Save money with roof trusses

With the decreasing availability of large structural lumber work with trusses for your roof construction can save you money and also comply with all structural needs for your project. The length of lumber subject to bending stress are broken into smaller sections, and that’s the main reason you can work with cheaper lumber products. But take care of some extra costs when doing trusses for your roof.

Image result for trusses types
Photo credit: click HERE

You have a lot of types of truss designs, and during the design of your project you have to adapt all your load needs. The maximum allowable span depends on the type of wood you are using in your construction (Southern Pine, Douglas-Fir and Spruce Pine-Fir – also known as SPF – are the most common) and also on the pitch of the top cord.

You have some places in the internet to help you on calculating the allowable span for trusses in your project. Click HERE to redirect you to one of these websites.

A final message: remember that in the majority of the houses you will be building with roof trusses you’ll need a crane to help one the truss installation. The costs will vary from region to region, and for a house around 2,500 sf, ranch style, you will need at least 8 hours of crane work if you have a trained team to installed them. Don’t forget to include this cost in your project.

Keep in mind these numbers in your design

Image result for small kitchens
Photo from the website HGTV.com

Sometimes we see dwellings with old designs that looks really strange. Kitchens that are very difficult to use, boots that do not fit in the closet, and windows that are to high or too low. Here are some important numbers to remember:

  • Windows – 38 / 42

Window heights are important on both inside in outside. From an outside view the ideal is to align the top heights of the windows and exterior door, mainly in the main entrance (ideally for the entire building). Sill heights of windows adjacent to furniture or counters should be at least 42″. View windows sill should not exceed 38″

  • Closets – 24 / 36

Plan to allow at least 36″ of closet pole per occupant, with a hanger depth of at least 24″. Remember that an ambient is only consider a bedroom if you have a closet there – so, provide at least one closet for each room. You can add closets near front and rear entrances (for coats and shoes also, in case you have ancillary entrances for a mud room), a linen closet an at least one generous walk-in closet in the main bedroom.

  • Passageways: 36 / 40

Width are dictate by the needs to move large furniture. For stairs, landings, main and minor hall, interior and exterior doors the minimum is 36″ but we recommend at least 40″ to have good room for movement. Basement doors need a minimum of 36″ but ideally use 48″

  • Kitchen work aisle: 42 / 48

The width of a work aisle should be at least 42″ for one cook and at least 48″ for multiple cooks. You need to measure it between the counter frontage, tall cabinet and the appliances. Also have in mind that the passageway close to the working aisle should be at least 36″

  • Shower size: 30 / 36

The recommended size is 36″ x 36″ with a minimum of 30″ x 30″. If a person with disabilities will live in the house you need to revise the ADA of 1990 (Americans with Disabilities Act) – Appendix A of page 36 – that specifies all the needs for this population. We will do a post on this specific topic soon.

Wood vs. Water

We’ve all heard about the problems that can arise when wood and water make contact. If you’ve ever had to fix your wood flooring or work in a renovation site, you know what we mean. Here’s the good news: Innovation is finally here to prove that not all interactions between water and wood are harmful.

Capture Accoya Wood Bath

Accoya project in a bathroom in Sao Paulo, Brazil – Source of the picture – click here

Leading institutes around the world (including in New Zealand, Sweden Malaysia, Indonesia, the USA, the UK, the Netherlands, and Japan) have conducted extensive laboratory and fields tests which have resulted in showing that acetylated Accoya® wood performance is strong and reliable, especially when it comes to water resistance.

What is the meaning of acetylated wood? Acetylation chemically modifies wood, making it stronger, more durable,  and far less susceptible to shrinking and swelling in various atmospheric conditions. All the chemicals used in acetylation are  found naturally in wood, making the process ‘green’ and eco-friendly.

Unmodified wood contains ‘free hydroxyl groups’ which absorb and release water as weather conditions change. It’s this quality that makes standard wood susceptible to shrinking and swelling, especially when used for outdoor purposes, such as cladding, window frames, and door frames. It’s this movement of wood leads to splitting and rotting.

Treated Accoya® wood has been thoroughly tested for dimensional stability, durability, paint retention, and in-ground conditions to ensure optimal performance. It’s so reliable that for years scientists have been using it as the benchmark with which other wood treatments and modifiers are measured and compared.  Accoya® producers ensure that every batch of wood is consistent in quality and reaches the highest of performance standards. With such strong scientific credentials, Accoya® is guaranteed for 50 years when used above ground and 25 years for below ground applications.

Explore more of the beauty behind Accoya® wood applications around the world, here.

Wood vs. Water

We’ve all heard about the problems that can arise when wood and water make contact. If you’ve ever had to fix your wood flooring or work in a renovation site, you know what we mean. Here’s the good news: Innovation is finally here to prove that not all interactions between water and wood are harmful.

Capture Accoya Wood Bath

Accoya project in a bathroom in Sao Paulo, Brazil – Source of the picture – click here

Leading institutes around the world (including in New Zealand, Sweden Malaysia, Indonesia, the USA, the UK, the Netherlands, and Japan) have conducted extensive laboratory and fields tests which have resulted in showing that acetylated Accoya® wood performance is strong and reliable, especially when it comes to water resistance.

What is the meaning of acetylated wood? Acetylation chemically modifies wood, making it stronger, more durable,  and far less susceptible to shrinking and swelling in various atmospheric conditions. All the chemicals used in acetylation are  found naturally in wood, making the process ‘green’ and eco-friendly.

Unmodified wood contains ‘free hydroxyl groups’ which absorb and release water as weather conditions change. It’s this quality that makes standard wood susceptible to shrinking and swelling, especially when used for outdoor purposes, such as cladding, window frames, and door frames. It’s this movement of wood leads to splitting and rotting.

Treated Accoya® wood has been thoroughly tested for dimensional stability, durability, paint retention, and in-ground conditions to ensure optimal performance. It’s so reliable that for years scientists have been using it as the benchmark with which other wood treatments and modifiers are measured and compared.  Accoya® producers ensure that every batch of wood is consistent in quality and reaches the highest of performance standards. With such strong scientific credentials, Accoya® is guaranteed for 50 years when used above ground and 25 years for below ground applications.

Explore more of the beauty behind Accoya® wood applications around the world, here.

Keep the quality on your roof edges

APA – The Engineered Wood Association has a lot of useful information for builders in their website, and here we will share a very important tip: how to choose your panels for soffit applications.

Quality APA panels are a great alternative to other materials used in soffit applications. There is a variety of APA face grades from which to choose. Selecting the appropriate panel depends primarily on whether the soffit is open or closed.

For appearance purposes in open soffit construction, you have to provide adequate blocking, tongue-and-groove edges, or other edge support such as panel clips. Minimum capacities are at least 30 psf live load, plus 10 psf dead load.

For open soffit construction (figure 1), panels designated Exposure 1 may be used.

Figure 1 OpenSoffit

Exterior panels should be used for closed soffits (Figure 2).

Figure 1 ClosedSoffit Wise Home Building

In open and closed soffit construction where Exposure 1 sheathing is used for roof decking, you have to protect panel edges against direct exposure to the weather with fascia trim.

Fascia Subfascia plan drawing Wise Home Building
Plan drawings showing a fascia, sub-fascia and trim to protect the edge of a roof (red arrow) in an open soffit design

Finishing. Although unsanded and touch-sanded grades of plywood are often used for soffits, optimum appearance and finish performance is achieved by using panels with Medium Density Overlay (MDO), or textured (such as APA 303 Siding) or sanded A-grade faces. Top-quality acrylic latex house paint systems perform best and are the only systems recommended for A-grade faces.

You can find more information in the APA website: www.apawood.org/