Advantages of Using Trusses Over Stick Framing

Numerous reasons come to mind when thinking about why one would use trusses over stick framing.  In no particular order, here are my thoughts:

Engineered product:  Trusses are designed with the use of truss design software to analyze the lumber and plates to resist the loading called out for the particular structure.  Trusses are sealed by a Professional Engineer in the state where the trusses are erected, who has earned the title from an accredited university.  This offers a piece of mind that your roof and floor structure has been thoroughly analyzed. Stick framing’s engineer is the carpenter.

Design Flexibility: Trusses offer engineers and architects greater flexibility in the design of a particular structure.  Due to the fact that trusses can clear span much larger distances than stick framing, the need for interior bearing locations can be significantly reduced.  Floor trusses give the builder the ability to run duct work, wiring, and plumbing through the trusses.  Additionally, the truss profiles that can be created with trusses allow for some very unique structures that may not be possible or very costly with a stick framed application.

1Manufactured Product: Once trusses have been designed they are manufactured in truss plants under controlled environments.  Chords and webs are assembled to precise tolerances and quality standards. They are followed up with Quality Control procedures established by the Truss Plate Institute (TPI).

Less job site waste: Building with trusses will create less wood job site waste than stick framing. Additionally, the environment will have less of a carbon footprint from trusses.

Cost Effective: Building with trusses will save you time and money on your project.  This was investigated in a project called “Framing the American Dream®”.  It was a project sponsored by the WTCA, individual component manufacturers, supplier companies, and the Building Systems Council of NAHB, featured two 2,600 square-foot homes built simultaneously.  At the end of the project it was found that using both trusses and wall panels resulted in a 16% savings in total labor and material costs.  If you look at the results in more detail you can see that you will pay more the trusses as compared to the lumber package, but the labor savings is where the biggest difference comes in.  The following link will get to the detailed results for this project http://www.sbcindustry.com/fad.php.

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Trusses and truss systems in general have come a long way since their first wide-spread use in building.  This is mainly due to the technological innovation that the software enables. Trusses provide a cost-effective, engineered and manufactured product that will pay great dividends on your next building project. Why would you consider using anything else?

Bill Hoover

Gould Design, Inc.