We’ve Got Work To Do…

President's Message

We’ve Got Work To Do…

We all need to do a better job of promoting our products
and sharing our knowledge of effective framing options. 

Roughly 60 years after their inception, roof trusses are well-established in the market, a cornerstone of residential framing. Their natural counterpart, floor trusses, are quite possibly the most misunderstood product offered by our industry.

Today, the value of roof trusses is easily communicated to framers and homeowners alike. Even wall panels are gaining ground in many markets as an efficient alternative to traditional stick framing. However, there are a number of misconceptions in the market when it comes to floor trusses. These beliefs might persist because popular alternatives exist and tradition has maintained a status quo approach to framing floor systems. It certainly doesn’t help that unfair disadvantages for floor trusses have been written into the building code despite standardized testing proving their fire performance is in line with that of other floor framing products.

I recently came across a post on Facebook asking people to choose among three floor framing options: I-joists, floor trusses and 2x10s. Each is a readily available framing option in new construction. The comments on the floor trusses were simply mind boggling, ranging from assertions that floor trusses rust and that the metal plates melt in fires, to critiques on the theme of trusses looking flimsy (and stupid) and the always popular claim of quick failure in fires.

As component manufacturers and suppliers to the industry, we’ve all heard these complaints before. But why? Why are people so uneducated about the characteristics of floor trusses? Why would anyone believe a truss plate could actually melt during a fire?

I believe we haven’t done a good enough job educating the market, from contractors to home owners. We all  need to do a better job of promoting our products and sharing our knowledge of effective framing options. As part of that effort, we need to articulate the benefits of floor trusses in new construction.

SBCA has a lot of materials, from presentation outlines to research reports, already available to help you promote floor trusses and other components. Everything is ready for you to engage your local market and help spread the word about floor trusses. Through educational outreach to your market, you and your company can build a reputation as the experts in your market, while eradicating the ignorance that so often guides public perception of floor trusses.

To help you get out into your market and conduct product education sessions, I’m proposing a workshop, hosted by our newly-formed Advocacy Committee, at the next Open Quarterly Meeting (OQM). I see this interactive training as a way for us to practice effective strategies for promoting floor trusses just as we promote other products during sales calls. Come with questions, leave with answers, and contribute to an open, collaborative exploration of ways to present floor trusses to our markets. This is a great opportunity for you and your sales staff to engage with peers, and a great reason to attend an OQM! See you in Providence this August.