Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How does a truss work?
A: A truss is a frame that supports loads by efficiently transferring its forces to end supports through a triangulated design. This means only the exterior walls are load-bearing, leaving interior spaces completely open for freedom of design.
Q: Strength-wise, what is the difference between conventional framing and trusses? Isn’t conventional framing just as strong?
A: It should be, but how do you know? Trusses are designed with 2 to 3 times the design load. They are calculated and tested to perform at that level. The conventional framing depends on how good the carpenter in charge of the framing is.
Q: Is it ok to cut a truss in the field?
A: Structural members of a truss should never be field cut without proper field repair engineering from the truss manufacturer. Non-structural members, such as overhangs or filler bottom chords may be cut as long as they do not interfere with the structural integrity of the truss.
Q: Are trusses cheaper?
A: Simply comparing cost of dimensional lumber to cost of trusses, trusses are more expensive. However, when you factor in the cost of skilled labor required to cut and install rafters, plus the savings trusses provide by allowing more insulation to be installed, trusses are often the more cost-effective route.