Raising the Trusses!

by Ben N on December 3, 2016

This past Saturday, we got the Trusses up.

I was a little concerned about this. Each truss weighs over 200 pounds and is 31 feet long. We would need more than just my brother, my Dad, and I to do the job of lifting the trusses onto the roof, setting them in the proper place, plumb them, and make sure they stay there.

My work schedule has been crazy too. So, I was trying to dig up some spare bodies for the very next day while driving to and from work at night after having worked on the garage all day.

I put out a plea on Facebook and through as many phone calls and voice mails as bad cell connections in a car would allow.

The next morning, I wasn’t dissappointed. A flash-mob of friends were standing in my driveway in warm clothes and work gloves, ready to lift.

Starting the day was slow, as we had to figure how to set the very first end truss, including NOT letting it fall over the side of the building. We built some 16 foot long posts of two-by material and nailed those to the west wall. Those would keep us from lifting the first truss PAST vertical.

I had already assembled some scaffolding in the middle of the garage, spanned by an aluminum plank. We had plenty of ladders, although a motley mix of step-ladders, extension, and “gorilla”.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSeveral of us would pick up the truss, flip it over (unfortunately the way the material was stacked didn’t suit the direction we were putting it up,) walk one end through the garage door opening, over the scaffold, to a guy on a ladder, to set on the north wall. Back on the south wall, we had to lift that end, slide the truss back to get it ON the wall, and then start sliding the whole thing west. One guy held the top point of the truss while walking across the plank. Once the truss was in proper position, we tipped it up, and temporarily nailed it.

Whew! Lots of work! We would only have to do that 15 more times!

The next several trusses were also a little odd. Just in from the west wall is where the pull-down stairs to get to the the upper level will go. So, that needed extra-wide spacing, and the trusses to be doubled up on either side of the opening. In the photo with all the trusses in place, you can see the extra-wide spacing on the left side.

After that, we were able to set the trusses on regular two-foot-centers. At this point, having lots of extra guys really helped. We were able to get into a slow but steady rhythm of placing trusses.

Once we made it to the middle of the garage, we had to change plans a bit. We needed SPACE above the garage to get the trusses in position. If we continued to place trusses, we wouldn’t have the room to get them up there. So, we started lifting them onto the walls, but stacking them all next to each other right in the middle. After that, we could start sliding them out, one at a time, into their proper positions.

IMG_2229Of course, we were also trying to keep these things straight and plumb as we went. We marked out measurements on the top of the wall, and measured between the points of the trusses before nailing temporary support boards to lock them in place. We also added temporary cross-bracing and some wood planks to walk on as we went.

By about 3 PM, we had all the trusses up and in place. We put away the tools and cleaned up, and then I had to head right out to work.

A big thank you to Shannon, Jack, Josh, Wil, Rich, Steve, Wayne, Jim, and everyone who showed up!



PS: After sweeping up all the nails, I did get to park the car in the garage!


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 ed December 9, 2016 at 4:00 pm

Your car does look good in your new garage. I bet it will be super nice to work on your car in there. I’ve been making do with my portable garage which is more like a tent but it keeps the morning dew off the windows so I can jump in my car without any pre-defrosting, etc. Works good. I even leave to door open all the time. (No door operator, lol.)


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