Manufactured roof trusses are used in nearly 80 percent of all new homes constructed in America. The trusses are designed by structural engineers to ensure they meet roof load and building code requirements using a minimal amount of lumber, as opposed to conventional roof framing where choosing the size of rafters is often left to the builder. The result is often wasted lumber due to over building, if a 2 X 8 is good then a 2 X 10 would surely be better!
Ask anyone framing new homes today which is better and the answer will most certainly be trusses. Modern truss manufacturers can design and build trusses for the most complex roof and ceiling plans available in custom built homes.
Disadvantages of Conventional Roof Framing
- Conventional roof framing requires the use of larger framing members to form the roof plane as well as the ceiling resulting in higher labor costs.
- Each individual piece of the roof and ceiling must be figured out, marked, cut to length, then placed and nailed in the correct position.
- Requires the use of interior load bearing walls.
- May take several days to construct leaving the new home exposed to the elements for a longer period of time, increasing the chance for moisture damage.
- Highly experienced carpenters must be used further increasing labor costs.
Advantages of Stick Framing
- Building site space restrictions can be overcome with the use of stick framing roofs.
- Most truss builders can’t build an interchange hip, rolling hip, or turret style roof.
- All framing lumber can be purchased locally and delivered the next day.
Disadvantages of Manufactured Roof Trusses
- Trusses must be ordered two to six weeks in advance.
- Uplift of improperly installed trusses results in drywall cracks and nail pops at the intersection of the ceiling and interior walls.
Advantages of Trusses
- Carpenters with less experience can set trusses, lowering labor costs.
- Fewer interior load bearing walls are needed due to the trusses longer free span.
- Shorter lengths of two by four stock are used to build trusses reducing material prices.
- Structural engineers design and certify roof trusses.
- Trusses can usually be set in one day, the interior of the home is exposed to the weather for a minimal amount of time.
Types of Roof Trusses
- Raised Heel
- Room in Attic
- Multiple Piece
- Studio Vault
These lists of roof truss type and ceiling styles is by no means exhaustive, consult with your builder and local truss manufacturer for more complete details.