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Trusses 101

How Does a Truss Work? 

A truss is a frame that supports loads by efficiently transferring its forces to end supports. While stick framing might use larger 2x8, 2x10, etc. members (which are expensive and hard to find without going into old-growth forests), and might require either additional beams or interior load-bearing walls, trusses can span a longer distance without additional supports, while using less expensive and more plentiful 2x4 members, usually arranged in intersecting triangles.


Trusses can span up to approximately 90’, although very long truss spans are more challenging to deliver, erect, brace, and install properly. While longer trusses may be “wobbly” as they are lifted off of the ground and onto the bearing walls, once they are properly braced, the truss system is extremely strong.

Source: Alpine: A Builders Guide to Trusses

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