I know you guys have used trusses before so question is, what's the proper
way to get the length? What I'm meaning to say is, are the overhangs
included in the measurement? Outside wall to outside wall is 20 feet. Would
I order a 20 foot truss or would it be a 22 foot truss. The extra 2 feet is
a foot overhang on each side. Snow and ice has recently collapsed my dads
garage roof. I've never used trusses before. Thanks.
The last time I ordered pre-fab trusses the maker asked me
for the span, the overhang on each side, and pitch on each side.
Not all trusses are symetrical.
There may be cheaper 'standard' trusses with a standard overhang
that you can cut to your desired length but it may be just as
cheap to have them made the way you want them.
Are you going to build them yourself or have a truss company build them for
If you are going to order them, I would measure the distance from wall to
wall, and discuss the options with the truss company like the optimum pitch
to allow the snow to slide off the roof and the amount of overhang you want.
About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
Tell them your building size and what the length of the overhang you want. Your
final trusses will be longer then 20' . They do need to know the exact building
size so the span cross braces are long enough which it sounds like will be 20'
My wood shop was 20x20 so it ended up being 9 trusses and 2 gable ends. The
overhead was 14'' on each side which is common here.
You can build your own. Lot sof plans online like
Contact your truss company. They generally have a service that will spec
your project, generally for free.
Much better than guessing, or getting advice online considering the
difference in terminology in different parts of the country.
In any case, the bearing point of the truss should NOT be anywhere along the
bottom chord except where the top of the truss is attached. The wood is
sized for working in tension, not bending. So you can't just take a 22 foot
truss and let the ends of the triangle hang out over the end of the top
plate of the wall.
On Wed, 05 Jan 2005 14:27:42 GMT, "Bullwinkle J. Moose"
Looks like you got some good information but I'd like to stick another
question in here if I may. Are trusses for 30' span and average pitch
(haven't determined this yet) something that can be lifted and set by
2 or 3 guys or is a cherry picker necessary? Thanks - just in
preliminary thought stage.
I've done abotu 24'. I have only done it once... I happened to have 4
people. I would say that in my case, 3 would have been a bare minimum. I'm
just a hack. I was making it up as I went along so there very well may be a
If ALL THREE of them are able-bodied, sure-footed and relatively
fearless about heights.
If by "average pitch" you mean at or less than 6/12. Otherwise, they
just wind up being too tall and top-heavy. It can still be done, but
requires more guys and more, bigger ladders.
Guy A stands on top plate while B and C carry truss over and hand the
end up to A.
B climbs ladder and stands on top plate. Meanwhile A has shimmied out
onto an already-installed truss.
C pushes from the ground, B pulls from the top plate and A walks the
end of the truss to the other wall.
C climbs ladder while B walks out into the trusses, all the while
holding the truss steady.
A and C nail to the top plate, B braces with truss locks or scrap 2x
lumber. Remember to use duplex nails for this. DAMHIKT.
Setting the first truss (not the gable end) goes the same way, except
there's obviously no truss for A to walk across. He has to climb down
a ladder, gorilla-fist the truss across the building, and back up the
ladder to the opposite top plate.
Keep in mind, this is only my experience. As always, Your Mileage May
At any rate, I hope it helps.
The first time I ever placed trusses, there were4 of us putting them ON the
top of the walls...I was the youngest and therefore was the only one ON the
wall stacking them at the end of the house. When we actually placed them,
there was 3 of us...one at each end to nail them in and I walked the wall,
carrying the trusses and setting them in place, then tieing the top together
with scraps of 2X's. These were 32' span 4/12 with 2' overhang.
There were two trusses that we had to have heavy equipment to place. The
house is L shaped with a hip at the bend...this design called for two heavy
trusses...one double plate and one triple plate. And the bottom chord on
both of these was BIG...2X8 on the double plate and 2X10 on the triple.
So yes, they can be placed without a crane, IF you are...or have someone who
is...young, dumb and strong. Doable, but if you've got a crane laying
around, use it.
I get a kick out of watching these 100 lb Mexican framing crew members
around here, either hoisting trusses, or stick building on a two story ...
amazing what you can do when you're hungry. It's also worth the price of a
ticket to see the last one on top come down after that last sheet of roof
decking is nailed in place.
Visit the truss company and discuss the job. Before taking the order, they
will produce a drawing and have you sign it, to cover their ass. Get plenty
of overhang. It doesn't cost much and will help keep the building from
The designer will be happy to discuss all options. Storage is easy, but
usually takes a little beefing up, especially of the lower chord.
GET THREE PRICES, if possible. I see up to 25% variation around here.
Also, if there is adequate access to the site, hire a crane operator and a
couple of friends. You can set the trusses in less than an hour on a
building that size with a crane there to lift them up. A crane for an hour
plus drive time may only run $300 or so. Have the gable ends sheeted before
the crane arrives, and have some lineal tubafor on hand to brace the trusses
(rat runs) For the inital bracing, i usually cut some tubafor blocks 25
1/2" long if the trusses are 24 O.C.
and nail these from truss to truss as they are being set. They will hold
until the rat runs are installed and sheeting put on. Hope this
Alright! Thanks guys to all of you. Very much good, useful information. I
was really just wanting to compare prices of trusses compared to cutting
rafters and joists. I wanted to see if I should ask for 20 footers, 22
footers or what. I have the pricing for the lumber to do the rafters and
joists way. Now I'll call the truss place and try to get a ballpark from
them. Time wise I know trusses would rule. Weather is a major contributing
factor here too, so....
Also, Wilson, I'm afraid getting different prices would be next to
impossible. There's only the one truss manufacturer in the town he lives in,
The next closest ones are about 75 miles away. I don't think there would be
a big enough price difference to make up the trucking fee. Although, I'll
give it a shot, I have been known to be wrong.
And Dave, I've got friends to give me a hand and I also have a couple that
have a backhoe or two, so getting them up there shouldn't be a problem. But
you bring up a good point about the pieces of tubafour cut to length. Where
would you nail these pieces? On top of the header? Slightly below the peak?
And yes it helps immensely! Once again, thanks to all you guys! And my old
man will appreciate it too, I'm sure!!!
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