How Can You Finish Your Attic When Your Home Has A Truss Roof?

Finishing your attic to transform it into a living space is a great way to add square footage to your home and increase its value. However, the process of finishing your attic is quite involved, and it can become even more difficult if you have roof trusses in your attic.

Roof trusses have sloped beams that stretch from the underside of your roof to the floor of the attic, and these beams take up space in your attic and prevent you from using it as a living area. To finish your attic, you'll need to modify your roof design in order to free up some space. To learn how you can finish an attic that has roof trusses, read on.

Install Rafters and Remove the Trusses

Rafters are thick beams that support the weight of your roof, and they're a viable alternative to roof trusses. If you want to create space in your attic to finish it, you can install rafters in your attic to support the roof and remove the trusses once they're no longer needed. However, this is usually a very expensive project.

Truss roofs are common in modern home buildings because their triangular design allows them to support a very heavy roof using thin beams. The design distributes the weight of the roof evenly. Rafters are more expensive since you'll need to use thicker beams to compensate for the fact that they don't do as good of a job at distributing weight compared to trusses. Despite the expense, converting your roof to use rafters instead of trusses will open up space in your attic and allow you to finish it.

Convert the Trusses to Attic Trusses

Attic trusses are a special type of truss where the sloped beams that run from the roof to the ceiling of the attic are confined to the outside edges of the truss. This creates a wide open space in the center of the truss that you can use as a living area. By installing attic trusses and removing your current trusses once they're no longer needed, you can make your attic suitable as a living space. The sloped beams can be hidden by drywall when you finish the attic.

Converting your trusses to attic trusses is typically less expensive than replacing them with rafters. The downside is that they still have sloped beams in the attic, so installing attic trusses won't free up as much space as replacing your trusses with rafters. If you have a very large attic, however, this space may still be suitable for a living area.

If you have a truss roof and want to finish your attic, the first step is to contact a structural engineer. Measure your attic and take pictures of the trusses, then give the photos to the engineer. An engineer will come up with a plan that will allow you to replace your trusses with rafters or switch them with attic trusses, and their plans will make sure that the weight of your roof is still properly supported throughout the entire process. Once you have the building plans, you'll be able to start finishing your attic to make it a living area.

For more information, contact a company like Campbell Truss Company Inc.