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How Do Trusses and Rafters Differ From Each Other?

Trusses and rafters both represent effective ways of supporting the roofs of buildings. Some people believe that roof trusses are generally the preferred method for roof construction, as they’re more commonly used. However, this isn’t the case, with both offering a range of different pros and cons. In this quick guide, we’ll go over the main differences between trusses and rafters, including guidance on which to use for your project.

What is a rafter?

Rafters are long pieces of lumber that incline away from a central beam and join up to outer walls. Building a roof with rafters is sometimes referred to as ‘stick framing’, with each rafter built individually on-site. The method is labour-intensive, as it involves carefully measuring and securing each rafter.

What is a truss?

Trusses are premade structures that look like triangular webs. They do not require on-site construction like rafters and are placed evenly from one end of the property to another. Generally speaking, timber roof trusses are made in factories and follow very precise measures to ensure maximum strength.

What are the different between trusses and rafters?

Timber Roof TrussAs well as involving different fabrication and installation methods, trusses and rafters produce very different results. Here are the primary differences to note if you’re deciding whether to use trusses or rafters:

1. Transportability

As rafters are built on-site, they are often easier to haul to remote locations using a range of different vehicles, including boats, helicopters, and trucks.

2. Ease of installation

Trusses are generally considered much easier to install than rafters. Furthermore, as rafters are considered more old-fashioned than trusses, it can be difficult to find operatives able to carry out rafter installations.

3. Cost

Trusses are less expensive than rafters as they are made using smaller wooden planks and don’t require intensive manual labour.

4. Preparation processes

Rafters can be installed almost immediately and don’t require the kind of accurate planning and precise measurements associated with trusses.

5. Property height

Rafters represent the better option if you’re hoping to convert your attic space or use it to store large possessions, as they ensure that the ceiling offers maximum headroom.

6. Strength

Although they’re built using smaller wooden planks, trusses are considered studier thanks to their webbed structure. In this way, trusses are often better suited to large properties, while rafters can be used in small construction projects.

7. Aesthetics

Most properties built using roof trusses have flat ceilings, rather than the vaulted ceilings produced by rafters. As such, people who appreciate the classic look of the sloping ceiling may be better off with rafters. It is also impossible to modify roof trusses further down the line, as any wear and tear could compromise the property’s structural integrity.

Need help with your roofing? Contact Heyden Frame and Truss today

Are you ready to start your roofing project? Whether you need timber roof trusses or elegant rafters, Heyden Frame and Truss is ready and waiting to help. We offer quick quotes that suit your budget, as well as unbeatable help and advice. Don’t hesitate to contact us today on (02) 4351 2616 to speak to a friendly team members. Please note we service the regions of Sydney, Gosford, Newcastle, Central Coast, and surrounding areas.