Engineered Roof Truss Systems Minimize Wind Damage

Strengthen your roof with trusses to stand up to hurricanes and high winds

In the wake of the damaging hurricanes that have ravaged New Orleans and Florida, building codes have been modified to minimize wind damage. Keeping the roof on the house in these types of weather extremes necessitates forming a tight bond between the sail-like roof deck that catches the wind and the walls below. Engineered roof truss systems have been developed to accomplish the task.

In traditional framing of the past, two-by lumber has been used to frame into the rafters and stringers. To accommodate for new local, state and national building codes, architects and engineers have designed roof trusses built of 2x4s. The trusses are formed in a triangular configuration and joined together with metal connector plates for a more cohesive roof truss. The uniform size and density of the lumber along with the metal connector plates ensure greater rigidity at the joints and a higher degree of quality.

Roof trusses create a stronger roof structure, says Sean O’Connor of Robbins Engineering, in Tampa, Florida. They are also backed up by using CAD (computer-aided design) techniques and tested with computer analysis for worst-case scenarios. “Because every one of the roof trusses are engineered, it literally takes into consideration all the forces acting on the truss, from gravity loads to wind loads, seismic loads, and uplift loads,” said O’Connor.

All-steel roof trusses have made a dent in the construction market as so have steel-framed homes but they are typically reserved for the light commercial and industrial markets. Wooden trusses still dominating home construction with wood with metal connector plates. I-joists and other engineered wood products have also made a big surge in the homebuilding market. “They can be used almost like framing lumber, but unlike conventional lumber, they’ll span up to 60 feet in length,” O’Connor said.

The low-cost connector plates with wood roof truss will perform to engineered lumber parameters, especially when coupled with hurricane straps. When they are properly put together, fastening the trusses to the walls, the roof system is typically better than any stick-built roof. “So they are a nice, low-cost solution to framing problems,” says O’Connor.


Timberlake Truss Works ( has a history of building since 1956. Our aim has always been to build strong quality houses out of the best products available. This has been a family operated business all its life. Family and friends are very important to us.

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