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Framing Tricky Truss Roofs

Speed productions with trusses made for hips and valleys

Over three-quarters of the roofs on new homes in the United States are built with trusses. For gable roofs, you simply need lots of the same kind of truss. For roofs that include hips and valleys, however, you may need trusses in dozens of different configurations. Paul Johnson and Nathan Young, building contractors in Portland, Ore., explain in this article their process of installing trusses for a house with a complex roof. They stress that before the trusses even arrive at the job site, it's important to make a plan for delivery that ensures that there is adequate space for the delivery truck and that identifies the spot where the trusses will be unloaded. The truss company includes a plan with the truss package that should be followed carefully. The builder, however, will need to decide where to start. Johnson and Young usually begin with a girder truss, then proceed with the installation in sections. They provide guidance for installing blocking, stick-framing certain areas, shopping for a truss supplier, and modifying a truss. A color-coded photo illustrates the types of trusses Johnson and Young used on one project: hip, girder, jack, and valley.

Framing Tricky Truss Roofs

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