Growing up in a house full of girls, I unofficially took on the role as my father's only son. So when the time came to fix a leaky sink or change the oil in the family car, it was me that stood by my father's side. Thanks to him and everything he taught me, I am now able to take care of myself and my children in a way that not everyone can. I have tried over the years to engage my own daughter in the same way my father engaged me, but she's currently more interested in playing with dolls than fixing potholes. After my father passed away last year, I vowed to find a way to pass on everything he taught me, this blog is my way of keeping that promise. I truly hope that you learn as much as I have over the years.
Are you building a new house? If so, you'll need to decide what kind of support system you want in the home's flooring. When most people think of floors, they consider things like carpet, tile, and hardwood. That's only the visible part of the floor, though. Underneath those elements is the support system, which is a series of wooden beams that support the entire weight of the house. The traditional way of building a floor is by using joists cut onsite. However, pre-constructed trusses have become very popular in recent years. Here are the pros and cons of each to help you decide which is right for you:
Joists have traditionally been the most common floor construction solution. Joists are cut by a carpenter onsite. They're then placed at regular intervals along the length of your home and they're capped on each end by a perpendicular end piece of lumber. Holes are then cut in the joists so that wires, ducts, and other elements can be routed through the home.
The advantage of using joists is that they offer flexibility. If something in your home's plan changes, the joists can be adjusted onsite. However, joists can be time-consuming to install because each piece has to be individually cut. Often, other phases of construction can't begin until the joists have been installed. Also, every hole that's cut in the joists weakens the flooring, so too many adjustments could leave you with a floor that's not as strong as you may like.
A floor truss is built offsite custom to the design and specifications of your home. The entire floor truss is then shipped to your home site and installed in one piece. There are a few benefits to this. First, the truss can be built while other things are happening, such as while the foundation is being laid. The truss can then be installed in as little as a day, so your construction project can quickly move onto the next phase. This greatly reduces the construction schedule.
Also, trusses are designed with your home's entire plan in mind. They're often built with open spaces between the beams, so there's plenty of room for ductwork and cables to pass through. There's no need to drill holes and the openness of the floors will make other contractors' jobs easier.
The only consideration with a floor truss is that they can be difficult to adjust after they're built. If your foundation is laid incorrectly or there is some other change, your entire truss may need to be engineered. To avoid this, make sure your home design is complete before you start truss construction.
Talk to a truss contractor, like Campbell Truss Company Inc, about whether a floor truss may be right for your home. They can discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using a truss.