Crazy and Complicated Truss Designs – Part 10

Crazy and Complicated Truss Designs – Part 10

In an ongoing subject title for a series of blog posts, here at GDI I have found that I have had the pleasure of doing quite a few of them. Whether it be a nasty roof design, floor design, or just straight silly house designs, it seems I have touched on it all. In this post, it appears I have hit another milestone in my “storied” design career.

Recently I was scheduled to design a job in for one of our customers in the Pacific Northwest. This was a plan that seemed quite simple. First glanced showed basic two-story home with the first floor planes sloping over the second floor. It also had an open to below section in the back that needed to be vaulted up to the second floor ceiling. But really who hasn’t seen a house like this?

Pretty simple right? Wrong! Then I happened to notice the bonus room: a 28’-6” wide room. It was requested to use attic trusses. My first thought was “um, yeah okay, let me get right on that!” The only thing that saved me and allowed me to design these attics was the fact that they spanned across the garage wall giving me internal bearing in the room. That was a relief to see that. For me it wasn’t at all complicated, it was just crazy because for one; I had never designed a room quite that big in an attic truss and two; I had only seen it done maybe once or twice before.

In reality the hardest part of this job that would fit in the complicated part would have been the 38’ vaulted trusses that are 13’ 6” tall and that’s after being capped. As you will see in the following pictures this trusses are quite large.


Above is a view of the layout. The purple represents the attic space in the trusses. It’s a very big area. The whole center section from left to right is at the second level, including the vaulted trusses to the very right. In the following pictures I will show you the 3D view through the area and the two profiles I have talked about, the vaulted trusses and attics.


As you can see, the architect wanted to maximize the upper story bonus room space by vaulting up one end of the house, while providing attic trusses for the other side. Quite creative!


The vaulted truss itself was pretty thin!


This is a profile shot of the attic truss itself. As you can see, the attic opening is 2/3 of the span! The only saving grace on this truss was the interior bearing.

As I said before, this wasn’t all that complicated. It was just crazy! 28’-6” room, that’s crazy. I hope that you have enjoyed this piece as much as I enjoyed designing it. I look forward to hearing and seeing anything anyone else might have that would be crazy and complicated.

View Part 1 in this series here.

View Part 2 in this series here.

View Part 3 in this series here.

View Part 4 in this series here.

View Part 5 in this series here.

View Part 6 in this series here.

View Part 7 in this series here.

View Part 8 in this series here.

View Part 9 in this series here.

Stay tuned for Part 11.

Zach Failing