Avoid These Mistakes When Using Timber Roof Trusses for Your Home

31 May 2017
 Categories: , Blog

If you're having a new home built, you might consider the use of timber roof trusses. These are large beams of wood, often constructed in a triangle shape, which are then typically left exposed. They're used in place of standard roof rafters and studs and offer a rustic or majestic look. If you're thinking of including timber roof trusses in your new home design, note a few mistakes you want to avoid so you know your home will look its best and so you know what's included in their use.

Load-bearing walls and other support

Timber trusses are often chosen because they're strong enough to hold up the weight of a home without requiring the support of load-bearing walls underneath them. However, be sure you talk to your home builder about the need for any such walls; if you want a completely open floor plan in the home, the builder may need to use more trusses or larger trusses than planned.

Also, never remove any walls under the roof trusses or make other structural changes to the home until you've consulted with the builder or an engineer. It can be a costly and dangerous mistake to assume that the roof trusses will always hold the weight of the home no matter the changes you make to its footprint, as those trusses may still need some added support from the home's framework.

Incorrectly sized beams

While timber roof trusses are very strong and durable, they will come in different beam sizes, and each is meant to hold up various weights. Using undersized beams can mean that your home doesn't have enough support for the frame, and oversized beams can simply be a waste of money. Your contractor will usually recommend a certain size beam for the home you want to build, but if you're building your own home, be sure you note the correct size of beam needed, and don't assume that timber trusses are all equally strong and durable.

Not controlling humidity in the home

Timber roof trusses are very dense, which is why they're so strong, so they don't typically absorb moisture as quickly as other wood products. However, you still want to keep the home free of excess moisture, and especially if you live in the tropics, near a beach, or in any area with high humidity levels. Over time, that excess humidity can be absorbed by the timber, causing it to require more sealant and other treatments. Keep the home well-ventilated and free of humidity in order to ensure the beams last as long as possible.