Hip Roof Truss Construction: Mistakes to Avoid

Large home with a hip truss roofline
  • 40 hours
  • Advanced
  • 1-20,000

Less common than a standard seam construction pattern, a hip roof truss construction increases your home’s aesthetic appeal and sets it apart from the homes around it. Roof truss building is a difficult process, however, and it is important to understand the process of construction fully before beginning work. Continue reading for an overview of hip roof truss construction as well as some of the common mistakes to avoid.

How to Construct a Hip Roof

A hip roof contains four distinct faces, corresponding to each of the four primary walls of a home. These faces slope inward and reach a point, forming a pyramidal shape. The roof truss is a pre-built piece of the roof. It is essentially a wood frame that is not visible from the outside but is used instead to stabilize the hip roof during and after construction.

Building a hip roof requires many of the same steps as the construction of a gable roof. You must measure and cut a ridge board, common rafters and hip rafters. Generally, follow these instructions:

Step 1 - Measure and Cut

Measure and cut the ridge board and the rafters.

Step 2 - Nail Together

Nail two of the common rafters to one side of the ridge board, lift the ridge in place and nail the other two common rafters in place.

Step 3 - Determine Length

Measure the corner of the building to the ridge rafter to determine the length of the hip rafter portion.

Step 4 - Verify Center

Ensure the hip rafter remains straight during the remaining installation procedures by attaching a rope or string to the center of the rafter.

Step 5 - Install Jack Rafters

Measure and cut the jack rafters, attaching them with nails in each of the four corners of the building. Monitor the pressure on each jack rafter once it is attached in order to ensure that it does not bend or break under stress.

Common Mistakes During Hip Roof Truss Construction

home with hipped roof

With all of the necessary measurement, cutting and attaching of various trusses, it is easy to make a mistake if you are at all careless. Look out especially for the following pitfalls.

1. Improper Materials

One of the most common errors made during roof construction is purchasing materials that are improperly sized, or are of the wrong design for the project in question. If in doubt about your trusses, consult with a carpenter or a roofing specialist for further advice. Always examine the trusses carefully after purchase to ensure you’ve received the correct trusses for your project.

2. Measurement Mistakes

All too frequently, home roofing projects become delayed when builders measure incorrectly. Measuring the wrong space is a frequent error, as is an incorrect reading of measuring devices. The hip rafter must be at a 45-degree angle from the corner of the building to the point of the ridge rafter.

3. Installation Errors

Many builders run into delays when they install rafters or trusses in the wrong location, or with incorrect orientation relative to other components of the roof. Always double-check you are setting a truss in the proper location and it will not interfere with subsequent parts of the installation procedure.

For any further questions regarding hip roof trusses and their installation, visit a home improvement or roofing center. It is better to account for any concerns before beginning the installation process, rather than having to face them during or after the building is complete.