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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the roof frame of a small (25'-4" span) vacation home I am cooking up for someone, the q on the table is whether to use trusses or sticks.

For me, doing the design, trusses are the first way to consider, whenever vaulted ceilings are in play, and so I sketched out an arrangement whereby part is sticked, the rest being trusses.

See the pics here which show the house, and its proposed hybrid roof frame.

In the sketch of the frame, the only part sticked is the 5-pair set of rafters in the foreground. Using trusses, no structural ridges are needed, along with no need to do the post and beam (headers) down from the ridges.

To do the job 100 percent site-cut from lumber and LVLs, we will probably see a total material cost slightly less than this way. Our labor, however, will be higher.

We'll figure both ways. That ridge, BTW, is up about 29 feet from grade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
It'll need to be more than a "ridgeboard," Steve. We've a 90 psf ground snow load here. But thanks for your comment.

As for "quality," I'm not sure I know what you mean? What "quality" does a stickframed roof have that a trussed one doesn't? Let's assume both have been engineered by the same gal, and both are framed by her sister and her professional framing crew. Sis gangcuts her rafters with a chainsaw, and cuts all her stick roof kits beginning the moment the mainfloor deck is snapped out. She prefers to do all her figuring by using her grandfather's framing square, but keeps a calculator in her bags anyhow.
 

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If I had my choice to do it either way I prefer stick framing, I guess it's the carpenter in me. Every time I priced trusses on a custom home they cost more than stick framing (including labor & materials), maybe that has changed or is different in your area.

I agree with Steve with regards to quality, not only actual quality of the project but the perceived quality, especially when the trusses are 24"oc.

Although trusses are made in a "controlled" environment I have never had a job where there were no issues with twisted or bowed cords which needed to be worked around, and the plans always had the trusses on 24" centers to save $$$. That said I have not done a trussed roof in ten years or more, maybe the quality is better now.

Bill
 

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getting a lid on the job take priority every time around here. An extra week of time spent on dry-in ads up to more than just labor costs of some carpenters. Time is money and around these parts winter comes early and stays late.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Two questions I gotta ask, BillD. And thanks for your input.

Who is perceiving what here, as things relate to "quality?" The inspector doing the structural check-out? The engineer? The owner? Whoever is going to apply the interior finishes? The roofer? What exactly is seen when the house is finished and ready for move-in?

And who is stick-framing rafters at less than 24 centers, when 24 will do nicely? We've some very large palaces here with all hand-framed roofs, and all done with 24" centers.

I should have qualified this thread question and said it's a business thing. Money and time. A tradesman who can cut and stack a roof will always say he prefers stick over frame, and cite all his reasons why. Can't say as I blame him or her. But let's talk about the business of building.

Badly-done roof frames done both ways are sagging and failing. On the other hand, well-executed ones are holding up just fine, built with sticks and built with trusses.

One thing we get with a trussed roof, we cannot get with sticks, is that when we sprayfoam the underside (the preferred way here for insulating), building up to a minimum 7" thickness, we completely bury the top truss chords, and thus eliminate much of the thermal bridging we see in roof insulation. We have a 9000 degree-day winter heating season, and a drive around town after some of the early snowfalls, can show you a lot of rafters transmitting the heat right through the decks and melting the snow.
 

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First and foremost, you asked "would u". Therefore I gave an answer based upon my experience in my area and I made note of the fact it may be different where you are.

Quality;
In my experience the buyer/potential buyer in a lot of cases has commented to me on the use of trusses and associates them with lower quality. That perception may be wrong but that has been my experience, as well as what I said about twisted and bowed cords I have had to deal with.

24" centers;
No one around here stick frames anything on 24" centers, other than Toll or Pulte maybe and I'm not positive about them. The only time I ever stick framed anything on any centers other than 16" was in the early 80's and that was 19.2" oc for a builder who only cared about the $$$ and nothing else.

quote; "Every time I priced trusses on a custom home they cost more than stick framing (including labor & materials), maybe that has changed or is different in your area." I believe this addresses your money and time comment.

If you already know trusses are cheaper and you get better insulation (the way you do it there) then truss it. Why ask your question then get on people when they respond with their opinion?


Bill
 

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Ah... a long ongoing fire barrel argument. Stick built vs. truss.
My personal opinion, I'm with Bill and Steve on this. I think the 16"o/c makes for a more solid decking area. Yeah, you can put trusses at 16 o/c, eliminate that sag in between, or per line blocks on a 24 for that matter. But I'm all for rafters and ridge poles.
Now that being said, In your case Upnorth, with the heavy snow loads and the vaulted ceilings, trusses would probably be more feasible here. But why not incorporate the screened in porch roof into the trusses as well?
 

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my area has snow loads from 40#to 320# p.s.f so each home i build has a flavor of it's own. i usually use trusses for the 40 to 80 psf homes and stick frame the others.have used 1 3/4" versa lam rafters at 16" o.c. with 3/4" t&g plywood for roof sheeting to meet the 320psf. it is fun to frame with 4x12 rafters and 8x24 ridge boards. the main problem i have with trusses is that they are easily comprimised in a fire. the benefit of trusses is the long spans without interior bearing. i feel more satisfaction from a hand stacked roof than any truss roof i've done. i think anyone with a hammer and 1/2 a brain can build a truss roof home. not much craftmanship in trusses.
 

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not much craftmanship in trusses.
Can you calculate the deflections and load attributes and specify the necessary connecting plates and grade the lumber etc etc etc? It's all about liability. Trusses take the guessing out of the equation and places the liability upon engineers. Are engineers craftsmen? They are pretty crafty! Burn rates and collapse time is determined by controlled testing not experiential testimonies and educated guesses of "craftsmen"
 

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Can you calculate the deflections and load attributes and specify the necessary connecting plates and grade the lumber etc etc etc? It's all about liability. Trusses take the guessing out of the equation and places the liability upon engineers. Are engineers craftsmen? They are pretty crafty! Burn rates and collapse time is determined by controlled testing not experiential testimonies and educated guesses of "craftsmen"

Every time a question of stick vs. trusses comes up, I wonder what world all of you are in.

We haven't had a stick house in years, except for the million plus houses with all the funny roofs.

I have been involved in framing in excess of 1000 house over the previous 13 yrs.
Trusses allow us to use nonskilled labor to set. Rafters hand cut is becoming a lost skill set, at least where I live.
Burn rates? Funny a framer should even think about this. That is a question for a higher pay grade, ie. engeneers architects.

Gene, the way you are describing is what I am familiar with!
Might be the less than 2 1/2 hr distance between!!:thumbsup:
 

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There was an ad on CL last week in my area for a carpenter that could cut hip rafters and jack rafters. It said the house frame was "done" except for the roof. :no:
 

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Every time a question of stick vs. trusses comes up, I wonder what world all of you are in.
[/QUOTE]

Can you explain that? Are you saying that what world we live in for stick framing roofs? I've been framing for 26 years now and can count on one hand how many times I've used trusses for a house. Are you trying to figure out what world I'm from, or all the Architects that are drawing the houses that I frame from that are stick built?
 

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Can you explain that? Are you saying that what world we live in for stick framing roofs? I've been framing for 26 years now and can count on one hand how many times I've used trusses for a house. Are you trying to figure out what world I'm from, or all the Architects that are drawing the houses that I frame from that are stick built?[/quote]

I have framed lots of houses, and in the last 15 years I have seen 2 times that the architich specified rafters instead of trusses.
I just don't believe that there are that many houses being built in the US with rafters instead of trusses.

I am old enough to have cut lots of rafters and I am glad with the quality of the new help that the market has gone to trusses.:no:

As far as people above talking about 2' centers for trusses, I have installed lots of trusses at 16" centers.
I think that 5/8 ply or 5/8 osb would cure any sagging between 2' center rafters or trusses.:thumbsup:
 

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Every time a question of stick vs. trusses comes up, I wonder what world all of you are in.

We haven't had a stick house in years, except for the million plus houses with all the funny roofs.

I have been involved in framing in excess of 1000 house over the previous 13 yrs.
Trusses allow us to use nonskilled labor to set. Rafters hand cut is becoming a lost skill set, at least where I live.
Every time the debate comes up, I wonder why people get their panties in such a bunch over something that is such a retarded debate. It's like saying

"I like apples"

and someone else comes along and says

"Oranges are much better, no one eats apples any more"

Burn rates? Funny a framer should even think about this. That is a question for a higher pay grade, ie. engeneers architects.
That's a question for anyone who cares enough about what they love to do.

Architects and engineers don't make that much money. Maybe the business owner does.
 

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Can you explain that? Are you saying that what world we live in for stick framing roofs? I've been framing for 26 years now and can count on one hand how many times I've used trusses for a house. Are you trying to figure out what world I'm from, or all the Architects that are drawing the houses that I frame from that are stick built?

I have framed lots of houses, and in the last 15 years I have seen 2 times that the architich specified rafters instead of trusses.
I just don't believe that there are that many houses being built in the US with rafters instead of trusses.

I am old enough to have cut lots of rafters and I am glad with the quality of the new help that the market has gone to trusses.:no:

As far as people above talking about 2' centers for trusses, I have installed lots of trusses at 16" centers.
I think that 5/8 ply or 5/8 osb would cure any sagging between 2' center rafters or trusses.:thumbsup:
Well, you've met one framer here (Me)that has framed a handful of trusses in 26 years. Evey single house and addition I framed are stick framed, so believe that it's still being done. I find it as hard to believe that there isn't stick framing going on and many framers can't stick frame. Not saying you can't but from coming onto these forums, there are many guys who only use trusses and can't really stick frame. I find that unbelievable.
 

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Gene,

Nice job with the drawings. I really like that from a framers perspective.

You know I prefer to stick, but if I was designing and framing, I would lean a little toward the stick framing, but I am open to trusses.

How long would the ridge be total? Also, have you considered using I-joists for the rafters? You can get the 12" (11 7/8" rafters to span quite far and the bigger flange makes for easy sheathing.

Also, we frame all roofs, stick or truss, 24" oc. That is the norm here.


I can't say that trusses would take less labor for me than stick framing because I've never used trusses like the ones in your picture.

I would love to see what the engineer would spec for rafters and ridge to stick this thing.

Any idea on that ridge beam?
 
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