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Thread: Setting 21' roof trusses by myself

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    Setting 21' roof trusses by myself

    I am building a freestanding, double carport (21' wide and 24' deep) with only post and beam side supports (which I have already built - 6x6 posts with a double 2x8 top plate and 45 degree braced with 4x4s). I have ordered (11) 21' 4/12 pitch with 9" overhang (common) trusses which will be delivered tomorrow afternoon. I have gusetimated their weight to be manageable (about 100 pounds or so) by myself.

    My plan (so far) is to construct a temporary back "wall" (out of 2x4s between the back posts) to help support the far end "gable" truss (with the help of a temporary brace to the ground) to keep it plumb and secure. Once that truss is in place, then adding the rest should be fairly easy (famous last words).

    The following Youtube video is the basis for my plan but I may skip the rope idea (since detaching it from the truss peak seems like a PITA - the video left that part out) and just make a longer "push and flip" (Y stick) to hold the truss upright (temporarily) if it is not too windy. The top of side beams are only about 8' off the ground (at the highest point) so working off of ladders only (no scaffolding) should work OK.



    If anyone has done this (or something close to it) before then I would appreciate any helpful advice. If you never hear from me again then something went very wrong.
    Last edited by ttwtt78640; 06-25-19 at 11:08 AM.
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    Re: Setting 21' roof trusses by myself

    I’m thinking that hiring some help for the duration of setting the trusses wouldn’t be a bad idea!
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    Re: Setting 21' roof trusses by myself

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    I am building a freestanding, double carport (21' wide and 24' deep) with only post and beam side supports (which I have already built - 6x6 posts with a double 2x8 top plate and 45 degree braced with 4x4s). I have ordered (11) 21' 4/12 pitch with 9" overhang (common) trusses which will be delivered tomorrow afternoon. I have gusetimated their weight to be manageable (about 100 pounds or so) by myself.

    My plan (so far) is to construct a temporary back "wall" (out of 2x4s between the back posts) to help support the far end "gable" truss (with the help of a temporary brace to the ground) to keep it plumb and secure. Once that truss is in place, then adding the rest should be fairly easy (famous last words).

    The following Youtube video is the basis for my plan but I may skip the rope idea (since detaching it from the truss peak seems like a PITA - the video left that part out) and just make a longer "push and flip" (Y stick) to hold the truss upright (temporarily) if it is not too windy. The top of side beams are only about 8' off the ground (at the highest point) so working off of ladders only (no scaffolding) should work OK.



    If anyone has done this (or something close to it) before then I would appreciate any helpful advice. If you never hear from me again then something went very wrong.
    I’ve built a few things solo, and had a few projects that were way too much for a solo job. You said you are getting 11 trusses to cover 24’. One front and one rear leaves you with 9 trusses to cover approx. 24’, what spacing are you using? 24”OC is standard, isn’t it?
    “Everyone appreciates your honesty, until you are honest with them. Then you are an asshole. ” - George Carlin
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    Re: Setting 21' roof trusses by myself

    Quote Originally Posted by Rexedgar View Post
    I’m thinking that hiring some help for the duration of setting the trusses wouldn’t be a bad idea!
    I had considered that but unless I had (at least) two other trustworthy people too help me or I rented a lifting device (like an all terrain fork lift - or tractor with forks on the bucket) and had one helper capable of operating it then it would cost me too much (i bid this job fairly tightly for a long-term, repeat customer).

    Usually, I do all the high work by myself and only use a helper to hand me stuff from the ground to save me (and thus my customer) loads of time running up and down a ladder. I will do that for the last phase of installing the (16) 3'x12' metal roofing panels on the trusses/purlins.

    My best guess is that it will take me under an hour per truss working by myself (including the time to to properly align and brace them). I don't see the work time being cut anywhere near in half even by using helpers and/or rented lifting equipment but it would cost me at least three times as much.
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    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

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    Re: Setting 21' roof trusses by myself

    Quote Originally Posted by Rexedgar View Post
    I’ve built a few things solo, and had a few projects that were way too much for a solo job. You said you are getting 11 trusses to cover 24’. One front and one rear leaves you with 9 trusses to cover approx. 24’, what spacing are you using? 24”OC is standard, isn’t it?
    Yeah...13 trusses should be correct, unless the ends are going to be stick built...
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    Re: Setting 21' roof trusses by myself

    Quote Originally Posted by Rexedgar View Post
    I’ve built a few things solo, and had a few projects that were way too much for a solo job. You said you are getting 11 trusses to cover 24’. One front and one rear leaves you with 9 trusses to cover approx. 24’, what spacing are you using? 24”OC is standard, isn’t it?
    The side structures are 20' deep (long?) thus 11 trusses 24" on center (OC) will work. To avoid having to use 2x8 front/back beams (adding 7 1/4" of total building height and more cost to the structure) my "gable" trusses are also common trusses (since pre-fab gable trusses both cost more and must sit on a beam/plate for support). I will just set the "gable" trusses back 1 1/2" and scab on some 2x4s flat (24" OC) as nailers for the gable end siding (SmartSide). I am using 2x4s (24" OC) for purlins and adding 2x6 "lookout" rafters to the (overhanging) purlin ends to extend the roof 24" to the front and rear of the gables.
    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

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    Re: Setting 21' roof trusses by myself

    Quote Originally Posted by Airyaman View Post
    Yeah...13 trusses should be correct, unless the ends are going to be stick built...
    I will stick build the (4) "lookout" rafters out of 2x6 to hide (and be supported by) the 2x4 purlin ends. I am also adding 2x6 sub-facia to make the roof edges look better (and to allow easier addition of guttering if later desired). The side "wall" plates are only 20' long but I failed to mention that in the OP - nice catch, BTW.
    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

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    Re: Setting 21' roof trusses by myself

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    The side structures are 20' deep (long?) thus 11 trusses 24" on center (OC) will work. To avoid having to use 2x8 front/back beams (adding 7 1/4" of total building height and more cost to the structure) my "gable" trusses are also common trusses (since pre-fab gable trusses both cost more and must sit on a beam/plate for support). I will just set the "gable" trusses back 1 1/2" and scab on some 2x4s flat (24" OC) as nailers for the gable end siding (SmartSide). I am using 2x4s (24" OC) for purlins and adding 2x6 "lookout" rafters to the (overhanging) purlin ends to extend the roof 24" to the front and rear of the gables.
    I see, I used your first sentence in the OP 21’x24’.
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    Re: Setting 21' roof trusses by myself

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    I will stick build the (4) "lookout" rafters out of 2x6 to hide (and be supported by) the 2x4 purlin ends. I am also adding 2x6 sub-facia to make the roof edges look better (and to allow easier addition of guttering if later desired). The side "wall" plates are only 20' long but I failed to mention that in the OP - nice catch, BTW.
    I had never run across this word. The definition gives me the impression of a one piece beam. If I understand your post correctly, your purlins will be segmented between the rafter joists.

    “a horizontal beam along the length of a roof, resting on a main rafter and supporting the common rafters or boards.” -from dictionary
    “Everyone appreciates your honesty, until you are honest with them. Then you are an asshole. ” - George Carlin
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    Re: Setting 21' roof trusses by myself

    Quote Originally Posted by Rexedgar View Post
    I see, I used your first sentence in the OP 21’x24’.
    Yep, I screwed up and omitted some of my plan details. The 21' number is outside plate to outside plate - the trusses will have 9" of overhang (rafter tails) and 1 1/2" of sub-facia material added which should allow 12' long roofing panels to overhang a bit leaving a gap under the ridge to allow heat to escape. I "cheat" and use corrugated (10 hump) "economy" roofing panels (26" x 8') ripped in half as ridge cap material (15' of ridge cap for about $15). The pre-fab ridge cap material is too expensive (over $25 for 10' pieces). I can create my own ridge cap material for use on this job for $30 (and it only takes few minutes of labor to rip it).

    The overall roofed area will be 24' long (deep?) and about 23' wide with a bit over 84" of height - leaving a tad over 20' parking width between the inside edges of the carport's side support posts. The customer has an F-250 crew cab 4x4 truck (otherwise I could have built it lower).
    Last edited by ttwtt78640; 06-25-19 at 12:37 PM.
    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

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