Plated Wood Truss Hip End Styles

For many, the first day of summer means it is time to cinch up your favorite hip-hugging bathing suit and enjoy the warm weather. For the truss industry, it’s time to keep those hip-hugging bathing suits in the closet and take advantage of the favorable weather months by bidding and building as many jobs as possible. During the bid and build frenzy, there will be several hip end jobs leaving truss yards across the country, but what exactly is a hip end and what are the different styles?

Truss hip ends drawing
Roof with Multiple Hip Ends (blue), Plan View

The Structural Building Components Association website (SBCA) defines a hip roof as a “Roof system in which the slope of the roof at the end walls of the building is perpendicular to the slope of the roof along the sides of the building.” While framing terms differ by region, most trussed hip end systems will include hip trusses, jack trusses (end and side) and a rafter or corner girder truss. Hip end style and setback (distance from side or end walls to the hip girder truss) may also vary by building design and region.

In the western part of the country, a California Hip system is typically seen in many trussed structures. In this hip system, the hip truss flat top chord is dropped by the plumb cut of the jack top chord at the roof pitch. By doing this, the top chords of the end jack trusses can pass over and bear on the dropped flat top chords. As the height of the hip end roof plane increases, the height of the flat top chord also increases, though the interval at which the flat top chord height increases may vary by building design and region.

Truss Design: California Hip System
California Hip System, Plan View
Truss Design: California Hip Rendering
California Hip System, Rendering

East of the Rocky Mountains, the California Hip is rare and a Step-Down Hip system is more popular. Differing from the California Hip, a Step-Down Hip system is one where every truss under the hip end plane decreases in height, or “steps down” from the apex until it reaches the hip girder, which is placed at a pre-determined setback.

Step Down Hip System, Plan View
Step Down Hip System, Plan View
Step Down Hip System, Rendering
Step Down Hip System, Rendering

Less regional and more situational depending on the building design, are the Lay-In Gable, Dutch and Terminal Hip systems. The Lay-In Gable Hip system is one with many regional names and shares similarities with the California and Step Hip systems. Like the Step Hip, every truss steps down moving from the apex to the setback. Like the California, every truss flat top chord has a drop. However, the flat top chord is dropped by the plumb cut of a 1.5” member at the roof pitch, as the gable frame lays flat.

Roof System: Lay-In Gable Hip System, Plan View
Lay-In Gable Hip System, Plan View (Gable Frame shown in green for clarity)

 

Lay-In Gable Hip System, Rendering
Lay-In Gable Hip System, Rendering

In a Dutch Hip system, the hip end roof plane does not converge with the side planes to form an apex. Instead, the hip end plane pitches directly into the girder truss that is placed at a predetermined setback. Jack trusses then connect to the hip girder truss or to a ledger attached to the hip girder truss.  This hip system is also referred to as a Dutch Gable.

Dutch Hip System, Plan View
Dutch Hip System, Plan View
Dutch Hip System, Rendering
Dutch Hip System, Rendering

Assuming like roof pitches and heel heights, a Terminal Hip system is one where the hip girder truss setback is half of the main truss span or building width. If pitches and heel heights vary, the girder truss is placed at the apex of the three converging roof planes, which could be more or less than half of the main truss span or building width.

Terminal Hip System, Plan View
Terminal Hip System, Plan View
Terminal Hip System, Plan Rendering
Terminal Hip System, Plan Rendering 

While these are some common hip end styles in the truss industry, there are definitely others. Each style has its own advantages and disadvantages, and a discussion of those will be the topic of a future post.

What other types of hip end styles are you familiar with? Let us know in the comment section below.

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3 thoughts on “Plated Wood Truss Hip End Styles”

  1. One thing Simpson needs to consider is the connectors for corner hip trusses.
    Most of your 45 deg. skewed connectors (SUR/L, HSUR/L, LSU & LSSU) require a double truss for the carrying member but your corner hip anchors (HCP2, HCP1.81 & HCP4Z) don’t work for a double truss. You also once had a FGTRHL/R that could be used on wood but it appears to be no longer available for wood applications.

  2. Is it acceptable to bend the vertical legs in 1/4″ on each side since a double truss is only 3″ wide and a 4x is 3 1/2″ wide?

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