Day Two at Steve’s: Setting Trusses

If you did not read last Friday’s blog – go back and catch up.  This one will make more sense!

Since the posts for Steve’s new garage were already in place, the worst of the work – playing in the dirt, was out of the way.

Even when I have set my own poles, the first thing at hand was to check the dimensions to make sure all of the posts were in the right locations. The string lines were in place, so I could see the walls were all straight at the base. Off to a good start. When measuring the sidewalls for length, I found one wall was ½” longer than 30’ and the other was 1-1/2” short.

Confounding? Not a bit. This is why I always recommend to frame up the roof first, and then to do the wall framing. As long as the roof is built to the correct dimensions, everything else can be dealt with, and cutting is minimized.

Keep in mind, this building is in the mountains of Eastern Tennessee. And it is July. Although I probably do not need to say more, the week we picked for construction set records for the hottest days ever in the history of the Knoxville area. One day we had 105 degree temperatures, and the humidity was running at about the same pace.

Next up: setting trusses. Jake (my oldest step-son), was put in charge of measuring and cutting all of the notches for the trusses. With a 12’ eave height, this put the bottom of the notches for the interior double trusses at 11’ 5-15/16” above grade (the bottom of the 2×8 pressure treated splash plank).

While the notches were being cut, I marked the purlin locations for the joist hangers and moved the 30’ trusses into place. The trusses were in Steve’s front yard, so it was just a matter of dragging each of them the 100 feet or so within the outline of the building, where my wife assisted by nailing all of the hangers on.

At 180 or so pounds each, dragging them was not so bad. Setting trusses means first getting them up into position. Lifting them up by hand, in the heat and humidity was not as fun. We walked the first one up two ladders and got it into place, being careful to brace both sides as it was then the wind finally decided to blow softly.  Even with light winds, these large unwieldy trusses can easily tip over.  Not safe –mostly for us standing underneath them!  We then decided to get smarter and get equipment for lifting the rest of them. We all agreed the cost was well worth the electric cage type lift to hoist the trusses into place.

Tomorrow – on to the roof!

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