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  • Writer's pictureNorthern Timber Crafters

Designing a King Post Truss

Updated: Nov 25, 2023

The most common type of timber truss is a king post timber truss. The king post is the vertical member in the center of the truss that runs from the peak down to the bottom horizontal member. This design is common because it is extremely practical and readily meets the various engineering loads that a structural truss must endure.


“Common” and “practical” are not typically the adjectives our customers use when describing the type of truss that they desire, but please give the king post truss a chance to prove that it can be so much more! We have designed and built many different styles of king post trusses. Check out a few designs below that might be the perfect starting point for your project.


King Post Timber Truss



Classic King Post Timber Truss


This is called classic for good reason. This tried-and-true design has been used for hundreds of years. This no-frills truss is suitable for almost any application and exceptional when it come to providing structural integrity for long spans. As an added bonus, this truss is often the most cost effective design.


This Classic King Post Timber Truss is one of the most common timber trusses.

Check out TT-11 in our Timber Truss Gallery


Rendering of a series of the Classic King Post Timber Trusses



Elevated Bottom Chord King Post Timber Truss


The Elevated Bottom Chord King Post Truss is identical to the Classic King Post Truss but with one very important change: raising the bottom chord so that it is closer to the peak of the truss. This small change in design really excels in two situations.


The first situation is when ceiling elevations are low but homeowners desire to incorporate as much of a truss that the space can allow. Elevating the bottom chord can give more headroom while still allowing for full size trusses in the room.


The second situation is when ceiling elevations are extra tall or steep. With a steep pitch there can be a lot of height and space to fill. By raising the bottom chord, the ceiling space is lessened and allows for a better scale for all components. If the wall height is also tall, then lower knee braces are great at bringing down the perceived height of the ceiling.


Elevated Bottom Chord King Post Timber Truss for Lower Ceilings

Check out TT-18 in our Timber Truss Gallery


Elevated Bottom Chord King Post Timber Truss with

Lower Knee Braces for High Ceilings


Rendering of a series of the Elevated Bottom Chord King Post Timber Trusses



Arched Bottom Chord King Post Timber Truss


A king post truss is not limited to straight members. Altering from straight to arched chords and struts inspires a smoother flow and more movement. In some ways, the arched members make a classic truss have an even more classic feel. The joinery where the king post meets the bottom chord allows for a great opportunity to showcase the craftsmanship involved in timber framing.


Arched Bottom Chord King Post Timber Truss

Check out TT-15 in our Timber Truss Gallery


Rendering of a series of the Arched Bottom Chord King Post Timber Trusses



Angled Bottom Chord King Post Timber Truss


The Angled Bottom Chord King Post Truss mimics the shape of the above Arched Bottom Chord King Post Truss but does so without using any arched members. Where arches provided a classic feel, these streamlined members on angle lend themselves to a more modern feel.


Angled Bottom Chord King Post Timber Truss

Check out TT-3 in our Timber Truss Gallery


Rendering of a series of Angled Bottom Chord King Post Timber Trusses



King Post Timber Truss with Metal Webbing


We are all about timbers here at Northern Timber Crafters, but we cannot deny the beauty that results when combining timbers with custom steel components. Lucky for us, our next door neighbor is a top notch metal fabrication shop. We’ve done several sets of trusses that combine timbers with metal rods and that aesthetic seems to be getting more popular. The metal components can be spray coated or powder coated in almost any color to match other components in your project.

King Post Timber Truss with Metal Webbing


Rendering of a series of King Post Timber Trusses with Metal Webbing



As the above drawings show, there is tremendous room for design and creativity even inside the common category of King Post Timber Trusses. Your home should be custom and your trusses should be too. Let us help design and craft your custom timber features to make your home extraordinary.


All renderings from this article to compare side-by-side.


Copyright (c) Northern Timber Crafters – All Rights Reserved. 2023.
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