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I have a 900 square foot outbuilding. It's like a detached garage, with concrete block walls and no ceiling. The roof is held up by trusses. Unfortunately, it looks like the builder didn't go first-class. The trusses are about 24" apart, and the chords are two-by-fours, not two-by-sixes. They are 30 feet long.



I'm considering attaching drywall to the chords so I can have air conditioning, but I don't know if chords this flimsy are strong enough for drywall. Is there a way to find out without hiring professionals? I am not required to have a permit here, and I can save about two grand.
 

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retired framer
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I have a 900 square foot outbuilding. It's like a detached garage, with concrete block walls and no ceiling. The roof is held up by trusses. Unfortunately, it looks like the builder didn't go first-class. The trusses are about 24" apart, and the chords are two-by-fours, not two-by-sixes. They are 30 feet long.



I'm considering attaching drywall to the chords so I can have air conditioning, but I don't know if chords this flimsy are strong enough for drywall. Is there a way to find out without hiring professionals? I am not required to have a permit here, and I can save about two grand.
I would suspect you are good with 5/8" drywall but the name of the truss company should be on the trusses, give them a call.
I have never seen trusses with more than 2x4s unless there is a room built into them. And that would not be 2x6
 

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retired framer
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Do the trusses have any stamps on them? Manufacturer should be able to tell you but you’re likely fine. As stated above, trusses are almost universally 2x4 in residential construction.
I think if weight was limited, they would have stamped that on the bottom cord. I have never seen any that could not carry a ceiling.
 

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I am surprised to learn that most trusses are so small. My old garage had two-by-sixes that were closer together. I hung a hoist from them and lifted things weighing over 500 pounds. This is the only thing I miss about that house.
 

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retired framer
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I am surprised to learn that most trusses are so small. My old garage had two-by-sixes that were closer together. I hung a hoist from them and lifted things weighing over 500 pounds. This is the only thing I miss about that house.
The may have been built for a storage floor in them. Don't lift engines with them, it is the joiners that you could pull apart and then you have really weakened them.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
There was no room for a storage floor.


Roofs have to be very strong in Miami because of the hurricane problem. For example, they have to have straps that hold them down. They also have no vents at the top. People from farther north have argued with me about this, but it's true. No vents.



I was able to lift a lot with the trusses because they were very strong and I could distribute the force over three of them.



Regarding drywall, I'm wondering what I'm supposed to do when I get to the walls. Do people seal the gaps between the drywall and the concrete with some kind of product?
 

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retired framer
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The trusses rest on the concrete.



The roof is probably vented. It's in northern Florida.
Then you probably want to check for soffet and upper vents. :wink2:
Yeah just caulk the edges to the concrete. How are they attached. We always have a sill plate bolted down to nail them to.
 
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