The First Truss

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Last fall, it was tough to walk away from this pile of trusses.

main_category: 
Money Spent So Far: 
$59,000 + Cost of Property
Sponsor Box: 
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Author Notes: 

<img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-VfRAu_IyhRM/T4hWytkhNhI/AAAAAAAAKDk/3... style="width: 470px; " alt="" /><br /><p></p><p>And the Ram grabs it. &nbsp;</p><p></p><p>It takes a bit of&nbsp;maneuvering&nbsp;to get the truss placed just right with the correct overhangs, involving pushing the 48 foot long truss down a foot or so</p><p></p><p><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7rd8A0S4-So/T4hWy_1nB3I/AAAAAAAAKDs/y... style="width: 470px; " alt="" /></p><p></p><p>But finally the hammers come out and the first truss in nailed to the top plates. &nbsp;</p><p></p><p><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-d2ioOAESFxY/T4hWz9r7CAI/AAAAAAAAKD0/k... style="width:470px; " alt="" /></p><p>On the inside, supports are screwed directly to the inside walls</p><p></p><p><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-4yAhu6twz-8/T4hW1wQdCfI/AAAAAAAAKD8/q... style="width: 470px; " alt="" /></p><p></p><p>And then cross supports to attach trusses to the supports. &nbsp;</p><p></p><p><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-rGqXl974k8M/T4hW16MTnRI/AAAAAAAAKEA/Y... style="width: 470px; " alt="" /></p><p></p><p>We are not just supporting the first truss.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>We are setting it in place perfectly level and straight. &nbsp;If it is off, even the tiniest bit, the next 44 feet of trusses will slowly get more and more off, and before we know it, we'll have a Momplex with a very whimsical looking roof. &nbsp;</p><p></p><p><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NOXvPjp273w/T4hW2QbRyYI/AAAAAAAAKEM/0... style="height: 720px; " alt="" /></p><p></p><p>And as much as Grace would love for both Grandma's to be living in a crooked house, it's just not happening. &nbsp;Even if it takes a long, long time to get this first truss right.</p><p></p><p><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-xt1cl34bTfw/T4hW4vazHbI/AAAAAAAAKEc/K... style="width: 470px; " alt="" /></p><p></p><p>And finally, the nail gun comes out to further secure the first truss in place.</p><p></p><p><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-ajnRo1ycV6Y/T4hW5NxkLRI/AAAAAAAAKEk/7... style="width: 470px; " alt="" /></p><p></p><p>The truss is released from the hook</p><p></p><p><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-vhWIyZAgVQU/T4hW6urT0TI/AAAAAAAAKE0/a... style="width: 470px; " alt="" /></p><p></p><p>And our first truss sits on top of the Momplex!!!!</p><p></p><p><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-DDn7-Dh73Z4/T4hW6IfoiII/AAAAAAAAKEs/p... style="width: 470px; " alt="" /></p><p></p><p>22 to go.</p><p></p><p>It is going to be a long long day.</p><p></p><p></p>

Momplex: 
Step 1 Diagram: 
Step 1: 

I felt like we had not only failed ourselves, but that we had failed the Moms and failed you who have supported us and cheered us on.<p></p><p>I was disappointed.</p><p></p><p>I was disheartened.</p><p></p><p>I was sad.</p><p></p><p></p><p>But today, as we set these trusses, I am thankful we waited.

And today, this day only a few months delayed, I am happy.</p><p></p><p>The sun is shining, the mountains are out. &nbsp;There is not ice covering the trusses or bone chilling wind. &nbsp;We are not encumbered by layers of down gear or wearing thick always in the way&nbsp;gloves. The sun won't go down in a few hours, shutting our job site down. &nbsp;</p><p></p><p>It was wise to wait for spring.</p><p></p><p></p><p><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-napONXDYnOs/T4hTi_kVc_I/AAAAAAAAKDY/Z... style="width: 470px; " alt="" /></p><p></p><p>The blocking is cut, we are prepped and ready to go. &nbsp;</p><p></p><p>Today, we set trusses!</p>

Step 2 Diagram: 
Step 2 Instructions: 

When we built our house, it was just me and the Ram and his dad on truss day. We tied a rope around each truss, and one at a time, we pulled each truss on top of the house. Then we moved each truss by hand in place. It was tough work. And those trusses were half the length and height of these trusses. And our house is only one story, not built into a hill.

For the Momplex, we have to hire a boom truck.

The trusses are huge. The Momplex is tall. And there's alot of them.

Step 3 Diagram: 
Step 3 Instructions: 

The boom truck first sets up in front of the garages, between the Momplex and trusses. Then we quickly check to make sure the boom can reach far enough.

Just barely.

Step 4 Diagram: 
Step 4 Instructions: 

It will be a little tricky lifting the trusses up over the side of the Momplex and into position. But we want to avoid moving the boom truck too many times.

Time is money.

Step 5 Diagram: 
Step 5 Instructions: 
The boom truck has a hook on the end for lifting, but we will need rigging to attach the trusses to the hook.
Step 6 Diagram: 
Step 6 Instructions: 
The first truss is looped in two places with heavy straps
Step 7 Diagram: 
Step 7 Instructions: 
And then the straps are looped into the hook. That's Uncle Bill and Grandpa Tim helping us today. They are my favorites.
Step 8 Diagram: 
Step 8 Instructions: 
Once the truss is secured to the hook, Uncle Bill gives the signal. Up.
Step 9 Diagram: 
Step 9 Instructions: 
And the boom truck slowly lifts the very first truss off of the stack. This is a gable end truss. It is shorter than the common trusses, and features studs every 24" so nailing plywood on later reduces waste. Also, the center is open to allow for an access vent.
Step 10 Diagram: 
Step 10 Instructions: 
When the first truss clears the pile, I can't really believe it is happening. Over the winter, I've lost hope, felt overwhelmed, asked myself, have we taken on more than we can do???? But today, as I see this truss moving, I feel newly enthusiastic and optimistic about the Momplex. Yes, our family can DIY this Momplex. We can do it!
Step 11 Diagram: 
Step 11: 
The truss is every so slowly brought around. They are fragile and there is a little wind today.
Step 12 Diagram: 
Step 12: 
Around the side of the Momplex it comes. It is huge.
Step 13 Diagram: 
Step 13: 
And then the truss starts to go up ...
Step 14 Diagram: 
Step 14: 
Up top the Ram waits for it. This takes forever as the boom extends, then the truss drops to allow for the boom extension. Then it extends and rotates, drops, and so on.
Step 15 Diagram: 
Step 15: 

Finally, the boom has the first truss in the right position

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