How to design Roof Truss layout and related Truss drawings

Published: 22nd June 2009
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Roof trusses are widely used in residential and wood framed commercial projects. A roof truss is usually cost-effective and quick in construction than a roof framed with rafters. A roof truss is crafted from small pieces of lumber; it is then fabricated in a shop and after that set up at the site.

When we start designing a house we first create a truss layout which shows places where trusses will be fit in the roof, anticipated shapes of the top & bottom of the truss, plate heights and estimation of load on the trusses. The builder then gives this layout to its truss supplier. The truss supplier prepares actual design of each individual truss according to our roof design layout. The truss supplier may propose some modifications in the design because they have slightly different preferences to construct the truss using available proprietary software and CAD tools. Truss drawings as prepared by the truss supplier are then sent to the Architect for a review.

The architect forward these drawings to a truss engineer who further examines various parameters such as the size of home, dead/live loads based on geometry, required truss span and roof pitches and give final go ahead for fabrication. The completed truss drawings show precise placement of trusses in the roof structure and precise inter-relation of truss members.

A truss is normally designed to transmit dead and live loads to other members in the structure. With regards to new home construction, a dead load is the burden of static components like the truss itself, roof beams, roofing materials, sheathing and ceiling material. A live load is dynamic in nature, such as wind, snow, furniture, movable loads, etc. Trusses are crafted to prevent flexing and bending and are usually tied together with tooth like metal plates made from galvanized steel or metal.

The common truss contains parallel sides so as to have a nearly same pitch on both sides of a center point. A lot depends on the interior ceiling design and roof pitches of your home when designing a layout for roof truss. Roof truss design allows flexibility to change the interior space as the truss normally be placed on an outside wall, leaving the interior space free for you to design and decorate accordingly. Trusses come in a wide range of designs giving you a creative freedom to change the ceiling design!

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