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Roof Trusses – History and Information!

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Houston_Roofing_RepairRoof trusses are considered as the most important component and key engineering system in a building. They serve a critical function and their design depends on various factors and is generally left to professionals to determine what is appropriate. Conventional trusses consist of a frame that has been fabricated from wood or steel, forming a sequence of connected triangles to produce a stable structure. Since this system supports the decking, sheathing, and other materials of a roof; it is important to learn some basic information and history about this important structural element.

History

It all started in Pompano Beach, Florida, when A. Carroll Sanford invented this system by connecting triangulated lumber with galvanized steel gusset plates. It resulted from an investigation of plywood gusset plates and the consolidation of glue, nails, screws, and staples from which trusses were developed. Its configuration has not changed over time; however, the components, lifespan, price, and safety features have been altered. When the effectiveness of this engineered system was discovered, the intent was for this invention to be patented. This move marked the beginning of the invention of the truss. Across the globe in any type of building construction, whether it is a home, apartment, or commercial building, infrastructure trusses are widely used.

In the early 1960’s, prefabricated roofing trusses were developed, consisting of a multi-nail plate connection which can be easily mass produced along with a wooden frame. Both of these components are bolted together to form the system. The design was improved to have clear-spanning to provide a larger space and more open room to cater to heavier loads. This method has been proven to be cost-effective, quick to fabricate, less labor-intensive, and less material required to manufacture.

Modern Layout

Unlike earlier construction when this structure had to be done by human labor, thanks to technological advances, the fabrication, design and manufacturing is computerized. With the use of the computer, this structure can be easily configured into different shapes and sizes to match any type of roofing design.

Construction engineers generally design the style of the roof before deciding what type of framing must be created to support it. Engineering principles and building codes are taken into consideration as well as the type of materials, stress conditions, ceiling, wind, snow, and other types of extraordinary loads this structure may need to hold. All of this information is then entered into the computer. A printed copy of the drawing will then be produced with all the details and specifications which will become the basis of the construction project.

Quickly and easily the computer will specify the type, dimensions, wood species, lumber size, and grade of wood. Furthermore, the computer will accurately specify the gauge, size and orientation of metal plates as well as the strength and exact placement of permanent bolting.

Truss Types

There are two types of trussing designs utilized when building a home: pitched and flat. A pitched design is easily recognized by its triangular shape formed by a web and chord configuration. This is commonly seen at almost any construction site. The flat design is determined by the combination of a parallel top and bottom chords. Both types have their advantages and disadvantages and the decision to use one or the other is generally based on aesthetic and structural purposes.

It is imperative to determine the types and designs of the trusses when remodeling a home so that it will suit the appearance and function of the entire system. The key advantage to using this type of system is that it is less expensive, able to be made to order, has accurate sizing, and is quick and easy to install. When bolted together in the right position, these trusses will form a strong structural support.

Ordering – Specifications

It is critical to learn and specify the correct design, type, measurement, and other aspects when using a prefabricated frame. Failure to provide the precise specifications can result in weak and inefficient building construction. Basic specifications include the span, type, number, overhang length, design load, end-cut, slope, overall height and bearing width.

Any building can use trusses for the framing of its roof. These are triangularly shaped wooden or metal structures used to support the entire roofing system. This type of framing system is very common because of its many advantages in terms of structural support. For any type of roofing repair or remodeling job, it is worth learning the history of this structure along with other basic information in order to discuss this project with the professionals who will perform the job to help in choosing the proper design for the best outcome.

Hopefully all of the above history and information about trusses has been interesting as well as provided important facts about this very important structural element!

If you are looking for a Houston roofing repair contractor who knows about trusses, contact Schulte Roofing of Navasota. They offer professional services to the greater Houston area and can help in the repair or replacement of any Houston roof!

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1 comment

  1. I like that you said one advantage of using a pitched truss is that it is less expensive. My brother wants to build himself a shed but he didn’t know he couldn’t build the truss himself. I’ll pass this information onto him, and he can start looking for a business that builds trusses.

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