Frequently Asked Technical Questions

Have a question that's not listed? Ask a Technical Question and let us know.


Do you have sound rating information for floor truss assemblies (i.e., STC and IIC ratings)? We are looking specifically for ratings for 12 in. floor trusses, with 1 and 1/2 in. concrete topping and without the topping. We are looking to meet the minimum code rating of STC 45 and IIC 45.

I am looking for help on the spacing required to screw down a BHP B-36 20 gage roof deck to wooden trusses spaced at 5 ft. 4 in. O.C. and 24 in. O.C. Do you know of any published codes or specifications on the above?

Does the NFPA sprinkler standard address sprinkler loading? If so, how and where do I buy it? What other information do you have on sprinkler loading? How do other truss companies price jobs for sprinkler loading the plans do not include a sprinkler layout or even say what size/type of sprinkler system will be used?

I have a 29 x 72 mobile office with a 2-foot deep wooden truss above the ceiling that a client is required to sprinkler. Is there any way to avoid sprinklering above the gypboard ceiling?

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?

How often are trusses repaired?

As a forensic engineer who has investigated numerous collapses of wood truss systems, I find your web site an excellent resource on the proper erection of wood trusses. What are your opinions on steel trusses, particularly with regards to installation and bracing? Do you feel that the installation and bracing techniques utilized for wood trusses are applicable to steel trusses? Do you know if that is the general industry standard or are there specific requirements and guidelines for steel trusses? Is there a particular guideline/commentary available for metal trusses?

How much weight can a wood truss hold, when it’s made with 2x4 material and spans 36 ft. with a 4/12 pitch. I would like to hang things from the ceiling and am wondering if it is safe. I live in an area where there are heavy snowstorms. Also, how much exposure to the weather can a truss handle before there is a problem?

I am looking for strongback bracing requirements for a 12 in. deep residential floor system with trusses in lengths up to 19 ft. Can the strongback bracing end at a truss without tying into an end wall? For instance, can three trusses of a type be tied together by strongbacks, then the next series of different trusses be tied together without having to be tied back to the previous type of trusses?

The lumber used in most metal plate connected wood trusses is either visually- or mechanically-graded solid sawn dimensional lumber. However, the Truss Plate Institute's ANSI/TPI 1 allows the use of structural composite lumber (SCL) products such as laminated veneer lumber (LVL), laminated strand lumber (LSL) and parallel strand lumber (PSL). These engineered wood products can conceivably compete with sawn lumber and complement it in truss designs.

We recently received bids on a school project, which referenced UL P523. This assembly used light-gauge steel trusses. We noted on the drawing that we could accept an alternate design using wood trusses in lieu of light-gauge steel framing, if the alternate design could meet the fire ratings.

The truss industry maintains that the design of truss roof and floor system permanent bracing is the responsibility of the building designer. System permanent bracing covers the entire structure and all bracing element interactions.

Is it common practice for the supplier/distributor of a truss to provide a publication regarding temporary bracing with the delivery of the material?

We are building churches in Europe. These are modified pole barns and we are trying to use local materials and local volunteer labor. Since the truss is the heart of the building, I am looking for a method to test some completed trusses before the building is started to make sure they are strong enough.

While building a new 2-story home, I found the need to use floor trusses between the 1st and 2nd floors. Is it true that I must also use roof trusses?

What is the history of the topping off or topping out ceremony when the top floor is completed and a tree is placed on the roof?

We are looking into developing the attic space above our garage into a media room. The garage is attached to the home and we would enter this area from the living room. We recently read if you have a truss system that in order to develop the attic, one would have to replace the entire roof with conventional construction. My question is: can we safely develop this trussed area above our garage?

Can one use pressure-treated lumber in metal plate connected truss construction? If so, are special plates or coatings required?

Would you please inform me of the specified requirements of the size and the amount of nail attachments from the truss to the top plate?

If trusses blew down from insufficient temporary bracing and the contractor put them back up without the knowledge of the truss manufacturer and gave the truss manufacturer a letter stating that the trusses were okay, is that sufficient? Do you know of any truss manufacturer who would accept this?