Whether you’re building a garage, a cabin, or a house, roof trusses can save you a lot of time and money. Here’s what you need to know about how to properly install roof trusses, no matter what you’re building.
What Are the Benefits of Installing Manufactured Roof Trusses?
Manufactured roof trusses have many advantages during the construction process. Here’s a look at a few of them:
Compared to their roof rafter counterparts, roof trusses are much more cost-effective and easier to install, making them a great DIY project. Generally, roof trusses can cost 30-50% less than framing your roof on site.
Manufactured trusses are made in a controlled environment with advanced software and technology, leaving minimal room for error. Precision is important in order for all components to fit properly, and installing manufactured trusses is the best way to ensure that quality.
Roof trusses are very quick to install, sometimes allowing you to get a job that would otherwise take weeks, done in just days or even hours! Many roof truss packages come with instructions to guide you through the process. This can save you a lot of time, money, and energy.
6 Steps for Installing Roof Trusses Safely and Effectively
In most cases, manufactured roof trusses can be installed within just one day. However, if you’re new to the process, it may be a bit of a learning curve. In these six steps, we’ll explain how to install a roof truss safely and effectively.
1. Be Informed, Prepared, and Safe
As with any construction project, it’s important to make sure you have all the knowledge, materials, and safety equipment before you begin working (and if you’re reading this, you’re off to a good start!). Here are some construction safety best practices to keep in mind:
- Make sure your ladder is grounded and steady
- Don’t work alone
- Wear rubber-soled shoes with good traction
- Wait for calm, dry weather
- Wear a hard hat
2. Mark Roof Truss Positions
Once you’re ready to install, get started by marking the wall plates in positions you plan to put your trusses. Usually, trusses are spaced about 2 feet apart on the center. Remember to do this on the wall plates on both sides.
3. Lift and Temporarily Brace the First Roof Truss
Either manually or with a crane, lift the first truss and place it on the roof in the vertical plane, so it aligns with the end of the rafter diagonal bracing. Temporarily brace the first truss to both corresponding wall plates.
4. Lift and Temporarily Brace Other Trusses
Lift the second truss and temporarily brace it back to the first truss with horizontal bracing along the rafters and ceiling tie members. Both of the trusses should be vertical. Repeat this process with the rest of the trusses, temporarily bracing them to whichever truss came previously.
5. Fix Permanent Braces and Remove Temporary Bracing
Once all trusses are set and temporarily braced, fix permanent diagonal bracing to each of the rafters at 45°. Do this by nailing them to the wall plate, fixed as high on the first truss as possible while also leaving room for the apex longitudinal brace later on. Then, fix longitudinal bracing to the remaining rafters, struts, and ceiling ties. Temporary bracing is then unnecessary and can be removed.
6. Double Check Vertical Alignment
Your roof trusses should now be erected and securely braced, but there’s one last step before you’re finished. Double check that all of the trusses are aligned vertically, and that they aren’t bowing out of their vertical planes.
After that, you can stand back, take a look at your work, and pat yourself on the back for a job well done!
If you’re starting a new project and are planning to install roof trusses, choose roof trusses from Zeeland Lumber & Supply. Manufactured in a controlled facility by our truss and panel experts, our roof trusses deliver reliable, solid, and durable construction. For more information, give our team a call at (888) 772-2119 or contact us online today.