Will my truss system support me?


Old 09-12-04, 12:29 PM
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Question Will my truss system support me?

I need to do some work in my attic. My attic has Howe Girder type trusses made of 2x4s on 24" centers. I have what looks like 12" of rolled fiberglass insulation on my drywall ceiling between and over the top of the bottom 2x4 of the truss.

I need to inspect my plywood roof sheathing, run some new telephone & eathernet cables, access some ceiling lights to convert wiring to a ceiling fan/light combo, pull insulation back from soffit vents, and install baffles between the trusses.

My questions are how much temporary weight can my truss system support, and how do I move around up there without damaging anything? Is it best to lay 1/2" plywood strips on top of the bottom chord, which will compress the 12" or so of insulation against the drywall ceiling in the 3-1/2" thickness of that bottom chord? How about supporting myself on the diagonal 2x4 that ties the top of the middle vertical support 2x4 to the bottom of the center vertical 2x4? The roof pitch is low enough that I actually could keep myself on these diagonal supports, but I have no idea if they would support more or less weight than the bottom chord...

Thanks much!
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Old 09-12-04, 01:40 PM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Mountain Williams Missouri
Posts: 18,389

We just walk on the bottom 2X4 dont go through the ceiling is all. You can go wireless on the PC just dont have any cordless phones that are 2.5Gh. they turn the pc off on me.

Old 09-12-04, 01:53 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,150
Yes the trusses will support you.
Generally you walk the distance, bringing a 1x12x4' with you to the work area and then folding the insulation out of the way.
Another tool is using a painters extension pole, a lot can be accomplished standing on a ladder, at the access.
If your ceiling lights are only a switch leg, you'll have trouble running the extra conductor for separately functioning the fan and light. You might consider a remote.
Old 09-19-04, 03:03 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
Truss support

Unless you are an enormously large human, you should be able to walk on joists (not between) and do what you have to do. You can lay plywood runners for walking if you feel necessary.

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