How to Set a Truss Without a Crane: Tips and Tricks From the Pros on Building a Roof
Thursday, July 7, 2022

Hey, friends, it's a windy day here in beautiful West Grove, Pennsylvania. Our team has the pumpjack system outside the screen perimeter and ports we've worked on. The trusses were delivered here a couple of days ago. The guys are doing the finishing touches, and it's coming together.

I'll show you some of the essential pieces when you're setting trusses. One of the things that we really liked to have is these steel truss spacers. And they're designed so that you can nail that first one on, open it up, and put the next chord in there.

Then the guys right now are working on installing the hurricane straps. We've been working on this project to ensure everything's tied down well and tight. There are two different styles that we liked. This is a twist strap. You put one side on the beam and the other side up on the rafter. In this case, the truss locks everything together.

And this is the style I really liked. And I prefer these, but where the mending plates are on the trusses, these wouldn't fit in there nicely. And they were hitting some different things. So we weren't able to use this.

Once we had our layout done, the very first thing that we did was we cut these sections two by four so the new structure in the old structure tied together continuously. We want that 16-inch center spacing continuous, so we don't have a weird short piece of plywood. If you don't think that through, you will waste materials.

So step one was to get that measurement figured out, add marks across the beams, and get the spacers tagged into the house, so we have something to tie that first trust to. Once that first trust was in, we could switch to the metal steel truss spacers I showed you. And then it's just a matter of bringing them in upside down across here, flipping, and rotating them up. When this project was all said and done, we took this two by four in from the end before we put the gable truss on the house's plywood.

You really need to check the trust manufacturer and the instructions they provide to see what will be the requirement in your application for how this is set up. Of course, if this was freestanding and we weren't tying into the existing house, we would have to be much more aggressive with our initial bracing to help hold things.

So you can see the screen and start coming together in the gable artery in this vaulted ceiling. So that's gonna be pretty.

Those hurricane straps are really gonna help hold things down. So we're bringing the dresses down to the top of the beams. We've got the beams bolted down. We showed you the all-thread in the last video that runs down through the ease and into the footers. It anchors this whole system to the ground. To help prevent any kind of wind uplift should we ever have a tornado or severe weather situation come through this area. And in a job like this, the pump jacks are absolutely invaluable.

We can just attach this right to the bottom of our beams and get just high enough that the guys can work efficiently and safely and not have a bunch of ladders all strung up in different places. So when you've got the space (and not every job you have the space), but when you have it, the pump Jacks really do an excellent job of making it easy for the guys to get done. They need to get done.

So what we're gonna be working on next now that the trusses are installed, we will add the fascia boards to the rafter tails on the side. We'll add our rake boards up and over the peak here at the front and strip the other roof. We will pull up some of the plywood and interlace our plywood from the new roof. There'll be one continuous color. You won't have two different colored shingles in that area.

Still, we'll cover that in a different video to give you an idea of what goes into setting trusses and getting everything set up nice.

This blog is part of a series.