Building questions

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by HoosierDeb, Dec 23, 2003.

  1. HoosierDeb

    HoosierDeb Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    N. Indiana
    I have an opportunity to get some roof trusses I want to use to build a chicken house this spring. They are 16 ft long, shed roof type and are made of 2x2s. The building I would build would be on skids. I was thinking 16x20 ft. He had them priced at $8 each but now is selling them as "buy 2 get 1 free" which comes out to $5.34 each. Will these hold up to this usage? What would be lighter for the roof material, steel or wood deck with shingles? Or would it be better to go lighter yet with something like corrugated fiberglass panels? I live in N. Indiana and we get "lake effect" snow from time to time which means it can get pretty deep. Would there be any advantage to building a shed roof with trusses as opposed to just using 2x4 rafters? I don't know what a suitable 2x4 would go for but I suspect it would be more than the price of these trusses.
    Any other things I should consider?

  2. bare

    bare Head Muderator

    May 9, 2002
    Kinda depends, are they engineered trusses or homemade? If engineered, find out what the snow load is on them, then you'll have your answer. You'll want a minimum of 40 pound, unless it's a steep pitch or unless you like to shovel roofs.

    On sheds around here, I like to skip sheet with 1"x4", and follow up with metal roofing. Again, all depends on your use and plans.

  3. FolioMark

    FolioMark In Remembrance

    May 10, 2002
    illinois but i have a homestead building in missou
    Those trusses sound a bit light to my mind particularly with a heavy snow load unless they are really steeply pitched. Even then over a 16' span seems a bit flimsy to my mind. 2x6 rafters would be better and 2x8 better yet. Light steel
    roof would be my choice.
  4. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    May 22, 2003
    Zone 7
    With a 16 x 20 chicken house you must be going to have a small commercial flock. A 12ft wide but longer house may be more practical since you are building on skids. This would reduce the length of the floor joist and the rafters and you could use 2 x 6's instead of trusses. The roofing metal and 2 by's would also be easier to transport and handle at the shorter length. Should you ever want to move the house it would also travel down the highway without hiring a commercial mover and having to comply with excessive over width restrictions. This would not apply in all areas however.
  5. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    Northern Wisconsin
    It doesn't matter if the trusses are only $.35 each.....the thing that matters is if they are adequate to suit your needs.

    You didn't mention the pitch of the trusses, so I'd have to assume its the most common size 4/12. Personally, I'm of the opinion that 2 x 2's are way too flimsy to support much load. One must always prepare for the heavy 16" snowfall of wet heavy snow.
    I believe such a snowfall would turn these trusses into a million toothpicks.

    Engineered trusses are very affordable......and you know what you're getting.

    I think metal roofs, with there complete lack of maintenance, are the only choice for a building such as yours.
  6. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2002
    South West MI
    2x2 are too small But if you put them on 1ft centers it might work. Or nail some 3/8 plywood on one side.

  7. Mudwoman

    Mudwoman Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2002
    These might hold up a tin roof. I don't think you would want to try and stand on it.

    We purchased engineered trusses for our house. The shed roof trusses for a 10 ft span and 2 ft overhang made of 2 x 4's and 2 x 6's were $27 each. The scissor trusses for the main part of the house for a 20 ft span and 2 ft overhang on each side made of 2 x 4's and 2 x 6's were $56 each.