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What type of roof framing does this house have?

  • Last Updated:
  • May 8th, 2020 6:09 pm
[OP]
Member
Feb 11, 2009
255 posts
67 upvotes

What type of roof framing does this house have?

Can someone identify what type of roof framing that is in this house? I would like to understand what type of framing with the limited pictures that I have and can't figure out if it is rafters or trusses (or which type of truss). House is built in early 2000s, the floor is using floor trusses.
My goal is to understand the feasibility of adding livable attic space or not (without having to tear out the roof)
roof1.JPG
roof2.JPG
roof3.JPG
roof4.JPG
roof5.JPG

Thank you,
8 replies
Member
Feb 26, 2019
405 posts
356 upvotes
Ottawa
Those are trusses. You can’t cut any of those members.
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
3166 posts
2136 upvotes
Toronto
Never seen 2x4 flat on their face before to support an OSB sheathed roof.

No way you're getting living space up there without ripping off the roof.

Go down if you haven't already. Finish the basement.

Even if you could create a space in the attic, you need to run HVAC up there, likely resize your furnace/AC, lots of very expensive duct work etc. etc. etc. Not to mention some sort of access that is up to code - i.e. a properly sloped, wide staircase.
[OP]
Member
Feb 11, 2009
255 posts
67 upvotes
dottawat wrote: Those are trusses. You can’t cut any of those members.
Do you know what type of truss design they are? And yes i know i cannot cut any of those.

I am trying to get input from people who may have certain knowledge on whether it is possible or not before i pay a couple of thousands on an structural engineer just to have him tell me i have to rip out the roof.

Thanks,
Last edited by steph3n on May 8th, 2020 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
Member
Feb 11, 2009
255 posts
67 upvotes
torontotim wrote: Never seen 2x4 flat on their face before to support an OSB sheathed roof.

No way you're getting living space up there without ripping off the roof.

Go down if you haven't already. Finish the basement.

Even if you could create a space in the attic, you need to run HVAC up there, likely resize your furnace/AC, lots of very expensive duct work etc. etc. etc. Not to mention some sort of access that is up to code - i.e. a properly sloped, wide staircase.

Basement is already finished. Yeah it's a strange roof framing i haven't seen much before, nor can i find anything that looks like it online. It's part of a townhouse row of 4 houses...
As for AC/heating, i would simply put a wall unit/baseboard heater. Yes stairs is 36" wide minimum, and there is a window requirement for fire exit.

My neighbors, which have the same house layouts have livable attics, it depended on whether the original owner took the option or not. Sadly, mine did not.

Thanks,
Member
Feb 26, 2019
405 posts
356 upvotes
Ottawa
steph3n wrote: Do you know what type of truss design they are? And yes i know i cannot cut any of those.

I am trying to get input from people who may have certain knowledge on whether it is possible or not before i pay a couple of thousands on an structural engineer just to have him tell me i have to rip out the roof.

Thanks,
Sorry - I wasn't trying to be dismissive. I'm not quite sure what you mean by 'type of trusses'. Truss roofs are designed for the house that they are installed on.

There are some specialized 'types' of trusses, such as scissor trusses (think cathedral ceilings) or attic trusses (which is what would like). Yours appear to be run of the mill trusses, e.g. custom designed for the building.

I suspect an engineer will tell you the roof needs to go.
Deal Addict
May 23, 2009
2793 posts
1260 upvotes
Mississauga
One hint is the size of the rafters (especially in your pic 2 where they change orientation). It does look like it’s in place to fasten the OSB rather than transfer load.
[OP]
Member
Feb 11, 2009
255 posts
67 upvotes
dottawat wrote: Sorry - I wasn't trying to be dismissive. I'm not quite sure what you mean by 'type of trusses'. Truss roofs are designed for the house that they are installed on.

There are some specialized 'types' of trusses, such as scissor trusses (think cathedral ceilings) or attic trusses (which is what would like). Yours appear to be run of the mill trusses, e.g. custom designed for the building.

I suspect an engineer will tell you the roof needs to go.
No offense taken, what i meant is if there are certain common designs of trusses that are widely used. Correct, the design i wish i had is the Attic truss which is one of the models in the picture below. I could not find from the picture if there's a one from the picture that fits what i have.

I guess i'd have to check also the bottom chord to see what they used, if it's 2x4 I don't think there's much chance to do anything.
truss.JPG
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2011
2927 posts
1166 upvotes
Pick one of the two following responses...

"Yikes" / "Very interesting"

to put it in simple terms, the attic / roof construction you have is far removed from either being considered a 'rafter roof' or a 'truss roof'

you appear to have some kind of hybrid roof framing system, that of what I would call "Boards supported by simple truss structures".

the trusses you have mainly appear to run longitudinally, which is ninety degrees removed from the orientation of a typical roof truss. The 2 by boards laid flat need the support of the multiple truss supports to keep from sagging or collapsing.

In any event, the answer is quite simple, absolutely nothing can be done in that space whatsoever, unless you want to complete restructure the entire roof.
"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."
Just a guy who dabbles in lots of stuff learning along the way. I do have opinions, and readily share them!

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