Roof Truss Project

Roof Truss Project

Rock Trading & Distribution, a long standing Alpine licenced roof truss manufacturer, supplied 56 attic profiles for a self-build dormer bungalow conversion nestled in a picturesque valley overlooking the north Devon coastline – with an intriguing history.

The structure was originally built by Mr Skidmore Ashby in 1920 as the member’s enclosure for “Shebbertown Races” which operated for several years from 1922. In its horse racing heyday, it was reported to be the most beautifully situated racecourse in England. When Mr Ashby was forced to abandon his racing venture following ill health, the building was converted to a home which remained in the family until its recent sale.

Upon discovering the house on the market, the new owner who had long envied the location, seized the opportunity to buy it and set plans in motion to transform the modest dwelling into his dream home.

The whole house is undergoing a complete renovation, with a room in the roof conversion providing the biggest housetransformation. The existing 15° low pitched roof has been replaced with a gable to gable run of 35° attic trusses along the entire 22 metre length of the building – creating vastly more living space.

Gary Huxtable, Truss Department Manager at Rock recalls – “The customer came to us with a sketch of his vision. We then sat down to clarify some details and go through the options. Using the Alpine VIEW truss engineering software, we ran off and priced a preliminary design to his liking. He later returned with full architectural plans and placed an order.”

As is typical of the manufacturing process, the design was then exported from computer aided design (CAD) software to a “Computer Numerical Controlled” (CNC) saw to cut the timber members to precise lengths and angles.

Next, factory operatives worked from manufacturing drawings generated from VIEW to position the sawn timber members and specific punched metal nailplates at their joints on the factory’s AV Birch table press.

Once finished, the completed trusses were delivered to site in two lorry loads, together with working drawings generated by VIEW and the materials specified by the software.

Despite the wild December weather of persistent rain and gusty winds – exacerbated by the site’s coastal location, the roof structure and timber infill was erected within a week by the four tradesmen on site. With the trusses each weighing up to 143 kilos, a crane was used on site from midday on Monday through to Tuesday to safely unload the delivery and raise them into position.

Main Builder and Project Manager Ricky Allin commented – “The roof installation went pretty well. I take due care with temporary bracing on any truss installation – but with the gusting winds funnelling up the valley from the coast on this project, it was very important to brace them.”

Designs for the roof transformation include three generous double bedrooms, each with ensuite bathrooms. Ample space is provided by the steeper pitch and 1200mm cantilever to each side beyond the 7750mm span over wall plates. A stubbed attic detail allows the provision of large balconies off the master and second bedrooms to make the most of the setting.

Gary Huxtable explains Rock Trading & Distribution’s loyalty to the Alpine system for over 40 years – “Over the 38 years I’ve worked for Rock with Alpine, we’ve been kept satisfied with good service, new products and have formed friendly working relationships – almost like a big family! All of which has helped to keep our custom through thick and thin.”

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