for the materials he bought, the subcontractors he used, the land in your area, etc., etc. He set the sale price for the house based on what he thought the market would bear. If he, or a subsequent owner that you purchased it from, had priced it higher you might not have bought it, or it might not have sold at all. It's a balancing act. If the builder was a fly by night, or cut every imaginable corner, this should have shown up when you were doing your research.
Since you bought the house, you must have felt it was a good value at the time, based on your research into the housing market in your area.

have been afraid to spend the necessary money. So how did the building all of a sudden become cheaply made?
Obviously it didn't change from when you had it inspected and made your offer. You did have it professionally inspected, right? If the house is as shoddily built as you say, I'm surprised that the inspector didn't steer you away from the house you're in.
I'm not sure if this is the first home you've bought, but it sounds like you've come to realize that you now have higher expectations for your house, and have learned more about how houses are built.
Looking on the bright side, with the market the way it is, your house is probably increasing in equity value fairly rapidly - regardless of the way it was built.
R
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Oh, I really have disturbed a bees nest! <g>
Ken
wrote:

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wrote:

This is the main reason I would NEVER build a house with trusses. The older homes I have lived in all my life had stick framed roofs. Normally 2x8's across the floor (above your ceiling) and they go from the outer walls to the center support wall. Then the roof is 2X6's from the outer walls, and come together at the peak. Built that way, you can make a real attic, build rooms up there and whatever. Trusses save the expense of the larger dimension lumber, but are all wasted space. They are fine for a barn or something where you would not need an attic, but for a house they are just a big waste of space. Considering the high cost of trusses, I tend to wonder if they are really worth the savings, because I tend to think the savings is minimal. You can call me old fashioned, but I was taught to never have boards end midstream between supports on horizontal runs (between walls), but I have alot of disputes with modern construction. Don't even get me started about those particle board floor joists, and if you use them be sure your toilet never overflows or you might end up sitting on your basement floor on top of a pile of wood chips.
As for your situation, I can only say this. You cant just sister the roof joists, because the floor could drop (along with your ceiling below) However, if you were to sister 2x8s across the floor, AND 2x6's on the roof, being sure both the 2x8's and 2x6s are resting on the outer walls, and on the center support wall of the home, you could probably get away with it. Look at the way an older home roof was built, and duplicate that. But, if your trusses are 2x4s, you may not be able to get your new wood onto the outer walls, unless you can cut the angle and still have enough wood on the walls. I am not suggesting you do this without having a professional engineer or builder look at it, but it could possibly work. Your other option would be to remove the entire roof and rebuild it using stick construction, but I dont think you want to go that extreme.
As someone else said, trusses are not made to hold heavy loads, as a floor. Those 2x4's are likely spliced right in the middle of your rooms below, so even if you leave the trusses intact, I would still add some at least 2x6's from outer walls to center walls and floor on top of them.
Of course you could move too.... Remember, many of the older stick built houses have lasted a hundred years or more. These new houses built out of crap have a life expectancy of about 30 years. So you might save a few bucks today, but you will pay and pay and pay later.
Mark
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In a previous post says...

There is such a thing as an "attic truss". But, it must be specified at the time of design and manufacture. Typically, the truss is designed with an aisle way down the middle and the bottom chord is designed to carny the weight of stuff stored in a typical attic.
The engineer or architect can specify a heavier than normal load on the bottom chord. Obviously, the truss manufacturer will do what's typical unless told to do otherwise. the spec building could specify an attic truss, but that costs more. Most spec builders on not going to spend the a few hundred extra dollars if they don't have to.
--
Bob Morrison, PE, SE
R L Morrison Engineering Co
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On Fri, 01 Jul 2005 14:02:39 GMT, Bob Morrison

I didn't know they make "attic trusses". But if they are as costly as you are saying, then I'd think using dimensional lumber would be about the same price, both in materials and labor. I realize trusses go up faster, but normally a crane is needed to lift them to the roof, and renting or owning and running that crane adds to the cost of the labor. Stick construction just requires some men to lift the boards. I personally have never found it all that difficult to frame a roof with boards. Once the first two rafters are cut to size, it's just a matter of duplicating the angles and nailing them in place. putting on the decking is the same as with trusses.
Mark
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On 1-Jul-2005, maradcliff@UNLISTED..com wrote:

Pick-up-sticks construction? They don't just lift them, they have to put them together. That takes time ($$$). Even with the cost of a crane, there's no way that hand-built roofs in the field can be cheaper than factory built roof trusses unless you're talking about building _one_ house with cheap labour.
Mike
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In a previous post says...

If you time your truss delivery properly, then the delivery driver will lift them onto the roof for you. All you need to is roll them up and nail them down.
--
Bob Morrison, PE, SE
R L Morrison Engineering Co
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maradcliff@UNLISTED..com wrote:

Most of the older homes that I've seen don't have such beefy floors. Most of them have 2x6 ceiling joists or even 2x4s.

Sure, if the home is built the way you say.

Trusses can be, and are, designed for all sorts of conditions and loads. I frequently have to beef up or replace existing stick frame structures when remodeling. If it wasn't designed for it, it has to be modified. The only difference is that trusses are more complicated to analyze and therefore modify.

Every tract home builder in the country disagrees with you. There are many advantages - much longer spans possible eliminating the need for interior support and concomitant foundation costs, faster roof framing, weight savings, etc.
> As for your situation, I can only say this. You cant just sister the

If he's just looking to add storage capabilities (floor load), why does he have to touch the roof? He could ignore the trusses and install floor joists next to them, but if he doesn't have a center support wall, he probably can't do that.

Probably not.

You are advising that substantial loads be placed on walls that may not be bearing walls...?

Not sure where you got your life expectancy number from, but it's _extremely_ pessimistic.
R
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RicodJour wrote:

Look what the original poster (OP) said:
"Currently I'm busy fastening 3/4" plyboard over the ceiling rafters (so objects to be stored won't crash thru the drywall ceiling)."
So we can assume that the rafters are strong enough to support someone wiggling around putting plywood down?
3/4 plywood to tie the rafters together will certainly give some additional strength to the load-bearing capacity.
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Some Guy wrote:

It's adding a substantial load just sitting there and it's overkill. It will help spread out load, it won't add to the overall capacity.
R
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wrote:

My parents house which I later bought from them was built in 1952. It has 2X8 floor joists on joined together above the load bearing wall, which is on top of the steel I-beam in the basement. The roof is 2X6 rafters. Some of the best built homes were built in the 1950's and 60s. I replaced the entrance wiring to get rid of the old fuse box, and replaced the galvanized pipe with copper because it was clogged, and replaced the old furnace, and added insulation. Otherwise it was an extremely well built house. I sold it though, because I was not happy in the city, and now live on a farm in a much older house that has it's problems, and was not built nearly as well

If he dont cut out any truss pieces, he dont have to touch the roof. But the OP said he wants to remove some truss uprights. Otherwise, just adding some additional joists would be fine, and be sure they are on a load bearing wall.

They MUST be load bearing walls. In most homes the wall down the center of the house IS the load bearing wall. The way to find out is to see if that wall is on top of the support beam in the basement.

Well, it's called resale value, and/or the kids can move in. I bought my parents home when I was in my 30's. If that had been one of these newer homes, the house would have been pretty much spent.

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On 1-Jul-2005, maradcliff@UNLISTED..com wrote:

Maybe where you live, but I've seen lots of bungalows built with a centre support beam holding up the floors and full span roof trusses. The centre wall in those cases is not load bearing.
Mike
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maradcliff@UNLISTED..com wrote:

Well, you can get trusses designed to provide attic space.
Matt
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Exactly. Not of much help to the OP, but that's the way to do it. I have just completed the rebuild of a total ground up rebuild of my home that was lost in a fire. The original home (50 yrs old) had a stick built roof and was considered to be in the premier neighborhood in the area at the time. The construction was what I would rate as average, although contractors who examined what was left said it was very well built. 2x6 outside walls, plaster walls, mahogany trim, etc. Attic access was through the garage. 2 X 8's on 16" centers spanning 24'! Most of the plaster on the garage ceiling was cracked due to sag. Didn't store too much other than christmas stuff and empty boxes. Still, just my weight (170lbs) you could feel the joists move. In the new house, I had the garage (increased to 35') area trussed for storage (the truss people like to call it a "bonus room"). Solid as rock! I can literally jump up and down and the floor/ceiling doesn't give a bit! So much for old vs. new construction. Could a free rafter roof be as solid? Sure, I have no doubt. Lot's more expensive lumber. The big bonus as far as I'm concerned with trusses is the future flexibility with floor plans. Want to move a wall? No problem. Most interior walls are non-load bearing so just knock 'em down and move 'em. As far as the "particle board" I-joists, I doubt a toilet over flowing once ( or even a dozen times) is going to dissolve them. And if you've got that bad of a water problem, you've got some serious problems! They got a bad rap early on, but the adhesives have vastly improved in the last ten years. A good analogy is the world of automobiles. Once upon a time, to build a solid car, you added more metal. Now, look at the most structurally solid cars. What do they use? Carbon fiber in honeycomb EPOXY matrix. Yeah, they're glued together! Try to field a formula one or indy car out of good old fashioned steel and see where you get. Technology marches on. If you use it wisely, you can build a very solid house. However, I am convinced after working early on in the design phase of my home that your typical GC doesn't give a hoot about quality. If you want a well built house (or anything else, for that matter) you're better off building it yourself. That's what I had to do.
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