Each year millions of Australians undertake DIY construction projects. From building a simple coffee table to actually building a new family home there is a wide variety between these DIY construction projects and for a beginner there is a lot to learn. If you want your project to be successful you should be familiar with the entire construction process and all its individual components. In this article we will look over trusses, a very common building technique that you will find in lots of structures from dog kennels to bridges spanning dozens of metres.
What Is A Truss?
At its most basic form a truss is usually a triangular structure made out of wood or metal. These triangles are generally arranged into a group of five or more stretching out in an interlocking pattern along their axis. By doing this a truss can sustain weight along a longer span than most other structures while also using less material. Because of this trusses are popular in structures that take advantage of their ability to support weight along long distances such as bridges, roofs and floors. It is more than likely you already have multiple types of trusses inside your house.
Types Of Truss
Within our original definition of a truss there are many different variations and we will go through some now to better familiarise you with them:
- Pratt Truss: stronger vertically which makes it useful for long, horizontal spans. Particularly used in bridges.
- Warren Truss: less popular because it is not as effective as taking weight on single points but still good at balancing weight across its total structure.
- K Truss: Can lead to a decrease in material needed for construction but takes longer to construct due to a complex design.
- Fink Truss: Complicated design means that it is very good at dispersing its weight onto its supports.
Where Would I Use A Truss?
As a DIY construction enthusiast it is not likely that you will use a truss for more than a few purposes. In residential projects trusses are most commonly used in the roof and the floor. If you become familiar with the different types of trusses listed above you can experiment with which ones you find are the most cost effective in your property and which ones are best at which job. This will increase your overall quality as a DIY builder and mean you are primed for any construction projects you might undertake in the future.