Building An Addition: A Homeowner's Guide

Determining What Your Building Needs To Support The Roof Style You Chose

by Toni Richards

When you are building a home, garage, commercial building, or shed, support for the roof is critical to the design. If the roof is not supported properly, the weight can bow out the walls, or worse, cause the entire building to collapse. There are different styles of trusses that can be used on different roof types and the materials used are varied. Consider talking with a building engineer to determine your needs and have the trusses constructed by a company that specializes in making them.

The Purpose of Trusses

Trusses are one of the most important parts of your building. They have several purposes but primarily they are designed to hold the roof of the building up. They sit on top of the supporting walls of the building and tie the walls together, keeping them from bowing in or out and supporting the plywood and roofing material as well. Without a strong truss, the roof would not be able to support any weight and would collapse into the building, causing catastrophic damage to the structure and potentially injuring anyone inside at the time.

Engineered Trusses

An engineered truss is one that has been developed by an engineer and takes into consideration the load on the roof, the weight of the materials sitting on the roof, and the span that the truss will have to cross. Often a truss is used in a building to avoid the use of supporting columns in the center of the span. In order for this to work, the engineer needs to design a truss that is made up of a series of triangles running at the proper angles to become stronger as the roof or truss is loaded. When done properly, the roof and trusses can carry huge amounts of weight without damage to the building.

Materials Used in Truss Construction

While there are many strong materials used in the construction of a truss, steel and wood are the most popular. The strength of steel is beneficial in some cases but it comes at the cost of weight. Wooden trusses are lighter than steel but may not be able to carry the load that steel can. There are a lot of things to consider before determining what your trusses need to be made from. Alternatively, composite materials and laminated wood are becoming popular because the rated strength is higher while being lighter than standard materials. The results are very good and the cost is often lower than traditional materials as well.

Trusses Orders For Your Building

When it is time to order your trusses, contact the company you want to use and explain what your requirements are. Most truss companies have an engineer on site to help design your trusses and ensure that they do the job for you. If you have a blueprint or design that has the truss specifications already outlined, the engineer will review them with you. Once they are determined to be safe and effective for your building, they will build your trusses and get them out to the site for you.

For more information, contact local professionals like Campbell Truss Company Inc.

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