I want to span a 24' shed with a gambrel roof to create an operational space of 16' and I want a design that can be build onsite and installed without a helper. I'm having an impossible time figuring out how I'm going to fasten the trusses to the side-walls. What are some workable ways of doing this?


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    While anything is possible, I highly recommend that when you get to the heavy lifting (literally) - i.e., all parts on site, all the small stuff assembled, etc. - that you get your choice of: best friends, brothers/brothers-in-laws, nephews, local freelance hired help (in my area that means go to the Home Depot parking lot), etc. 1 or 2 extra sets of hands will make a big difference when you are trying to lift and connect 8' - 16' pieces of lumber. Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 21:32
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    You have more problems than just how to fasten to side walls: 1) joint connections, 2) web design for 24’ span, 3) shear connection without plates, 4) twisting trusses during installation without disturbing the joint connections. However, your biggest problem is SAFETY. My Friend’s dad fell off the top of the trusses and died when he was installing plywood sheathing. The trusses were not adequately braced diagonally and twisted. Those trusses are like spaghetti. Like @manassehkatz says, get some help, especially if you haven’t done this before.
    – Lee Sam
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 22:16

1 Answer 1


The type of roof truss design that you show is far from optimal. You should be thinking of something that looks a lot more like the picture below.

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This design provides a lot better support for the rafters and for the lower chord. You can get the rafters ready made where the metal finger plates are pressed into wood joints from both sides of the rafter assembly. Alternatively you can also easily make your own rafters by cutting plywood pieces that cover each joint that are then glued to the rafter members with construction adhesive and nailed with 8d sinker nails in reasonable quantity.

Many years ago when I worked on construction jobs we built rafter trusses on site using the plywood, glue and nails assembly technique. We laid out a template on a large flat work space with guide blocks to get all the rafters built to the same dimensions. (Note that the plywood pieces were applied to both sides of the truss and were not necessarily minimal sized. For example we would make pieces shaped like this for a couple of examples.

enter image description here

  • Following up on my comment & Lee Sam's comment: How many people would it take to safely put these things together and install them on site? Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 4:06
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    Four or five would be minimal and that would be with a crane / hoist too raise the trusses into place.
    – Michael Karas
    Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 13:14

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