The traditional hammer beam truss design is open and fabulous. However, structurally, it can be an engineering challenge, which is fine, because Jessie is always up for a challenge!
We get a lot of questions about the home pictured above. Who wouldn’t want this hammer beam timber style in their great room? The trusses are open and spacious.
What allows for the spacious hammer beam design, sans tie rod, is the building, which extends to the left and right, creating a buttress. The buttress is important because it prevents the truss from pushing out. (Pushing out would be bad. Very bad).
If in your design, a buttress isn’t happening, then you can add a solid bottom chord (like our new logo!) or a steel tie rod. Both options will resist the push, and hold strong. Strong is good!
The modified hammer beam is pretty fabulous also, a bit stronger, but still often needs a tie rod.
Not in the case below, however. This project is in Stowe, VT. Can you say snow load? I was surprised by the design, but once I saw the frame, it made sense. To maintain an open design, and keep the building safe for heavy snow loads, there is a combination of appropriate timber sizing and hidden steel to re-enforce the joinery.
If you had your choice of the traditional hammer beam (upper picture) or the modified hammer beam style, which would you choose? Do you like the steel rods? We look forward to your thoughts! And, as always….thank you for stopping by 🙂