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Timber Trusses vs Rafters –
How do they Differ?

Trusses and rafters are both great ways of supporting the roofs of buildings. Some people believe that roof trusses are preferred for roof construction, as they’re more commonly used. However, this isn’t always the case. Both offer pros and cons. Here are the differences between timber trusses and rafters, and some guidance on which to use.

What is a rafter?

Rafters are long pieces of lumber. They incline away from a central beam and join to outer walls. Building a roof with rafters is sometimes called ‘stick framing’. Where each rafter is built individually on-site. It involves carefully measuring and securing each rafter so it is labour intensive.

What is a truss?

Timber trusses are premade structures that look like webs. They do not require on-site prep like rafters. They are placed evenly from one end of the property to another.  Timber trusses are made in factories following precise plans for maximum strength.

What are the differences between timber trusses and rafters?

They have different fabrication and installation methods. timber trusses and rafters also produce different results. Here are the things to note when deciding between them.



1. Ease of transport

Rafters are built on-site, so they are often easier to haul to remote locations. They can be transported using a range of vehicles, including boats, helicopters, and trucks.

2. Ease of installation

Timber trusses are generally considered much easier to install than rafters. Rafters are more old-fashioned than trusses. That means it can be difficult to find people to install them.

3. Cost

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

4. Preparation

Rafters can be installed almost immediately. They don’t require the kind of planning and precise measuring of timber trusses.

5. Property height

Rafters are the better option if you’re converting your attic space for living or storage. They offer maximum headroom.

6. Strength

Timber trusses are studier thanks to their webbed structure. Trusses are better suited to large properties. Rafters can be used in smaller projects.

7. Aesthetics

Most properties using roof trusses have flat, rather than vaulted ceilings created by rafters. People who want a classic sloping roof may need rafters.

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

Are you ready to start your roofing project? Whether you need timber trusses or elegant rafters, Heyden Frame and Truss is ready to help. We offer quick quotes that suit your budget, and unbeatable help and adviceContact us on (02) 4351 2616 to speak to a friendly team member. We service the regions of Sydney, Gosford, Newcastle, Central Coast, and surrounding areas.

We supply and deliver all over Northern Sydney, Newcastle and the Central Coast.

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