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How to Build Hip Roof Trusses

Updated February 21, 2017

Hip trusses are trusses that have a flat top instead of the common peaks you see on traditional houses. By following these five easy steps, you will learn how to make hip trusses like a professional. By building an assembly table, you will be able to build the trusses faster and more efficiently. It may take a little extra time to construct the table, but the effort will prove beneficial to your roof-building project.

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  1. Construct a truss assembly table. Lay out saw horses about every 8 feet for the full length of the hip truss you will be building. Once saw horses are spread apart, lay several 2 x 4 boards across the tables. Next, lay plywood on top of the 2 x 4 boards and nail them down so that they do not move around.

  2. Review your hip truss plans. Either have someone help you, or use a hammer and nail and lay out the measurements for the truss on the plywood table you have just constructed. When all of your lines are completed, you will have what looks like a hip truss outlined on the table. The chords are usually 2 x 4 boards and make up the exterior of the hip truss. The web members, which are usually 2 x 3 boards, make up the inside of the hip truss and are increased for greater loads, spans, and stud- spacing. Use this to get the measurements you will need to cut you chords and web members.

  3. Cut all measured and marked chords and members needed to complete your hip truss.

  4. Lay the chords and the web members out on your truss table. There should be no gaps where the chords and web members are butted together. If you have gaps, you will need to take new measurements and cut again. Once you have the hip truss pieces laid out, use galvanised metal connector plates to tie the chords and web members together.

  5. Nail the galvanised connector plates to the lumber using either a hammer or nail gun with nails. Once you have completed one side, repeat on the other side. After one set of truss components is completed and the sizes are verified, the pattern you have made on the table can be used to construct the remaining hip trusses.

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Things You'll Need

  • Basic carpentry tools
  • Circular saw
  • Carpenter's square
  • Sawhorses
  • Lumber

About the Author

Elizabeth Arnold

Elizabeth Arnold has written for a wide variety of publications and websites. Her experience includes writing travel features for "Recommend" magazine and packaging marketing copy for both Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Warner Bros. consumer products. Recently, Arnold was a staff writer for "Special Events" magazine. Arnold studied English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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