Replacing a Roof Truss with Stick Framing

wood framing
  • 4-6 hours
  • Beginner
  • 150-400
What You'll Need
Support beams
Design plans
Power tools

One of the most common issues people find themselves in when trying to remodel their homes is dealing with roof trusses. In designing a home, contractors often install roof trusses which is a simple way to support the roof design but does not leave any room for modification. If you want to change the ceilings into a vaulted design or create an overhead attic, then the trusses will have to be replaced with stick framing. Here are the basic steps to follow to do just that. It is highly recommended that you get professional help if you are not experienced in construction.

Step 1 – Plan the Job

It is not wise or recommended to jump in quickly to any big home construction project. This is especially true when dealing with something as delicate and important as the roof of your house. The roof trusses are there to help bear the heavy load of your roof by distributing the weight out across the house to different points. If you were to remove the trusses without first creating an alternate source of support then the roof could collapse.

It is best to consult a structural engineer to help determine the best way to design an alternate way to support the weight. You will also need to check with the local building authority to see if any additional building permits will be needed before you begin. It is also important to remember that you may be voiding any existing warranty on your roof by changing its structural design.

Step 2 – Install Support Beams

As you remove the trusses, the weight will need another source of support. First, you will want to install a reinforcement header running the full length across the center of your roof. The most common way to provide this is through the use of heavy-duty support beams. These beams should run from the roof down to the foundation of your home for maximum support. The center of the house usually needs the most support because it is further away from the support the walls provide.

Step 3 – Reinforce the Roof Rafters

After you have the support beams in place, the next step is to reinforce the roof rafters and install any additional rafters from the support header to your sidewalls. This will remain in place to support the roof once the trusses have been removed. The additional support is required to maintain the stability of the roof.

Step 4 – Remove the Trusses

The final step in the process is to cut out and remove the original trusses that were supporting the roof. Once this is done you can either go with the new vaulted ceilings or use the empty space for an attic or loft. If the plan is to use the space for an attic or extra room you must reinforce the ceiling so it will support the weight. Traditional ceilings in a truss plan house are not capable of supporting excessive weight.