A roof truss is a load carrying, spanning member made of wood components (usually 2x material), connected together with metal plates or plywood (gussets).
Trusses are designed as a package, fabricated according to state laws and engineered as part of their manufacture. Calculation of truss deflections is usually with the virtual work method with an additional factor "S" added for the plate slip or nail slip at each joint.
Visit our Truss Gallery for a more in-depth look at some of the more common truss designs used in our plansets.
Calculate your roof snow load for common trussses, rafters or attic trusses with our Snow Load Calculator. Rafters with Ceiling Joists are often used for smaller roof spans or widths, typically less than 16 ft, due to greater economy. Each rafter spans from the bearing wall to the ridge board at the roof peak, half the distance between the two walls, and are sized per the building code for span, spacing, load, slope, wood species and grade. Nearly four out of five new homes built in America use manufactured roof trusses to frame the roof.
Less costly than stick roof framing because they are made of shorter lengths of two by four stock as opposed to the larger framing members required of conventional rafter and ceiling framing. Trusses can be designed for nearly any ceiling or roof combination required in modern custom homes.
Trusses can usually be erected in one day, reducing the amount of time the inside of the new home is exposed to outside weather conditions. Web supports are utilized to hold the top chord in the proper position, at intermediary points from the peak to the bearing point.
Metal gussets are used everywhere the web supports and king post intersect the top and bottom chord as well as at the bearing point. Tail of the truss is used to make the eave or overhang and provides a way to attach soffit and fascia. Attic Trusses give you a second floor without having the added labor and expense of building one. Attic Trusses cost more than regular Trusses but they will save you the expense of constructing and siding a second story. Another advantage of using attic Trusses is the reduction in property taxes since you home will only be one story.
If you do go with attic Trusses, you must specify what you will be using the second story for. Make sure that your house is built wide enough to ensure adequate space for your second floor. Therefore the total rise of the roof would be 8' and it would sit 8' above the exterior wall height at its peak. Now that you have decided on the type and pitch of your Roof Trusses, its time to contact you manufacturer and order the Roof Trusses.
You should contact the truss manufacturer early on in the building process and inquire as to the turn around time from the time the order is placed to the time of delivery. Plan on receiving them while you're still in the process of building your walls, so they will be ready to install as soon as you are. The truss manufacturer will need to know the span of your house, the amount of overhang on either side of the house, the distance between Trusses, and the type of gable end you will need. If you are using Attic Trusses as a second floor, you may want a window at on the end wall of the second floor. Be sure to mention to them that you would like the Gable ends or the Trusses you will use as Gable ends, to be stacked at the top of the stack, in order for you to have access to them prior to installation.
Be sure that the 18 wheeler delivering the Trusses will be able to access the spot to drop them. Drop the Trusses close enough to the house for the boom truck to have access to both the Trusses and the house, and to have ample space to maneuver them. This would also be a good time to shop around for a boom truck and operator, to set the Trusses. Making Houses Work » Blog Archive » What is bow-roof construction and what can I build with this design?
Bow-roof sheds are free-standing arched frames that are easy to build, light-weight and low cost.
Although bow-roof sheds are typically just storage space, they may also serve as heated living space.
These Gothic arches provide enough strength to allow you to use lightweight, affordable materials and to get creative with your design. I don’t know of anyone who builds bow-roofs in Alaska, but I imagine any building contractor could do it.


Many people building a bow roof shed have come across various arch bending issues such as snapped boards or uneven arches that relax and deform after coming off the build forms.
Double check your Hurricane Ties making sure they are secured to the top plate and all are lining up in the right direction.
The Boom truck operator should be quite accurate at aiming the Gable End at the proper spot on the wall.
As soon as the Gable End is over the end of the house, guide it over the cap plate, and hold it in place while guiding the operator while he lowers the Truss. If your overhangs aren't the same throughout, you will end up with an undulating fascia along the length of the house. Once you have identified the exact overhang measurement, keep it for the remainder of the Trusses.When you are satisfied with the placement of the Gable End, nail it down to the Hurricane Ties. Once the Truss is secured to the Hurricane Ties, Nail the spacers to both the Gable End and the Truss. Nail one end of a piece of strapping to the outside of the Gable End, and the other to the outside of the first Truss.
Once all spacers are in place, remove the Boom line and repeat this process for all Roof Trusses. Once all Trusses are in place make sure that the Gable end is still plumb, continue to attach spacers and temporary strapping to the exterior of the Trusses, along the entire roof system. The successful design of bridges, trestles, and tunnels along the transcontinental route was critical for the railroad to function. Existing bridge design was incapable of supporting the stress of the heavy loads concentrated over the axles of a train. In the Sierra Nevada range, track raised on trestles hugged steep cliffs, making it possible to build a railroad through the mountainous Donner Pass.
Here a bed had been literally chiselled from the granite slope so sheer that laborers, yellow and white, were suspended by ropes while they hacked, drilled and blasted, 2500 feet above the rushing American River. Both the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific railroads used William Howe's patented truss design.
The railroad companies first built temporary wooden trestles and bridges that they later replaced with more durable and permanent iron structures. About fifty miles northeast of Sacramento, the Central Pacific built the Dry Creek Bridge in four forty-five-and-one-half-foot wooden spans.
The 1860s were a transitional time for tunneling technology, bringing new equipment and methods to a laborious process. Instead of using steam power to dig its tunnels, the Central Pacific Railroad relied on the muscle of men wielding hammers and chisels to make the holes into which blasting powder was packed.
The work force that chiseled through the Sierra Nevada granite was composed mainly of Chinese immigrant workers who had arrived in California during the 1850s seeking to profit from the gold rush.
The tunnels along the Central Pacific line conquered the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range while the bridges and trestles built by the Union Pacific crossed chasms.
This type of truss carries a combination of Roof (Lr or S) and Floor (L) loading in addition to the standard top and bottom chord Dead loads. Advantages of Prefabricated Trusses Trusses span longer distances and eliminate the need for inside load bearing walls.
The Common Roof Truss The common truss can be recognized by its triangular shape and will make up the bulk of any new home truss package. If that is the case then, you will need to two additional Attic Trusses in place of Gable Ends. Common materials can be used in new ways to make a wide range of structures, from tool sheds to insulated cabins. The free-standing frame allows covering with any sort of roofing, including plastic sheeting. The 1-by-3-inch strips, cut to match the width of the bow-roof shed, are bent around these blocks.
The floor, end walls and roof could be insulated using conventional techniques; just be sure to use an inside vapor barrier and provide air ventilation under the roofing if you are building in a cold climate such as Fairbanks. I’m going to build a bow roof shed but plan to make laminated arches using thin plywood. The structures also lacked the flexibility needed to traverse acute curves and abrupt changes in grade. Trestles, one of which was eleven hundred feet long, hugged the precipitous sides of Cape Horn.
Steadily making height, the iron trail bored on past the storied mining camps of Gold Run, Red Dog, You Bet, Little York, startling the echoes with raucous blasts of the panting iron-train, signalling civilization's advance. The Central Pacific's American River Bridge and the Union Pacific's bridge over the Missouri River, on either end of the transcontinental railroad, were examples of the use of Howe's truss.


It was the iconic rickety wooden bridge of the American Western movie, tall and narrow, with impossibly rangy and willowy-looking piers. This accomplishment seems insignificant when compared to the fifteen tunnels dug by the Central Pacific through the seemingly insurmountable Sierra Nevadas. Despite the changes, news of the Massachusetts Hoosac Tunnel project may have influenced Superintendant James H. During that winter of 1867, forty-four storms brought record snows, with a total accumulation of forty feet. After Theodore Judah surveyed the high mountain chain for a route for the railroad, he traveled from the West Coast to the East by taking a steamer to the Isthmus of Panama and then overland to take another steamer to New York. The ceiling joist acts as a tension tie to keep the rafters from splaying out under load and also creates a ceiling surface.
The use of trusses enable the general contractor to construct homes that have more complex roof and ceiling designs with greater speed and accuracy. The end walls are typically framed in with conventional vertical studs, although you can use almost any material since they don’t hold up the arch.
They crossed rivers, canyons, through mountains, and over dry gullies that would wash with water during rain and spring snowmelt. New designs were needed to accommodate heavier and faster locomotives that would replace forms of transport like oxen and horses. For the railroad, the truss bridge was reinvented and constantly improved upon, from its overall design to the design of its separate members.
Although trains had to reduce their speed considerably to cross a long wooden bridge or trestle, the important thing was to get the trains moving to collect revenue that would pay for new and improved bridges. The late 1850s and early 1860s saw the passing of numerous local and state laws that discouraged companies from hiring Chinese.
In the early 1860s, this convoluted route was the most efficient means of travel between the coasts of what has become the contiguous United States. I’m thinking of gluing up the different layers but have not decided which type of adhesive to use. Engineers for both railroads faced dangers and endured environmental extremes on a scale that no railroad builder had yet faced.
Bridges designed for the transcontinental railway kept road grade at an inclination that allowed trains to ascend and descend hills at a safe rate of speed. 6, was at an elevation of 7,000 feet and was the longest tunnel built, cutting through approximately 1,750 feet of solid granite.
Indeed, Central Pacific officials initially balked at hiring Chinese workers because of prejudiced attitudes and a feeling that their slight statures were not suited for the demanding work of building railroads.
The tunnels of the Central Pacific, along with the Union Pacific's trestles and bridges, opened a faster, safer route for moving freight and people over land. Our living room and dining room are open concept but the dining room has a regular ceiling.
While I could use epoxy resin I think waterproof glue or contact cement would be equally useful (and inexpensive) especially if the individual boards are also screwed together as well. Its downward thrust required fewer substantial support members than the horizontal thrust of an arch bridge would have needed.
Howe's design made it possible for the competing railroads to build bridges and trestles quickly and out of readily available materials in order to get the trains moving and bringing in revenue.
An unreliable white workforce, however, forced Strobridge's hand and he agreed to employ Chinese workers in early 1867.
Because it was built of small members joined together it could be manufactured off-site and constructed by a relatively unskilled work force. By incorporating metal into his design, Howe's invention made it possible for the railroads to build with unseasoned wood. The replacement workers proved so capable that the stunning masonry support of a portion of the railroad was named the Chinese Wall, an artifact of the original construction that remains intact more than 150 years later. I’m going to make a small shed to stow my 15 foot human powered watercraft over the winter. Iron bridge members could be adjusted to accommodate the shrinkage or warping of the wood as it aged.



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