Anyone experienced with attic trusses?

9 Replies

This is the attic space in a property I've been analyzing and was wondering if anyone could help me out with the trusses. If I purchased the property I would like to remove these trusses and replace them with ones that make the attic space open enough to make into living space if that's even an option. What kind of options are available and costs would I be looking at for that kind of renovation? I searched google about attic renovation and trusses quite a bit when I was attempting to research and couldn't find any other examples of attics with trusses like this so any thoughts would be appreciated. 

@Elliot Marszalek

You might need to consult with a structural engineer to sort that out. If they were standard trusses, the answer would be easier. In that case, you can just run a beam down the middle peak and be done with it. In this case, you probably need a beam on each peak.

In this case you have two concerns.  The posts are holding up the ridge beam which holds the upper gambrel roof from sagging.  You also have the beams helping with the tension on the floor joists from keeping the lower gambrel roof from spreading out.   Consult a structural engineer not an architect.  This one is tougher than the typical scenario and don't get your hopes up this will be an inexpensive alteration.

Those are not trusses. It's a stick framed roof, one peice at a time. You can work around the existing framing and finish as you please, or remove the entire roof and redo which will be much more expensive

And it looks like a very long ridge beam that needs the posts under it unfortunately. It's prob going to be hard to move any of that framing around. But, I would consult an engineer who knows more than I about loads, etc. 

Those are rafters not trusses.  Trusses have a top cord (board), bottom cord  (board) and internal webbing all attached with gusset plates.  Trusses look like a big triangle before they are installed on the house.  Rafters are just wood that the builders cut on sight, they involve a ridge beam (think back bone) and the individual rafters (think ribs).  

Totally agree with everyone, start with a structural engineer.   Then take the information he gives you to a builder and get a price.  I own a construction company and have done this multiple times, it is almost never worth the money spent for the added SQFT unless your in a great location.   Start to finished living space you could spend 150 per SQFT so 1000 SQFT would cost 150,000.    You could install a LVL ridge beam and new rafters on one side to add some SF but still not a cheap or easy job.   

Originally posted by @Jesse Clark :

Those are not trusses. It's a stick framed roof, one peice at a time. You can work around the existing framing and finish as you please, or remove the entire roof and redo which will be much more expensive

 Agree with this...

but this is the best one we saw in a home 135 years old & not a sag in place.

Thanks for so many informative responses. If it's going to cost even 1/10th of the amount Casey said then it makes it pretty easy to pass on this property. There were some other very expensive fixes that I might have been able to do over time but the attic space would have had to happen almost immediately to finish a 2bd unit and without that it would leave it cash flow negative. Hopefully others are able to benefit from the information here too, I sure learned a lot.

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