Truss roof....timber frame house. The attic space has braces all over the place on the webbing. Are these from the construction of the roof? And are they necessary? Can a small section be cut and re-braced above to make access to the other side of the roof?


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2 Answers 2


They certainly look like "wind braces" which keep your truss from folding flat like dominoes when pushed.

Without seeing the erection drawings for your roof, I can say that for my truss roof there were both longitudinal and diagonal braces specified as part of the erection drawing for the trusses. Trusses have a lot of stability in the direction of the truss, and none (of themselves) across the trusses. That has to be built in.


Trusses tend to lay over on their sides when loaded. In order to keep them in the perfect upright position, they provide 2x4 braces to keep the trusses exactly vertical.

In addition, some of the diagonal chords are in compression and will buckle if not braced to keep them straight.

I wouldn’t remove any braces until the truss manufacturer can verify it’s okay.

  • The last picture should have sufficient bracing around it to stop any twisting on the web ?
    – John Smith
    Commented Nov 17, 2020 at 8:09
  • I can’t tell...there’s so many braces. You’ll need someone to look at it or get the truss manufacturer to print out a “construction bracing layout” drawing. Then you could compare what is required with what is installed.
    – Lee Sam
    Commented Nov 17, 2020 at 15:36
  • To be honest, I can't see any rhyme or reason for the so-called braces. Only the long diagonal one pointed to with the orange arrow in the first picture looks like a brace to keep the gabled end of the roof from folding in. Everything else, except for the roof trusses themselves, looks like random pieces of wood that were nailed up.
    – SteveSh
    Commented Nov 19, 2020 at 2:10
  • @SteveSh I doubt the braces are random. (That’s a lot of work.) The braces are reducing the “effective length” of chords. When columns are in compression, their strength is determined by its “effective length”. Likewise, truss chords in compression is determined by their “effective length”. You can Google it: “effective length of column formula”.
    – Lee Sam
    Commented Nov 19, 2020 at 6:08

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