Friday we topped out. As we flipped up our first roof truss on the east side, we saw for the first time the full height of this new house. From the walk-out basement up, it’s a dizzying 40 feet to the roof peak, but from the front it looks very well-proportioned.
Getting those trusses up required a lot of prep work. First we glued 16-inch-wide strips of plywood atop the second-floor walls. They stick out toward the interior and will eventually provide support for our drywall… plus they provide a convenient work platform. I cut lumber for the “ladders” that will support the roof overhang on the gable ends, and Colin and Carson nailed the ladders together. Meanwhile, Terry and Turner set up a scaffold to support the end truss flat atop the second-floor walls, and they installed sheathing and Typar on the truss exterior while it was still accessible.
All five of us worked together to tip the gable-end truss vertical. We took apart most of the scaffold to support the triangular truss only at its peak and its bottom edge. We looped a rope around one gable-end ladder and tied the other end through a second-floor window opening. Then we got in position: Terry and Carson atop the walls at two corners, Colin and me below the peak. We lifted and rotated the truss a little at a time, with Turner feeding us longer and longer 2x6s to prop up the peak: from 10 feet to 12 feet, to 14 feet, to 16 feet. When the truss was nearly vertical, Turner held the rope taut to prevent overturning as the rest of us made the final push. Nailed it, braced it, and we were done.
Interior trusses, with no ladders or sheathing, went up much faster. Basically we hung each one upside-down atop the second-floor walls and then flipped it up in just two moves. Our main concern was how to maintain a steady supply of trusses on the second floor yet keep them out of the way of our work. Making space for ourselves will grow more and more challenging as we complete the roof trusses.