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Installing the sway brace. On a typical roof, I’ll install three regular trusses, then install a sway brace to rack the whole assembly plumb. (If I wait too long, there will be too many trusses and the roof will be hard to rack.) First I pull up the drywall backing that was precut for the gable end wall and nail that down to the top plate. Then I nail the 45-degree end of the sway brace on top of the backing and rest its other end on a nail placed in the side of the last ridge block I installed, the one between the second and third trusses. Finally I rack the end truss plumb and nail the sway brace to the ridge block. At this point, I like to change gears and install the barge rafters. After the barges are hung, I continue standing the remaining trusses (Figure 5).

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Figure 5. With the efficiency that comes from good preparation, an eaves block is installed (top), then the next truss is rolled up and nailed off (below).

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In a production situation, it is important to establish a rhythm and a steady pace: Stand and align a truss, nail it to the top 1x4, pull up and nail in the eaves block as well as the ceiling drywall backing, pull up another 1x4 for the next set of trusses, install an eaves vent every fourth bay. With all the trusses raised, plumb and brace the remaining end truss and install the barge rafters on that side.