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Posted by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 6/15/2013

Honestly, this was easier than I thought it would be.

While I was surveying the shed to decide how many trusses to go with, I noticed the two trusses that I already had over in my spare lumber pile. These had come up to Tanglewood back when it was still under construction and were quickly discarded by the crews--they had mis-measured them, and when in place they would have partially blocked my awesome octagonal window. They had to go build new trusses but didn't want these, so they just left them.  Eventually Colleen and I moved them up to the shed site thinking we might use them there (this was as she was building the Solar Shed), decided that wouldn't work after all, and we kinda moved them off to the side and didn't think about them much. I believe I had a vague notion to eventually cut them up for other projects.

Now these trusses are both bigger than I planned to use, and are raised-heel trusses, as all the others on Tanglewood are. (A reasonable person might ask why trusses intended for an open air porch would be heel trusses in the first place, and our only answer is that it was probably the default spec for the construction and nobody thought about it.) Once I did some measuring though, I decided I liked them for a variety of reasons: The trusses would provide a good two feet of overhang on both the sunny and uphill sides of the shed, aiding in keeping it cooler in the summer.

  • Being raised-heel trusses, I could better insulate above the shed, helping keep it that much warmer in the cold winter months (a real problem with the existing Solar Shed).
  • I'd be able to whittle down the spare lumber pile a bit, definitely a plus!
  • Did I mention these were already built? That means I wouldn't have to build them myself, and could also use them as templates for others.

So I dragged the trusses up onto the road and surveyed them. They were actually in pretty good shape for sitting out in the weather for a year, only needed a bit of work on some of the joint plates.

Once I had determined they were solid and useful, I got some hurricane straps (Colleen and I had collected around $80 worth of them when we cleaned up the garage), hauled them onto the shed and installed them. Since these had been out in the weather, I decided to put them on the inside flanking the block window; there will be two more (total of four trusses) that I'll build myself later. 

I didn't have too much trouble when all was said and done. Having the one side of the shed so relatively close to the ground made it very easy to lever them up into the sill plates, and having the old Solar Shed immediately adjacent to the new one made hauling them into place straightforward. I spent a lot of time aligning them of course and that was a bit problematic, not so much for any warping on their part as the not-quite-as-square-as-I'd-wanted-it new shed (hey, my first ICF project! give me a break!). I eventually got them where I wanted them and attached with the hurricane straps. The two I have yet to build will go on the ends, giving me about a 3' spacing between trusses on the shed--rather overkill in retrospect, but I think I'm mentioned my penchant for over-engineering so...

So now those are done. I'll have to build the other two using lumber from the pile and (possibly) a new board or two; still have some measuring to do there yet to see. 

One step closer to done-ness!


Steven in Colorado

Photos

The shed from up the hill a bit. You can see my backup generator in the foreground; it will get moved to a pad under the truss overhang when all is said and done.
Closer look at the trusses. These flank either side of the glass block window. The two yet to be built will go at either end of the shed. Note the slope of the roof faces the "sunny" side, so I'll be able to use solar for the planned radiant heat system.
I left concrete blocks up there in case I didn't do as good a job with the hurricane straps as I'd thought I did.


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