How to make a roof truss

This article will give you everything you need to know when it comes to all the things that you need to consider when you want to learn how to make a roof truss.

Whether you want to work with metal, and learn how to make steel roof trusses, or whether you want to work with wood and make barn roof trusses, there are things that you need to learn that are essential, not just for selecting the correct material for your roof truss, but also for general construction and roof structuring in general.

Before we talk about how to make roof trusses, whether you want to make roof trusses for a house or whether you want to make them for outbuildings such as a barn, a pole barn, or a garage, we will talk about something that is perhaps even more important than the construction of your roof; that is the legality and regulations surrounding building and construction in your particular area.

We don’t know exactly where you live, and so our advice should be taken only in addition to the consideration of a regulated and qualified expert from your area.

Different places will have different building regulations, and it might be that you aren’t allowed to even make alterations to your roof without the backing of a qualified expert.

However, it is always best to know these things in advance. Even if you are able to do whatever you want with your property, it is best to see an architect or an engineer before you start work.

If you live in a hurricane red zone, with strong winds which might affect your building, then you will have different consideration needs compared to someone who lives in an area with no hurricanes yet has to account for heavy snowfall every year.

So, our final piece of advice before starting is to see a dedicated expert who can help make sure that your alterations or new constructions are in line with health and safety regulations for your area.


How to Make Roof Trusses Part One: The Dimensions

With the caveat that we do not know your area, it is only reasonable first to state what the standard dimensions of a standard roof might look like.

Now, usually a standard roof will have roof trusses that are two inches wide (in construction terms; in actual terms this is actually about one inch and a half instead of two inches, so make sure you are countless in your design) by four inches wide.

This can extend to 2 inches (again in construction terms,) by six inches wide, which is a stronger support and is used when roofs need to survive in heavy snowfall and when there are other live weight forces which might mean that the roof needs to cope with a heavy weight than it would normally be dealt with.

The industry standard is for the roof trusses to be spaced at twenty-four inches apart off centre. That means that from the centre of one piece to the centre of the next piece will be twenty-four inches, or two feet, or about sixty-five centimeters apart.

Now there are some engineers that suggest that you can have them four feet apart, and obviously if you wanted a stronger roof, then you could probably put them even close together-after all, the more support that a roof has, the more stable it will be, generally speaking.

How to Make Roof Trusses Part Two: Things to Bear in Mind

If you want to learn how to make a roof truss stronger, then you need to think about the functionality of the roof truss. The most important things to consider come in threes. Firstly, you want to think about the different pressures that can be put onto your roof. We have divided those into three things.

The first thing that you need to consider is the deadweight of the roof and the structural integrity of the roof. This means that on any given day, you need to understand just how strong your trusses need to be.

The structure of the roof and the structure of the building will account for a lot of this. In the most basic terms, if the roof is to heavy, then the roof truss is only one supporter. This is the basics of the deadweight assessment of your roof.

Secondly, you want to think about the live weight pressures that affect your roofing; for instance, if you have snow on a regular basis, then you your roof will need to be strong enough to possibly support tons more than it would when it comes to deadweight.

If you have rain, then you will have another set of pressures that are wrapped into the considerations upon your roof.

Instead of thinking about how to make your roof truss stronger, you might want to think about how you can make the drainage in the clearance of your roof more flush.

After all, if a system is designed to take a ton of pressure, and it is routinely subjected to threat under pressure, it doesn’t matter how well structured the roof trusses are, they will eventually fail. If you can find a way to drain your roof in a more efficient manner, then this is all the better.

When it comes to natural forces impacting upon your roofing, then perhaps the most overlooked aspect  tends to be the wind and air pressure that you will come under. If you live in a hurricane area, then you will know without doubt how important is to account for the power of the wind when it comes to building a roof.

Every year, there are severe hurricanes which rip off people’s roofs. Even if you don’t live in such a horrifying area, you will find that due to the surrounding buildings and the lay of the land, there is still the potential for the wind to cause damage or at least have an effect on your roofing over time.

The more roofing that you need, the more this will affect you. If you have a large building, then the wind will have an impact upon you more than if you have a smaller building.

Alarm – which brings us onto our next point. You need to know the width of your building before you even think about designing roof trusses.

If you get the roof trusses wrong, then they won’t support your building. If the apex of the building is not in the middle, and that is how it is designed to be, then you will have a nasty shock because eventually the fact that the building is slightly lopsided will mean that there is more pressure on one side of the building and thus the trusses will fail quicker than on the other side of the building.

Also, the width of the building means that you will have to design entirely different trusses anyway-after all, a church won’t have the same kind of trusses as a two-bedroom terraced house, so you might as well do a good job and make sure that you get the correct width of your building right before you think about redesigning or adding to the roof.