Heavy timber trusses are absolutely meant to be seen, and in many cases, they are also holding up the roof! Before we ask you which one is your favorite, let’s explore a few options to find out which structural timber truss design would be best suited for your project. Ready?
In a scissor truss design, heavy timber or otherwise, the bottom chord members crisscross each other. The example shown above has a king post also, which many scissor trusses will need for support. This design is a winner for great rooms and entry ways as long as the span isn’t too wide and the roof pitch isn’t too shallow. How do you know what is too much? Ask the engineer. She will advise you.
On to the King and Queen Post truss designs, which, without much fuss, are the strongest heavy timber trusses.
The king post truss is a wonderful choice for exterior dormers, gables, entryways and again, the great room.The King Post can support spans of 40ft and beyond even in Vermont. If you need to add literal and/or visual height to a space, the modified king post may be what you like, BUT as the bottom chord is raised higher, the weaker the truss becomes (something to keep in mind).
What about the gable? Would you like a truss on the gable? The queen post truss is the best design for gables if there is a window.
If you’re not sure if you want a gable truss, you can alway ask the engineer if it’s needed for strength and that may help you decide.
See how the queen post above leaves space for a window?
Girder Trusses are usually incorporated into a design for added strength.
Traditional Hammer Beam
Isn’t this truss design pretty? Everyone loves the traditional hammer beam shown above. What everyone doesn’t have, however, is the buttress situation for this project (again, shown above).
Most projects that incorporate a hammer beam or modified hammer design as the structural element need tie rods.
Which timber truss design is your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comment section below! And, as always, thanks for stopping by our timber framers blog! If you like this post, or have any timber work questions, we invite you to get in contact, or ask an expert.