Notched Top Chords On Gable Ends


The industry suggests notching the gable end truss to support the overhang. Is this wise? What about a structural gable, or a gable designed with drag loads, or one with only partial bearing? How safe is it for a framer working with a truss that has the top chord cut repeatedly?


The notched top chord should not be used for structural gable ends, drag struts or partial bearing trusses. The only exceptions are trusses that have been analyzed and sealed by a truss engineer who has taken the notched top chord into account.

A better option is to use a drop top chord gable end detail, which allows the out-lookers to be installed on edge and cantilevered back to the top chord of the second-to-last truss. This produces a much stronger rake overhang and is a much easier installation than notching. There is a diagram of this detail in SBCA’s Engineering Components for Efficient Framing brochure and in SBCA’s BCSI-B3 Summary Sheet.

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