How to Build & Install Easy Steel Trusses

Steel trusses are an alternative to the more commonly used wood trusses.
Made in a similar manner and installed to the top of the house just as their wooden counterparts, steel trusses are popular in larger buildings because they are more water- and fire-resistant. They are also less prone to insect damage and shrinkage due to the weather conditions. When you are building a steel truss, it is often constructed as one large piece and then installed onto the house or building.

Step 1

Measure the distance of the roof and determine how many trusses you need to make for installation. Run a tape measure across the width of the roof and record the total measurement in inches. Divide that number by 16, which is how far apart the trusses will be spaced to get the number you will need to construct.

Step 2

Lay out the metal truss pieces and cut off the ends of each piece at a 45-degree angle, one going in each direction with a hacksaw. Measure and mark the desired cut location with a black marker and cut carefully along the mark at the 45-degree angle. Butt the two pieces together to verify they fit. These pieces will butt together at the top of the roof.

Step 3

Butt the two pieces together so the two 45-degree angles are pushing into one another and screw them together with a metal strap. Place the metal strap on each end of the pieces and attach the two together with sheet metal screws and a power drill through the pre-drilled holes.

Step 4

Measure out 16 inches from the end of the roof on both sides and mark the location with a black marker. Stand up the piece you just constructed and have a helper walk it up to the roof on one side while you hold the other. Position the piece along the marks on each side.

Step 5

Screw the truss to the horizontal plates underneath with a power drill and sheet metal screws. Insert two screws on each side of the truss you constructed and repeat the process for the truss on the other side. Make all of the remaining trusses in the exact same manner.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Hacksaw
  • Black marker
  • Metal straps
  • Sheet metal screws
  • Power drill

About the Author

Alexander Callos began writing in 2005 for "The Lantern" at The Ohio State University and has written for various websites, including Bleacher Report, Top Ten Real Estate Deals and Columbus Sports. He has published articles for CBS Sports, SI.com and other websites. He graduated in 2007 from The Ohio State University with a bachelor's degree in public affairs journalism.