Roof Truss Spacing Made Simple

A roof truss is a structure that is essential for holding up your home's roof. It is also useful in securing the wall structure in homes with two stories. When building trusses, it is important that you build them correctly, as they form the framework for the top protective layering of your home. Not to worry though, because there are things you can do to make the job of building roof truss frameworks simpler, such as spacing them correctly. Proper spacing makes them easy to install and more stable to hold up your roof and secure your walls.

Follow this guide to ensure the spacing and stability of your DIY roof trusses.

Planning Your Trusses

To determine how many trusses to create, you will first need to measure both the width and length of the structure you are building. The trusses should be a little longer than the exact width to allow for overhang, and you will need enough trusses to mount across the length. Most are spaced between 18-26 inches apart.

Once you've calculated the amount of trusses you will need, you should purchase the lumber.

Putting the Trusses Into Place

When you are ready to work, the first thing you should do is to set the trusses approximately where they should go. To do this safely, you should have at least two people working on the job - though more people are recommended. To make it easier, you should carefully lift the truss upside down so that it can be turned right into place once they are above the roof.

Start on one side of the building structure and set it against the wall. Repeat the process until all the trusses are set in place. Make sure to space trusses approximately the same width apart.

Performing this step on the ground will save you time and energy on the roof, as you will be able to have a crew lift the trusses to you and another crew member. Plus, you will not have to worry about figuring out truss space on the roof. This method is safer and more reliable.

Brace the Second Gable End

Another thing you will need to do is brace the second gable end on the roof and secure it. You do not have to brace all the trusses, just plumb the second gable. However, you will want to have boards that can be used as braces for the tresses. The best size of board to use is 1x4 pieces that are 10 feet long.

After the braces are in place, you will mark the distance from the edge of the building to where you would like to attach your first truss. For instance, if you are spacing your trusses 18 inches apart, make a mark 18 inches from the edge. After the first mark is made, make additional marks every spacing distance down the building (i.e. every 18 inches).

Lift the Trusses

When lifting the trusses carefully on the roof, the easiest way is to have two people hoist it up to two other people. Do one at a time and secure them into place. As you go, make sure that you allow the appropriate overage for the gable on each side.

If you take a few extra steps to measure out the trusses and mark them on the brace, installing them will be much easier and go much quicker.