Allot of questions have been brought up lately about ordering trusses with a raised or a standard heel. Here's the way we understand it...
The energy code requires an R-38 all the way out to the outside edge of the exterior wall, therefore, a standard heel height would require the insulation to be compressed down which reduces the R value below the required minimum. A raised heel can vary in size, we've seen a minimum allowed of 9" to a full 12" to accommodate the full height of R-38 insulation.
So the question is:
If this is a code requirement, why wouldn't we automatically include a raised heel design every design we do?
The simple answer is, enforcement. Many/most towns simply do not enforce this. Also, it increases cost, in some cases, substantially. It's impossible for us to know what towns and more importantly, which inspectors will enforce this. Not being a structural issue, we are not required to accommodate. We don't want to price ourselves or our customers (you) out of a project. In a perfect world, every town and every inspector would make this the standard. For now, we need to rely on you, our customers, for this information prior to quoting the project. For those projects that are already quoted, and for options, use an up charge of 12-15% above the common truss cost, that seems to work in most cases. The best an most competitive way seems to be a 9" heel, but check with your customer prior to quoting, and we'll do whatever we can to keep it as competitive as possible. Make sure if he/she is getting multiple quotes, your customer is aware of this option so to keep things equal.
The bottom line, unless instructed by you, our customers, we will continue to quote our trusses with standard (common) heel heights. We will continue to ask first on call in orders, and follow the plans as drawn, if no height is given or clearly drawn, we'll quote standard (common) heel heights.