I built my two storey extension for 20% of builder's quotes

This site shows how - step by step from design to completion

Installing Roof Trusses by Hand

I would be fitting pre-made trusses rather than cutting my own roof. The planners stipulated that the new roof should be lower than the main house. However, I was very keen to make it as close as possible.

roof_measureI screwed together a couple of bits of scrap wood so I could accurately measure the vertical height.

(Pretend you haven't seen my dodgy ladder arrangement)

Having measured as accurately as I was able, I went back to my CAD plans.

I drew my intended design to offer to the truss manufacturers.













pulley_systemThe plans showed the position of the central steel I fitted and how I wanted the cantilever on roof A. Also it detailed how I wanted the eaves and the raised ceiling tie on roof C.

I submitted my CAD plans to several truss manufacturers for a quote. 

I received drawings in return, but it took a few emails and calls back and fore to tweak things.

Everyone seems a little confused by the small breakfront I made to the wall, so a few changes were needed to ensure the apex of the two main roofs would be central over the brickwork.

The truss design had details of spacing, bracing etc.

Once I took the plunge and placed the order for the trusses, I set about preparing my Wallace and Gromit style plan for lifting them into place.

truss_trialI didn't want to pay for a crane, so I used ropes, pulleys, and scraps timber fixed to the scaffold tower with G cramps. Muscle power would then do the job - I hoped.

I didn't know if my contraption would take the weight of a truss or whether it would be too heavy to hoist up on a rope. I didn't want to have one of my trusses crash to the ground, so I quickly screwed together some scrap timber to make a dummy truss to practice with.

Wow - it seemed to work!


temporary_bracingTemporary bracing with my favoured G cramps followed by screws and timber held everything in place temporarily.

I shifted the trusses slightly so they all lined up nicely then fitted the bracing as per the design.

I fixed each truss to the wall plates with galvanised truss clips.

It was a big relief once the trusses were in place and secure.



bracingIt was an even bigger relief that they fitted because there isn't much you can do to a pre-made truss if it doesn't!

I had had some sleepless nights thinking through the truss designs and plotting my lifting contraption. In the end the job to get the trusses in place was remarkably quick and pain free.