How to Build Hip Roof Trusses

What You'll Need
Carpenters tools
Circular saw
Carpenters square
Galvanized metal connector plates
Nail gun

Before you can build hip roof trusses, it is important to know what they are. The top of hip trusses are flat. The most commonly seen trusses have peaks. Older, more traditional homes have these types of trusses. However, you can build hip roof trusses with a little bit of planning and by following the easy steps below. With a little time and a little elbow grease, you will have trusses that rival any professionally constructed ones.

Step 1: Building an Assembly Table

Before you can begin making trusses, you must build an assembly table for the hip roof trusses to be built upon. This step will make building the actual trusses easier. However, constructing the table can be a little time consuming.

Begin your assembly table by setting out sawhorses every 8 feet until you reach the length you wish your trusses to be. Once you have the sawhorses in place, lay several 2x4 boards across them. This will form the base of the table.

Cover the 2x4 boards with plywood, making sure to nail the plywood securely to the boards. The plywood will keep the boards from moving around and prevent many mistakes in the making of your hip roof trusses.

Step 2: Planning Your Hip Trusses

For the planning of your hip roof trusses, you may want to request someone who is knowledgeable in the field to help you. When you have completed the pattern on your table, it should look like you outlined a hip roof truss on it. Chords are made of 2x4 boards and are used for the outside of the truss. Web members are typically constructed of 2x3 boards and are the interior of the truss.

Step 3: Cutting

Use your saw to cut the lumber to the sizes required for the construction of your truss.

Step 4: Lay it Out

Lay out the pieces of your hip roof truss on your table in the proper arrangement. Be careful not to confuse a chord with a member. Look for gaps. If you see any, you will have to make adjustments by re-measuring and re-cutting. Chords and members should be butted together with a nice, tight fit.

Step 5: Attach the Connector Plates

If there are no gaps, it’s time to grab the connector plates. These are used to tie your truss together and are made of galvanized metal. With a nail gun, further secure the metal to the wood part of the trusses. You will need to do this for both sides of the truss.

Now that you have one hip roof truss made, you can use the pattern from it as a template to make the rest of the trusses you require for your project. The process is one of repetition. Once all the trusses are complete, you will be able to move onto the installation of your new hip roof trusses. It might even be prudent to construct an extra truss or two in case one is damaged during installation. Having an extra could save you the trouble of having to delay your project.