If you are wondering how to build a roof truss, this article will show you how. Building a roof truss is not complicated but it does take some planning and careful execution. In fact, the simple roof trusses to build are often the best ones to use.
A roof built with a truss is always much stronger than any other type of roof because a roof truss is designed for strength, to withstand the various forces placing pressure on a roof structure.
All trusses are simply a triangular support designed to support a peaked structure, your roof. A truss has three beams, each called a chord. The horizontal beam is called a bottom chord and two angled beams are called top chords. Each chord is fastened together with a gusset, or a brace of either plywood, flakeboard or metal braces.
Step 1 – Measure
Measure the width of the building you intend to build and cut a 2-by-4 to this measurement, or 1 foot longer than this measurement if you want a 6-inch overhang on each side. Use a power saw to cut the 2-by-4. For a home roof truss, use at least a 2-by-6 board.
Step 2 – Lay and arrange
Lay the 2-by-4 on the ground, and arrange two more 2-by-4 boards to form the peak of your truss. Use a compass to set the proper angle and a tape measure to measure the length of each board.
Step 3 – Cut the boards
Cut the two boards at the proper angle so they lay flush together at the top of the truss and flush to the horizontal beam, on a miter saw. Most roofs measure between 25 and 45 degrees in angle slope; for a common shed roof, 30 degrees is suitable. Use this measurement if you have no other reason to build them at a different angle.
Fasten the boards together at their edges. Set metal plate braces (also called mending plates) across the two boards and pound them into the boards with a tamping tool or sledge hammer. This compresses the plates into the wood. Fasten the plates with wood screws and a power screwdriver.
Step 5 – Measure and cut angle braces
Measure and cut two angle braces, and a vertical brace to fit between the angled beams and the horizontal beams. Use a miter saw for this part.
Step 6 – Fasten angle braces
Fasten the angle braces to the truss with metal mending plates and wood screws.
Repeat the process to form your remaining trusses. There are many different types of trusses, this truss is called a queen post truss and it is ideal for buildings up to 22 feet wide.