Build Your Own Timber Trusses

What You'll Need
Blueprint and architectural plans for the house
Hand saw
Chisel and hammer
Electric drill with various size bits
Tape measure
Gussets and screws
Wood glue

Timber trusses are not just a unique and attractive fixture for the inside of the roof of your home, but they are also a great way to help support the weight of your roof. Because these trusses are structurally critical for your home, it's very important that you use the appropriate size trusses and type of wood as recommended by a contractor or other professional. Once you've determined the size and quantity of trusses to use, as well as the kind of wood that will best be able to support your roof, you can continue by following the steps below to build trusses.

Step 1 -- Determine the Size and Design of the Trusses

Because of the structural support role of the trusses that you'll build, you must speak with a contractor or an engineer in order to determine exactly how the trusses should be built. Gather up the blueprints and any other architectural plans for your home, and take them to a specialist of this type to have him or her consult with you. Have plans for trusses drawn up according to your preferred style, and ensure that those trusses will be able to support the weight of the roof as necessary.

Step 2 -- Purchase Timber

Purchase timber and any other wood necessary according to the engineer's plans for the trusses.

Step 3 -- Cut the Timber

Follow the engineer's plan to cut the timber as precisely as possible. Be aware that the straightest pieces of timber should be reserved for the top two cords of the trusses as well as the bottom cord. Avoid pieces of timber that have knots and other inconsistencies in them, as they may be weakened and unable to support the full weight of the roof as they need to.

Step 4 -- Build the Trusses on the Ground

You'll then need to build the trusses on the ground. Lay out the various pieces of the truss before you attempt to actually connect them with screws and gussets. Ensure that the pieces fit together exactly as they should according to the engineer's plan. When you're satisfied with the way that the truss pieces fit together, disassemble them and repeat the process with the pieces upside down to be sure that they're entirely flat.

Once you've assembled the truss pieces together without actually connecting them, you can then use the gussets and screws to connect all of the joints. Each joint should be covered with wood glue after it has been attached with the appropriate screws and gussets for added protection.

With the trusses fully built on the ground, you can continue by hoisting them up with the assistance of others and securing them in place underneath the roof if you are planning to install them right away.