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Old 07-23-2012, 12:37 PM   #1
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Internal replacement of truss roof with stick roof


I've got a roof frame 84" high, 175" long, and 240" wide made of W trusses. I'd like to replace it with a stick roof frame by carrying the boards up there and nailing them into place.

More specifically: the 240" width has a load bearing dividing wall (it is two rooms underneath) such that the horizontal span is 120".

The hypotenuse of 120" and 84" is 12.2 feet.

using awc.org I calculated the maximum horizontal span of a 2x8 at 11.3 ft (which is greater than 120").

I propose to nail 2x8's to the existing 2x4 truss going up the diagonal. At the top I would like to use some kind of steel nail plate like the trusses use to connect the two boards. At the bottom they will rest on the load bearing wall plate.

There is coincidentally room for the 2x8's because the 2x4 truss was built with 2 2x4's strapped together at the base (strapped vertically so as to make a virtual 2x8 I suppose).

I would like to do this myself, without jacking up the roof. I don't have enough money to pay someone, although I would pay an engineer if I could be assured the engineer could come up with a solution that I could do internally, in the manner I've described, without jacking up the roof or involving a crane, etc.

Goal budget is $1500. Lumber and tools estimated around $800.

Goal result is to CUT out the old 2x4 vertical supports in order to create a living or storage space (uniform building code says it must be a storage space, but with 2x6 joists it will meet living requirements).

1) Can I do this? Has anyone else done it?

2) Stick framing requires a ridge board (header), but truss framing doesn't. Why?

3) Can I install a ridge board as 2' sections in between the existing 2x4 trusses, rather than running it the entire length of the roof (which would require jacking up the roof)

4) Do I require an engineer?

5) Will the engineer solve the problem or just tell me it can't be done and charge me $500?

6) How about I don't apply for a permit and just do it? The county inspectors would never know the difference as it is all internal.

7) I've looked at the uniform building code, which says that a stick frame with 2x8 rafters and 2x6 joists would be sufficient. Given that I am retrospectivelly building that why do I need an engineer-- it is standard roof framing, no?

8) Assuming as in this case that the roof is already held together with OSB on top, what is the purpose of a ridge board / header?

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Old 07-23-2012, 12:39 PM   #2
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Internal replacement of truss roof with stick roof


I'll try to attach some images
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Old 07-23-2012, 01:22 PM   #3
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Internal replacement of truss roof with stick roof


This is not gonna happen. Also, 11.3' is GREATER than 120"

How do you know that the dividing wall is a bearing wall? Not every wall can support loading. Engineer will probably laugh at the notion of what you describe.

The correct way to do this, is to remove all existing trusses and sheathing, Install new suitable rafters and a ridge beam, sheath, shingle.
Depending on where you live, a 2x8 will not be suitable due to insulation issues
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Old 07-23-2012, 01:52 PM   #4
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Internal replacement of truss roof with stick roof


Quote:
Originally Posted by jdelaute View Post
.

what is the purpose of a ridge board / header?
The ridge board is there to enable the rafters to be brought to the same height, and to facilitate construction. Theoretically you could do without one, as the ridge does not serve any direct structural purpose. If you try to build a roof without a ridge,though, it will end up as bent as a dog's hind leg. Trusses don't need a ridge as they are factory-made to precise measurements.

Aside from this, you can't really build a sound roof from the inside out. I know this is a DIY site, and many contributors kick off when someone says "get an engineer in". But although many jobs are DIY-able from the labouring aspect, you really need professional advice to size structural members, advise on construction methods and check that you are not compromising the original stucture.

Last edited by tony.g; 07-23-2012 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 07-23-2012, 05:11 PM   #5
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Internal replacement of truss roof with stick roof


Quote:
Originally Posted by jdelaute View Post
I've got a roof frame 84" high, 175" long, and 240" wide made of W trusses. I'd like to replace it with a stick roof frame by carrying the boards up there and nailing them into place.

More specifically: the 240" width has a load bearing dividing wall (it is two rooms underneath) such that the horizontal span is 120".

The hypotenuse of 120" and 84" is 12.2 feet.

using awc.org I calculated the maximum horizontal span of a 2x8 at 11.3 ft (which is greater than 120").

I propose to nail 2x8's to the existing 2x4 truss going up the diagonal. At the top I would like to use some kind of steel nail plate like the trusses use to connect the two boards. At the bottom they will rest on the load bearing wall plate.

There is coincidentally room for the 2x8's because the 2x4 truss was built with 2 2x4's strapped together at the base (strapped vertically so as to make a virtual 2x8 I suppose).

I would like to do this myself, without jacking up the roof. I don't have enough money to pay someone, although I would pay an engineer if I could be assured the engineer could come up with a solution that I could do internally, in the manner I've described, without jacking up the roof or involving a crane, etc.

Goal budget is $1500. Lumber and tools estimated around $800.

Goal result is to CUT out the old 2x4 vertical supports in order to create a living or storage space (uniform building code says it must be a storage space, but with 2x6 joists it will meet living requirements).

1) Can I do this? Has anyone else done it?

2) Stick framing requires a ridge board (header), but truss framing doesn't. Why?

3) Can I install a ridge board as 2' sections in between the existing 2x4 trusses, rather than running it the entire length of the roof (which would require jacking up the roof)

4) Do I require an engineer?

5) Will the engineer solve the problem or just tell me it can't be done and charge me $500?

6) How about I don't apply for a permit and just do it? The county inspectors would never know the difference as it is all internal.

7) I've looked at the uniform building code, which says that a stick frame with 2x8 rafters and 2x6 joists would be sufficient. Given that I am retrospectivelly building that why do I need an engineer-- it is standard roof framing, no?

8) Assuming as in this case that the roof is already held together with OSB on top, what is the purpose of a ridge board / header?
This has to be the worst post ever on this forum.You deserve no help at all. Anyone who attempts to help you is just as bad as you are.
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Old 07-24-2012, 01:24 AM   #6
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Internal replacement of truss roof with stick roof


I am not an expert on the subject but it is my understanding that it is completely forbidden to cut or alter trusses. YOu would never get a permit to do such work, and you could void your home owner's insurance, collapse your house, threaten the safety of the occupants, and make the residence unsellable.
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:59 AM   #7
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Internal replacement of truss roof with stick roof


What you are proposeing is not entirely out of the realm of being done. Just not as easy as you may think.
As others have said get an architect/structural engineer to spec what needs to be done.
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:23 PM   #8
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Internal replacement of truss roof with stick roof


Quote:
Originally Posted by sixeightten View Post
This is not gonna happen. Also, 11.3' is GREATER than 120"

How do you know that the dividing wall is a bearing wall? Not every wall can support loading. Engineer will probably laugh at the notion of what you describe.

The correct way to do this, is to remove all existing trusses and sheathing, Install new suitable rafters and a ridge beam, sheath, shingle.
Depending on where you live, a 2x8 will not be suitable due to insulation issues
Thanks for the feedback

a) please explain why this is not gonna happen

b) 11.3' is greater than 120" yes, if the limiting engineered horizontal span of the board is 11.3 feet, but the actual physical span is 10 feet, then the board will hold the weight.

c) by 'correct' I believe you mean the standard way to do it. what I am looking for is whether an alternative is feasible or not and what problems might come up.

d) what insulation issues might make the 2x8 unsuitable?
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:25 PM   #9
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Internal replacement of truss roof with stick roof


Quote:
Originally Posted by mae-ling View Post
What you are proposeing is not entirely out of the realm of being done. Just not as easy as you may think.
As others have said get an architect/structural engineer to spec what needs to be done.
Thanks for your reply

If I build such a roof I will have an engineer design it. However, I do not want to take the idea to an engineer, and pay $500 for him to tell me that it cannot be done. I appreciate your thoughts on the feasibility, thank you.
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:30 PM   #10
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Internal replacement of truss roof with stick roof


Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Carola View Post
This has to be the worst post ever on this forum.You deserve no help at all. Anyone who attempts to help you is just as bad as you are.
Thanks for your reply, Joe

Joe the worst posts are the people who go and do it without a permit, not suggest the idea. Suggesting the idea allows a response like yours in case future viewers have such plans.

That being said I do not plan to do this sans permit nor sans engineer. What I would like to avoid are replies telling me that I can hire a contractor, rent a crane, and jack up and/or completely rebuild the roof. I already know that this is possible, so being told about its possibility is not helpful to me.

What I am looking for is opinions and even better information about the feasibility of this.

If you have any constructive thoughts I would appreciate hearing them.

Thanks
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:34 PM   #11
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Internal replacement of truss roof with stick roof


Quote:
Originally Posted by tony.g View Post
The ridge board is there to enable the rafters to be brought to the same height, and to facilitate construction. Theoretically you could do without one, as the ridge does not serve any direct structural purpose. If you try to build a roof without a ridge,though, it will end up as bent as a dog's hind leg. Trusses don't need a ridge as they are factory-made to precise measurements.

Aside from this, you can't really build a sound roof from the inside out. I know this is a DIY site, and many contributors kick off when someone says "get an engineer in". But although many jobs are DIY-able from the labouring aspect, you really need professional advice to size structural members, advise on construction methods and check that you are not compromising the original stucture.
Thanks for your reply,

I appreciate your thoughts on the ridge board.

Can you please elaborate on why a sound roof cannot be built from the inside out?

My goal is to find out feasibility. I don't mind being told to seek an engineer, but do mind paying an engineer a lot of money to tell me that it can't be done. Its like going to the doctor when you're sick and having the dock tell you that you're sick, and that will be $130. I need a doctor that will heal me, or in this case, an engineer who can make it happen.
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:40 PM   #12
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Internal replacement of truss roof with stick roof


Quote:
Originally Posted by sixeightten View Post
How do you know that the dividing wall is a bearing wall? Not every wall can support loading.
I believe this is a load bearing wall because the vertical strut of that truss sits above the dividing wall for the bedrooms. The dividing wall runs down into the basement. Underneath it in the basement is a long beam running the length of the load bearing wall. The beam is held up by steel jacks that sit on poured concrete slabs.
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:46 PM   #13
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Internal replacement of truss roof with stick roof


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Originally Posted by jdelaute View Post
I do not want to take the idea to an engineer, and pay $500 for him to tell me that it cannot be done. .
Mae-ling has a point; what you have suggested is not impossible, but would be difficult.
If you go to an SE, by default they will probably say "no, can't be done". What they will really be saying is that they don't want to take the risk of putting their name to anything non-typical, which you can understand.

Another problem you will be faced with is that the SE will not want to be answering the phone to you every 5 minutes if you have a query on this or that, and you will be very much on your own. Don't expect an engineer to give you full details of all the joints and fixings, or the order of work, either. Once you've paid the bill, they won't want to know.

If you feel confident to do the job, and have the skills and tools, then
almost anything is possible. If you have doubts, leave well alone.
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Old 07-24-2012, 03:13 PM   #14
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Internal replacement of truss roof with stick roof


From what I am seeing is you would need to take the roof off just above the top plate so you could get the rafters inside. That part of the roof would need to be taken off to be able to nail the heel of the rafter to the top plate. I don't know how you would get earth quake and hurricane strapping to the rafters and joists.

You would have problems finding a place to stand to install the ceiling joists and rafters, also you would need to move the insulation to install the ceiling joists. You would need to be very careful not to loosen your sheet rock on the ceiling below also.

A ceiling that low and no more insulation than can be put in the rafters it is going to get hot and cold up there unless you go with a sealed blown styrofoam ceiling, that is if you were planning to make living quarters up there. You will need more than 2X6 floor joists also, even if they did hold up there would be way more bounce than you would want.

Where would you run your duct work for AC and heat?

Usually the side walls in an attic would be a minimum of 48 inches, with a 20 foot span and with a 7/12 pitch that doesn't leave much for a room up there.

I am not trying to be negative or discourage you in anyway, just throwing out a few things to think about.
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:36 PM   #15
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Those look like they may be engineered trusses, the wall may or may not be load bearing.
In order to put a floor up there you may need load bearing walls and/or engineered floor joists.

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