A garage roof frame is a structural component of a freestanding or attached garage that joins the walls and forms a base for the roof, which seals off the space from the elements. You can add supports to a garage roof frame in two different ways for added strength and load-bearing ability.
The easiest way to add support to a garage roof frame is to build or order roof trusses that are rated to hold significantly more weight than the garage roof is likely to require. Trusses can be modified or built with added supports before being installed in the garage during initial construction. This process usually consists of extra timber in the truss design. Home builders and truss manufacturers use engineering software to determine the best ways to add supports to garage roof trusses for specialty purposes, making them stronger than the trusses used for standard garage roof frames.
In other cases, you may wish to add support to existing roof trusses as part of your garage's roof frame. Short of adding new timber, which can be challenging once trusses are in place, you can add supports by installing metal braces that attach timber components. These brackets, sometimes known as hurricane straps, nail into wall frames and truss components, fortifying the garage roof frame at its weakest points.
Adding supports to garage roof frames can have several purposes, regardless of which form it takes. A stronger garage roof can support more attic storage, including heavy items that would strain a weaker roof frame. Besides attic storage, a strong roof frame can hold specialty storage tools and items such as a hoist for automotive parts or an open loft. In addition, bolstering a garage roof frame allows it to withstand strong winds, heavy snow loads and other environmental factors.
Adding strength to your garage roof frame is not simply a matter of adding metal brackets and expecting a significant improvement in load-bearing capacity. You must understand how the frame supports weight and where additional supports will have the most value. If you aren't experienced in structural engineering or home building, consult with a professional who can lay out a plan for improving your garage roof frame and offer estimates in which types of future use are safe and practical.
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