wide span roof trusses

I need to put a roof on a pole structure which will protect my small aircraft from the elements. I would like info on how to size wide span truss that I can build myself out of metal or wood. The span is 34' and will have a tin roof. Pent style roof sloped front to back.


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Feb 07, 2009
Contact a local Structural Engineer
by: Anonymous

Hi Bryan,
In terms of sizing the trusses I think that you would be best to ask a Professional Structural Engineer based in your local area to advise you on the structural layout, truss spacing and type.

For small buildings with roof spans up to 4 or 5 metres standard solutions are available on the internet that, depending on the structure, will most likely stand up anywhere in the world. I mention these figures as a limit as the stresses increase in proportion to the square for the span so that so when you double the span of a beam the stresses are 4 times larger!

The engineer will consider snow and wind loading using design codes specific to your area of the world (this is the sort of thing I do every day, but based in the UK). The engineer will also take into account any other requirements such as your preference to build the structure yourself and planning requirements from local government.

A structural engineer will normally offer a fixed fee for the project based on an hourly rate and an estimate of how many hours the project would take. This typically ranges from 2-5% of the value of the construction value of the project depending on the details you need.

If you are housing something such as a plane I would suspect that your insurance policy may require it to be adequately housed. If damage occurred to the plane due to an inadequately designed structure, if for example it collapsed due to high winds or excessive snow load, you may not be covered. I would think that this alone is a reason to get this structure professionally designed.

Labour costs for a project of this type could be 30-40% so would offer a better area for keeping the project costs down, but even so a project of this nature should not be undertaken lightly.

I hope this helps and I look forward to seeing pictures of your new hangar.



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