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How to Build Roof Trusses

Palmira S Nov 17, 2018
To optimize the available resources and utilize the roof space in your house, it is a good idea to build roof trusses, thereby, adding some extra living space to the house. Read here a brief idea on how to construct roof trusses on your own.
A roof truss, also referred to as a rafter, forms the skeleton of the roof. It carries the weight of the roof deck and the framing, and also supports the walls. It is an essential part of houses having more than two floors.
It carries the static load of the roof, sheathing, roof beams, and ceiling materials (together called the dead load), and also the dynamic load of snow, wind, and all movable furniture of the floor above (referred to as the live load). It also prevents the walls of the house from bending or flexing.
Rafters are usually connected together with tooth-like metal plates made from galvanized metal in a triangular fashion. They are made of materials like aluminum, steel, timber, etc. Wood is most preferred material as for many people it is a symbol of reliability and friendliness. Roof architect and the owner select the building material based on the budget.


Method A:

  • The things required for building rafters are timber, galvanized steel truss plates, saw, hammer, nails, and galvanized screws of 1½ inches.
  • Cut the timber as per the size of the roof, keeping in mind the local building standards.
  • The thickness of the timber depends on the weight it has to support. Timber of size 2 x 6 and 2 x 8 is mostly preferred.
  • Galvanized steel connector plates are used to hold the timber together. The timber is connected in a triangular fashion, and is bolted with screws that are at least 1½ inches long.
  • Add a brace of size 2 x 4, that dissects the center of the timber. For rafters having load bearing function, add a support at 90 degree angle from the bottom of center.
  • Attach trusses to the frame, leaving an appropriate overhang, the amount of which is usually decided by the architect, depending upon the size of the house and the pitch of the roof.
  • Attach the trusses at a distance of 2 feet and secure them with 3-inch desk screws.
  • For final support, sheath the roof trusses.

Method B:

  • Metal can also be used for the construction of a rafter. It can be aluminum, tin, or even steel.
  • Cut the material according to the size of the truss. Use this as a pattern for cutting other pieces.
  • Cut the steel gussets. This will indicate the number of nails required and also the spacing required for the front and back nailing pattern.
  • The gussets are used for connecting a single side of the last truss.
  • Nail down the connections on a solid surface in such a way that they penetrate all the gussets.
  • Lay the framing members and check if they align properly with the truss.
  • Stack all the rafters for installation.
As it is said, the base of the roofing should be strong enough to carry the weight of the apex. Similarly, firmer the rafter, firmer will be the house. By following these steps, you can make your own roof truss strong enough to carry the heaviest of weight.