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Old 12-14-2008, 12:16 AM   #1
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Cutting manufactured trusses


I have a new detached garage that is just about done being built, and now it's time to do all the wiring and sheet rock and insulation and stuff. So what I have is a new structure with exposed trusses. I would like to have a nice big hole into the attic area, to make it easy to put large objects up there. The trusses are set on 24" centers, and it sure would be nice to have at least a 6'x6' hole in the attic floor.

Now I know you're not really supposed to cut these things... But at the same time I know it can be done safely without compromising the strength of the structure, if it's done right.

Am I crazy?

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Old 12-14-2008, 12:48 AM   #2
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Cutting manufactured trusses


You're crazy.

No, you cannot cut the trusses. Not because of some far-fetched code, but because they will be SEVERELY compromised. You cannot do the same things to trusses that you could do to conventionally framed ceiling and roof structural members.

What you need to do is get your truss company involved. They'll tell you if it is possible to cut an opening, and how to restore the structural integrity back into the trusses you modify. They'll back it up with engineered diagrams that they produce on their proprietary truss manufacturing software. The details are very specific, and must be followed to the letter.

There is no other option for you.

Are the trusses even designed for light attic storage? Many are not.

Hindsight's 20/20, but what happened in the planning stage???

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Old 12-14-2008, 12:55 AM   #3
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Cutting manufactured trusses


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Are the trusses even designed for light attic storage? Many are not.
Yes, that's exactly what they are, light load attic trusses.
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Old 12-14-2008, 01:11 AM   #4
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Cutting manufactured trusses


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Yes, that's exactly what they are, light load attic trusses.
Well then, at least it isn't ALL bad news!
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:56 AM   #5
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Cutting manufactured trusses


How much storage area is really usable due to the members of the trusses? And how large an object can be accomdated? A ~2' access opening may be adequate.

I created storage in a trussed garage that only provided about a 4' high peaked area by about 6' wide down the center. I ran 4x8 plywood the length of the area, leaving about a 5'x2' opening in the middle for access.
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Old 12-14-2008, 12:59 PM   #6
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Cutting manufactured trusses


I've got an 11' wide storage area, 5' high in the center. They're 26' span trusses, 6/12 pitch, 2x6 construction.
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Old 12-14-2008, 01:17 PM   #7
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Cutting manufactured trusses


Regardless, they are trusses, and you CANNOT CUT them. You'll have to find another place to store your stuff.

Build a Shed?
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Old 12-14-2008, 03:17 PM   #8
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Regardless, they are trusses, and you CANNOT CUT them.
What does CANNOT mean? Is there a law? Is the building going to collapse? Will a building inspector reject any and all engineered plans? Will I be struck down by lightening?
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Old 12-14-2008, 04:16 PM   #9
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Cutting manufactured trusses


If the garage is just being built, you cannot cut the trusses since they will not pass the final inspection unless you have an engineered solution. - That is the law and code, which is meant to protect you from the contractor and yourself.

After it is built and passed, you can do what you want, but you may be violating the code and and design, so you are accepting every possible liability and maybe some you do not see. even if it stands a sharp home inspector will see that when you go to sell and will post a "red flag" that can easilt cancel a deal or force to you to reduce the price and/or correct.

Why not just do it right and contact the truss manufacturer for a few options. They see this frequently and could provide a signed design for a reasonable amount. Forum opinions carry no power when it comes to solving a problem you have created.

Maybe you could just have your wife use smaller boxes instead of ones that need a 6 x 6 opening. That is a big hole that attracts attention.
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Old 12-14-2008, 04:33 PM   #10
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Cutting manufactured trusses


"What does CANNOT mean? Is there a law? Is the building going to collapse?"

Cannot means well... Cannot!
Yes the roof or ceiling may collapse which is when the ambulance chasing LAW attorney will appear on behalf of anybody on the roof or below that was injured now or 20 years after you move...

"Will a building inspector reject any and all engineered plans?"

A building inpsector I'm sure will be happy to inspect and approve a modification that is approved by an engineer or the truss mfg. with the correct documentation.


"Will I be struck down by lightening?"

Not if your standing over where those trusses were cut!

Seriosly, now is the time to talk to the builder and see if he can modify it, or the truss mfg to get the certs to do it right. If it is doable, the certs shouldnt cost much and are well worth it.

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Old 12-14-2008, 04:42 PM   #11
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Cutting manufactured trusses


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Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
If the garage is just being built, you cannot cut the trusses since they will not pass the final inspection unless you have an engineered solution.
I'm not touching anything before final inspection... Sheesh

Quote:
Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
Why not just do it right and contact the truss manufacturer for a few options. They see this frequently and could provide a signed design for a reasonable amount. Forum opinions carry no power when it comes to solving a problem you have created.
See, this is why I asked the question. It didn't even occur to me to ask the truss company, which is what I will do

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Cannot means well... Cannot!
Apparently, CANNOT means CAN
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Old 12-14-2008, 04:59 PM   #12
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Cutting manufactured trusses


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What does CANNOT mean?
If you like the idea of having your garage demolished by gravity, and spending the money to build a new one, then you should be allset.
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Old 12-14-2008, 05:06 PM   #13
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Cutting manufactured trusses


Go ahead, cut the trusses. Let us know how it works out, and pictures of the sagging roof and ceiling would be nice too.

The building inspector is the least of your worries if you do this.
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Old 12-14-2008, 05:57 PM   #14
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Cutting manufactured trusses


Quote:
Originally Posted by gp_wa View Post
What does CANNOT mean?
It means that you CANNOT cut the trusses without making some serious changes to the structural integrity of the building.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gp_wa View Post
Is there a law?
Yes, the law of gravity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gp_wa View Post
Is the building going to collapse?
More than likely.
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Old 12-14-2008, 06:14 PM   #15
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Cutting manufactured trusses


I guess this has already been asked,But, what on earth are you putting up there, that needs a 6'x6' opening? if it's that big leave it down stairs! I suppose If you wanted to add a bunch of post & beams down stairs you can cut all the trusses you want. You however would not have much open space down below to get the 6' x6' stuff up stairs.LOL..............

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