Truss Department

The roof trusses are huge and unwieldy. We couldn’t realistically haul them from ground level straight up to the roof, so we moved them twice: from the ground to a second-floor staging area, then from the staging area to the roof. This sequence created a sort of Catch-22: we had to leave two second-floor walls unbuilt to stage the roof trusses, but we couldn’t raise any more trusses until all the walls were up to support them.

A tall stack of roof trusses on the second floor, all moved there manually.

A tall stack of roof trusses on the second floor, all moved there manually.

With so many restrictions, our only option was to stage ALL the remaining trusses this morning, lifting them one by one to the second floor and stacking them 17 high in a corner as out of the way as possible. Moving every truss was seriously labor-intensive and got everybody good and sweaty. Then we built those last two walls, then we turned our attention back to the gable ends.

Terry plumbs and fastens the last two walls. Note the open stairwell below his ladder.

Terry plumbs and fastens the last two walls. Note the open stairwell below his ladder.

Prep work for raising those trusses lasted most of the day. We were conscious to avoid the abyss of an open stairwell, which added to the complexity of our prep work. At various times we paved over the hole with temporary lumber and plywood, built a fence around it, or just watched our step. The truss prep tasks have become familiar: we glued and nailed 16-inch-wide plywood around the perimeter walls, built more gable-end ladders, put each end truss on a scaffold, and sheathed it while it was still accessible.

Similar to last week, the fruits of our labor only became visible late in the afternoon, when we flipped up the gable end followed by as many trusses as possible. We continually modified our lateral bracing: subsequent trusses interfered with our rope and lumber, but they also provided increasing stability to the gable end as we connected them all together. What’s left are the partial trusses in the juncture of the house’s “T” shape. We had a powwow at day’s end, and I think Terry came up with a good method for this tricky next step.

Colin braces the trusses while Carson and Terry hold the gable end steady.

Colin braces the trusses while Carson and Terry hold the gable end steady.

The latest front view. Camel's Hump is framed between the buildings.

The latest front view. Camel’s Hump is framed between the buildings.

We’ve been lucky with wind so far, but Wednesday looks blustery… an extra incentive to finish raising the trusses ASAP and get some plywood on for stability.

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