Trusses are responsible for supporting the weight of your roof while making your walls a bit more stable in the process. This is the reason why a well-made truss is an integral part of any home roofing system. Now, building a truss may prove to be a complex task since you will need some basic math, particularly geometry, mixed with a little physics plus a whole lot of carpentry know how. Here are some tips on how to build your own roof truss however, it is highly recommended to still leave this job to a contractor or carpenter.
- Know your wood needs. Typically, the size and weight of the roof will determine the size of the wood you need. In some cases, it may even dictate the type of wood or timber required as well. Nevertheless, most homes and small buildings will probably require 2 by 6 or 2 by 8 timber as these are the traditional sizes when building a truss. However, it would be best to consult an engineer to get the right sizes for the timber you will need based on the weight it will hope to support.
- Hold segments together. To hold each piece and segment of wood together with others to form the truss, you will want to utilize connecting plates made of galvanized steel. Using these is highly recommended since it will stabilize the foundation of the triangle you will form. Screws that are around 1 and ½ to 2 inches long will be required to secure each segment in place.
- Introduce the braces. Once you form the triangle, you will want to insert braces on each side of the equilateral triangle. These braces will form mini triangles inside the big triangle. In the end, these braces will provide more support for the truss to carry the weight of the roof. You can keep adding more braces as you see fit. Make sure that these braces are in a 90 degree angle from the bottom center to the angled frame at the top for maximum stability.
- Repeat the process. Construct the same frame for the back side of the roof. You will need the same amount of timber, connecting plates, screws, and braces.
- Connect the trusses. Now that you have the frames for your trusses, start connecting them to the frames. At this point, you will want to determine how much overhang you will leave. This is usually dependent on the actual size of the house you are building. Generally, it is a smart move to consult a structural engineer or your architect regarding this issue. In any case, start connecting the trusses every 2 feet to the frame. Use 3 inch screws to secure each truss in place. Deck screws should do the trick here.
Many architects and structural engineers will recommend that you brace the trusses in certain places when connecting them to the frame. The rest of the support will be provided by sheathing. Once everything is set and done, complete your roof and you will now have a fine new roof with trusses and frames providing maximum support.