Roof Truss Installation Methods

Once you’ve framed your walls, it’s time to install the roof trusses. This step can often turn out to be fairly complex, so it’s best to investigate the various roof truss installation methods and use the one that seems most comfortable from your vantage point. Here, we’ll describe one style of roof truss installation that should be fairly quick to complete.

Getting Started with Installation

1) Since trusses come in various sizes and shapes, you should choose the kind that works best for your project. If your roof has an offset area, you will have to install two perpendicular sets of trusses next to each other. When those are set up, the inner trusses will be a ledge for the rest of the trusses to sit on and be installed.

2) As you start, the goal is to place a truss every two feet on center. Before you can do this however, you need to prepare the roof’s top plate. Place two-inch block spaces along the top so that the inner wall and the top plate are flush, which will then allow for the truss ends and the outer wall to sit flush. The trusses will also be able to be secured to the spacers, which can function as nailer blocks.

3) Reference marks should be made every two feet on center, placed around the edge of the top plate. This shows where each truss’s edge will align – use a clear marking scheme such as an ‘x’, because then each truss can sit directly over an ‘x’ without confusion as to which end of the mark the truss should be placed.

Positioning the Trusses

4) If you’re working with an irregular shape, lift the first alcove truss into place upside-down, using a long brace to turn it over and place it into the right position. When this has been secured to the top plate, it will be in place temporarily – later on, it will need to be secured down permanently. This should be continued for all the rest of the trusses along the alcove.

5) The first main truss can be secured to the back wall of the building, getting it in place on the vertical bracing. When carrying the trusses into the building, they should be held upside-down and then lifted up with a long brace. From here they can be turned up the right way and placed easily on top of each wall.

6) Once each truss is positioned in its place, it should be fastened to the top plate using toe-nailing to hold it together securely. After several trusses have been lifted and placed, they should be temporarily secured together using a horizontal brace. This will ensure that they don’t move, and continue to keep their correct alignment.

After the Trusses Are Placed

7) Following the same steps for the rest of the trusses, the roof construction can then be completed when they’re all in place. Plywood sheathing can be attached to all the gable ends – this should be the same kind of sheathing that was used on the walls earlier in the project.

8) Ladder-design structures can then be rigged up to get the necessary roof overhang over each gable. One should be made for each gable section and then fastened into place.

9) Some of the ends of the trusses will still be exposed at this stage, and 2’ x 4’ boards should be secured to their ends to create a sub-fascia. Then the rest of the roof can be covered in plywood sheathing, starting at one corner and using a chalk line to mark on the wood where the roof trusses are located. This will help to show where the sheathing will need to be secured to the trusses after they’ve been covered.