I was working on a job that had trusses that span more than 78 ft. with a 9/12 pitch. We had the #5 truss being installed when the #4 truss gave way. The trusses that were being installed are a two part system. The bottom set is what you would call hip trusses. The trusses contained 2x6 bottom chords, 2x8 top chords and rafters, and 2x4 webs. The roof sheathing was to be 3/4 in. plywood, 15 lb. felt paper and roof shingles. The ceiling was to be 5/8 in. drywall. The #4 truss sheared about 1 in. off the wall.

As an engineer, I have noticed truss designers in some high wind states routinely using “Main Wind-Force Resisting Systems” wind pressure coefficients as opposed to “Components and Cladding” coefficients to design for wind uplift. A roof truss is not a main wind-force resisting system and would have to have a tributary area of more than 1000 sq. ft. before qualifying for the lower Primary Frame coefficients. In my experience this practice is routine.

We keep having problems with dry wall joints raising on the vaulted bottom chords in the track homes that we are building. The joints run from front to back of the house and the trusses bear on the side walls. The trusses are mostly 2-point bearing (a few in the front and back of the building are tri-bearing). The trusses span 40 ft. and have a 4/12 pitch with a tile roof. Is it common to have dry wall problems as the trusses deflect? How long should the roof be loaded before hanging sheetrock? Should the heel of the truss be allowed to slide out on the top plate?

My framers are always complaining that the “trusses are bad.” I am looking for tolerance information that not only addresses the allowable variance in length and height, but also allowable variation in the top chord with regard to straightness (i.e. how straight should a pull string line from the top and bottom of top chord be?). Also, if trusses are set on a perfectly level wall, what variation is allowed from truss to truss (i.e. if I put a 10 ft. straight edge perpendicular to the trusses, how much can they vary in height, not just at peak or bottom but all along the top chord)?

We would like to know if there is a problem with using wood floor trusses with masonry bearing walls without a ledger. Our local supplier has told me that encasing the wood truss in the masonry wall could be detrimental to the truss due to moisture. What, if any, suggestions do you have for this condition? If a bottom chord bearing is used, do the trusses need fire cuts? The two-story building contains masonry bearing walls with wood trusses on the second floor and wood trusses at the roof.

I need to put a new roof on my single-family dwelling. The house originally had gable and soffit/eave vents. The roofing contractor suggested that we install a ridge vent when new roof is installed. Should the existing gable vents be blocked off or does it not matter? I have read some debates about whether or not the combination of gable and ridge vents substantially reduces the effect of the soffit vents by having the intake now at the gable vents and exhaust at the ridge. Would this type of ventilation affect the truss warranty?

I have been hired by an insurance company to determine the extent of damage to roof trusses exposed to fire. How much fire damage compromises the structural integrity of the truss?

We are planning to add 1/2 in. cement board and 3/8 in. quarry tile to a kitchen floor. We need to know if the floor trusses will handle the additional weight. The floor trusses are 19.2 in. O.C. and the loading numbers are 40-10-0-5. What do these numbers mean?

What is the recommended standard spacing for open-web wood joists? I have seen them placed 24 in. O.C. Is this acceptable for a customer who will have an exercise room with 500 pounds of free weights? I understand there are problems with bouncy floors with 24 in. spacing. Is this true?

I recall seeing a design recommendation several years ago regarding installation of hanger nails above the neutral axis of the bottom chord of a plated girder truss. The intent was to avoid dumping large loads into the bottom chord, below the neutral axis. Can you tell me where I can find this information?