Roof truss has evolved to be considered as one of the most significant advancements in new home construction in the last thirty years. In simple terms, the roof truss are triangular shaped wooden structures that are factory built and delivered to the work site as a finished unit.
Before the introduction of factory built roof trusses, rafters were built, in place, piece by piece. This process was less safe, slower, and more expensive than today’s alternative where the roof trusses are delivered and lifted into place with a crane.
Advantages of Roof Truss:
- Cost savings are significant due to the fact that the roof truss is manufactured in a factory where economies of scale and labor saving fixturing keep the time required to make a truss at a minimum.
- Trusses are designed to specifications by engineers, thereby ensuring that the strength of the roof is a known. Roof frames made onsite are often built based upon the builder’s opinions and experience, with varying results.
- The use of roof trusses dramatically speeds up the speed at which a home can be built. In a sense, this large component of the homes structure can be built ahead of time and shortens the time it takes significantly.
- A well designed roof truss can span a much longer distance than wood framing is capable of. This means that the home can often be designed with fewer load bearing walls.
- Unique designs that include cathedral and cross gabled features are possible at a much lower cost when using pre-fabricated roof trusses.
Specifications to Consider When Ordering Roof Trusses:
- Span - This will tell the manufacturer how long the bottom chord needs to be.
- Overhang - This spec indicates the distance there will be between the bottom chord and the bottom of the top chord.
- Quantity – This seems like simple requirement, and it is, but you don’t want to buy more than you need or come up one truss short.
- Load that the roof have to bear – the size of the roof, type of shingle, and even wind considerations have to be accounted for.
- Slope or steepness of the roof – is important for the truss designer to be aware of.
- Height of the roof at its peak.
- Type of truss – Each one has its unique features, advantages and disadvantages. If you aren’t familiar with the differences, it is best to consult with an architect or construction professional who is.