'Ask the Builder' Promotes Attic Trusses in 60+ Major Metros

Originally published by the following source: SBC MagazineMarch 18, 2019
by Sean Shields


We mentioned in an earlier article that Ask the Builder founder Tim Carter is an award-winning builder and nationally syndicated columnist with over thirty years of hands-on experience building and remodeling homes. He recently began working with SBCA to highlight the ways structural building components truly are the best way to frame a house.

He also completed a short video promoting the many benefits of the attic trusses that were recently installed in his daughter’s home in Maine.  He’s followed up on some of the points he raises in that video in one of his most recent syndicated columns, which was published in over 60 newspapers across the country. Here's his column as it was published in the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch:

Q: I grew up in an older home with an attic. I love storing things up there. When I watch new homes being built, all I see are trusses with all sorts of cross supports that make it impossible to have an attic. Can you have an attic with a modern truss? Is it hard to do? What about traditional stairs up into an attic? Can you have those instead of the flimsy pull-down stairs?

A: The good news for you should you be building a new home, adding a large room addition, or even building another structure with a pitched roof is that you can have a bonus room built within the roof trusses for a very reasonable upcharge.

The steeper the pitch of the roof over the structure, the larger the room can be in the attic. I’m typing this column right now in my small man cave that’s above my garage. Fortunately, the builder of this home used attic trusses over the large garage to create a vast storage area. I installed windows on each end wall of this space and built a wall at one end to create a small, cozy ham radio shack/office for myself.

Houses with low-sloped roofs can have special trusses that resemble attic trusses. These are called storage trusses, and they resemble a crawlspace under a home. You can crouch down and move around in the storage trusses to retrieve stored items.

Old houses were typically framed with traditional rafters that allowed an opening to be created in the floor for a traditional staircase. You’re never supposed to cut any member of a prefabricated roof truss, so how can you make a wide staircase opening that’s perpendicular to the run of the trusses?

It’s easy. A truss designer uses software that creates two giant girder trusses that allow for a full-sized staircase up into the new attic space. All you have to do is draw the staircase on the floor plan where you want it to go up into the attic and the truss manufacturer will make the magic happen for you. The carpenters on the job, with the help of a small crane, can put all the trusses and other pieces together in less than a day.

This is a great endorsement of the structural building components industry, and specifically, a value-added product that provides a meaningful solution to both builders and homeowners. In this case, the Columbus Dispatch is sharing Tim's observations widely in the community that will be hosting the BCMC show this October.

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