6 Tips for Creating Strong Trusses
Trusses add beauty to a space, but they also perform a functional job. If you are putting in new trusses and you want them to hold as much weight as possible, there are a few ideas you may want to explore. You can also use some of these ideas to reinforce and strengthen existing trusses.
1. Use Quality Timber
Whether you're putting in new trusses or adding to existing trusses, you should always try to use high-quality timber. Always use whole pieces of timber, rather than chipboard that has been pressed together out of different types of timber. Also, make sure that the timber you're using is seasoned, dried and treated as needed.
2. Reinforce With Steel
In some cases, you may want to depart from just using wood, and you may want to reinforce your trusses with steel. You can line entire trusses with metal or you can simply use metal plates for extra stability at places where pieces of wood meet.
3. Put a Beam in the Middle
When thinking about the design of your trusses, you may want to choose something with a beam running down the centre. In this position, a beam gives extra stability to all the smaller truss pieces attached to the side. Aesthetically, a beam can also provide a bit of symmetry and help draw the eye to the highest point in the ceiling to create the illusion of extra space.
4. Add Ceiling Joists Attached to the Wall
If you're strengthening existing trusses, you may want to add ceiling joists attached to the wall. This design brings in the stability from the wall, providing extra strength in that way. You may also want to run poles from the walls to your existing header, just below the truss cords.
5. Use Angles to Your Advantage
In most cases, trusses with a lot of angled boards positioned in their centre have more stability than trusses with wide-open designs in their centre. If possible, opt for a design that features embedded triangles or other angles to increase the strength.
6. Talk With a Professional
Although they have been used in construction for centuries, trusses are still hard to understand, and the best choice varies widely depending on your needs. To truly get the strongest trusses possible, you should talk with a truss supplier. They can help you narrow in on the right design based on the loads you want your trusses to hold.