Since its invention in 1952 in Florida by A. Carroll Sanford, trusses have become an important part in housing projects, especially major ones. Trusses are relied upon to hold the weight of a structure, thanks to its web-shaped design that enables engineers to create larger spaces with just a few materials, particularly wood, thus enabling them to build cheaply without compromising the project’s quality.
Trusses are often made of lumber and uses plates, which are sturdy pieces of metal (typically galvanized steel), to hold these pieces of wood together at the joints. The lumber being used for trusses, either for the floor or the roof, has to be of high quality. It also must be able to withstand a high amount of stress, and factories would usually rate them based on their tolerance to stress.
Floor trusses are even considered as one of the best solutions for floor framing problems, and their advantages include squeak-free and high-quality floorings and the reduction of waste, pilferage, and callbacks. This could also save more time and money in construction: according to a study conducted by the project called Framing the American Dream®, a quality floor truss only takes about 12 hours of installation on a 2,600 sq. ft. house, compared to the 38 hours it took for a stick frame to get installed.
These days, more contractors have been leaning toward the use of engineered lumber in the construction of trusses and beams. Engineered lumber is made of wood chips and strands of wood which are straighter, stronger, and simpler to use than lumber sawn directly from trees. With the decline of the quality and size of saw logs, engineered lumber also means straighter, more predictable products that offer more flexibility in supporting wider structures and easier accommodation of pipes and wires.
Even Steve Maxwell, home-improvement columnist writing for the National Post, acknowledged the advantages of a sturdy engineered truss in a house. According to him, with engineered lumber, a house could have flatter, more solid floors and could even do away with metal plates through wooden I-joints, which could easily span for more than 20 feet without the need for support posts. Since tree-sawn lumber has its limitations, with the fact that even the best trees could only grow so tall and so thick, engineered beams are used more often in constructions.
Undoubtedly, trusses are important in the construction of a house, especially if you aim on making it as big as possible. To build the long-lasting house of your dreams, consider first how it could be able to withstand natural conditions, such as earthquakes or winds, and do invest in quality floor trusses, which established companies like American Building Innovation offer.
(Source: Steve Maxwell: Wood beams stronger than old-growth trees offer great construction versatility, National Post)