This Article is About
shed plans
12x16 shed plans
roof trusses
king posts
roof pitch
shed roof
basic construction
12x16 Shed Plans Roof Design - What Your Shed Plans Won't Tell You
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12x16 Shed Plans Roof Design  -  What Your Shed Plans Won\'t Tell You

Most people do not consider roof truss design when they purchase 12x16 shed plans. But a 12 foot wide span on for a shed roof is getting close to the size that needs an understanding of how roof trusses are built to ensure that the shed is safe and that the roof structure will last a long time. A 12x16 shed is a large shed which equates to a considerable investment. It is wise to understand some basic construction techniques of 12 foot wide trusses so that even if the shed plans do not adequately dictate how they should be built you can modify them to be stronger.

The main parts of a 12x16 shed truss are the top chord, bottom chord, king post and gussets. Each of these parts has an important function and when put together properly they add up to a very strong component that will hold up your shed roof for a long time.

Top Chord

The top board on a roof truss is called a top chord. It is the member that the roof sheeting is nailed to. It is usually installed at an angle which becomes the roof pitch.

Bottom Chord

The bottom chord is the horizontal part of the truss, it goes directly from wall to wall and sits on top of the walls with the top chord sitting on top of it. Its function is to tie the two lower ends of the truss to each other. This function provides strength to the truss.

King Post

King posts are not always used on small trusses but 12x16 shed plans are wide enough to need one. The King Post is a board that runs directly vertical from the top of the bottom chord to the underside of the top chords where they meet in the center of the shed. Its function is to divide the triangle shape of the truss into two smaller and equal triangles. This increases the strength of the shed plans roof design.


Gussets are a plate that sandwiches the connection points of the truss boards. Manufactured trusses use a metal plate with spikes on it but you can make your own gussets by cutting out pieces of ½” O.S.B. sheeting and using it to sandwich the joints of the truss. It is important to install a plate on each side of every joint. This increases the strength of the truss. Use 8d nails and make sure that the nails are far enough from the ends of the boards so they do not split the wood.

Snow Weight

The snow load for a roof varies depending on your specific region. It is the amount of weight that a roof truss needs to be designed for. If you live in an area of high snow load it is advisable to call your local building department and ask them for the weight and if they have any recommendations for the design of your shed roof. Areas with high snow load often have standard designs on hand for common questions. When all else fails you can contact a local structural engineer or truss plant for shed plan roof design ideas.

With this basic understanding of shed roof trusses you will be able to communicate effectively with anyone helping you to make sure that your 12x16 shed plans roof design will work well for your intended use and local weather conditions. So get out your shed plans and get to work.

Street Talk

Ken Lasch  

All you need is the right garden shed blueprint and garden shed plans for this project, a friend to help you and a good weekend to start your project.

  about 1 decade ago
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