Roof Trusses Types: All Types Explained And Cost

Roof trusses are an integral part of the roof system. They provide structural support, and they keep your home strong against weather like heavy snowfall, hurricanes, tornadoes, or earthquakes. 

In this article, you will learn all about roof trusses from how they work, the cost, the difference between rafters vs trusses, and what you need to know about them. Let’s dive in… 

roof trusses types

Understanding Roof Trusses

In the world of Structural Engineering, the name “truss” is described as a triangular design. It’s somewhat an outline that typically consists of posts, struts, or rafters that will support a roof, bridge, and other structure. You will notice these roof trusses structure that supports railways, halls, auditoriums, stations, gymnasium, and more.

Also, the trusses support the loadings from the truss down to the load-bearing that supports below. Furthermore, there are plenty of good reasons why trusses became popular these days. They are more convenient, versatile, and cheaper for a construction project.

Benefits of Roof Trusses 

For years, roof trusses gained popularity for a few reasons. First, it provides support to your roof, and it is cheaper compared to rafters. In addition, it comes in lighter materials, and you can purchase it in large quantities, which can save you money. To know more about the benefits of roof trusses, read down below.

  • Labor costs are cheap 

When you want to install trusses, you can’t expect it to be pricey when it comes to labor costs. On the contrary, it’s very affordable since you don’t need a skilled or expert carpenter to get the job done.

  • Distributes even weight to the roof 

Another benefit of having a roof truss system is that it provides balanced weight on your roof and the exterior of your house. With roof trusses, home developers can create open-concept living spaces easily.

  • Easy to haul interior wall for future renovation 

Another benefit of installing roof trusses is that it would be easier to remove walls if you plan to have future renovations. In addition, it would be easier for carpenters to haul the walls, making it less pricey on your end.

  • It comes with multiple designs

Like the types of trusses covered in this article, you can say that there are countless designs to make the roof’s framing. So whatever style or concept you desire for your home, there are many roof trusses you can choose to surely meet your needs.  

  • Reliable and convenient 

Another good thing about roof trusses is their versatility. It’s also very convenient, and you can find it anywhere. Just make sure that you consult with a professional architect or structural engineer to guarantee that you will find the appropriate truss that meets building code requirements.

 What are the Different Types of Roof Trusses?

Roof trusses also come in different types that anyone can choose. To know more about these trusses, check out these roof trusses types.

  • Attic Trusses 

These are standard overhang and stubbed eaves used when building a place with a need for habitable space within a roof zone. These are designed with larger timber sections to always support extra loadings and allow people to stay within the truss zone.

  • Queen Post Truss 

Queen Post Trusses are known for their simple, reliable, and flexible roof truss type that can be used at any given time. It is also known for its sturdy features, that’s why it’s a bit pricey. It usually comes in 10 meters and comes with a simple design that will be perfect for big buildings.

  • Standard Fink Trusses 

These are among the most common types of trusses that are used for building new homes. In the UK, they use standard fink trusses in building houses, used mainly by local housebuilders. If you plan to put up garages, extensions, or self-build projects, try the standard fink trusses. The position will allow some storage space and can accommodate things such as water tanks.

  • King Post Trusses 

King Post Trusses are known for their central vertical posts used in architectural projects. This type of truss works best in tension to continuously support the beam underneath the truss apex. This truss usually comes in 5 to 8 meters, making it perfect for home additions, like a garage or those short-span projects.  

  • Scissor Trusses 

Scissor trusses are commonly used as another design for master bedrooms or living rooms. You will notice that the bottom chord members are inclined to make a sloping ceiling. The appearance is quite similar to scissors; that’s why it’s named or called after it.

Moreover, it provides support to the vaulted ceiling in the same way as standard trusses. Just imagine a Cathedral building, as this is one of the best examples of roofing with scissor trusses.

  • Howe Trusses 

This is a kind of truss that comes with upper and lower parts. It’s a combination of wood and steel or both. The only thing that makes this truss spectacular is that the span is wide. It covers everything from six to thirty meters. So it’s going to be useful for large and wide project types.

  • Mono Trusses 

Mono trusses are sloped in only one direction and usually used in entrances and roofs with hip ends. However, you can also be used to form new roof buildings.

  • Pratt Trusses

One of the most popular steel trusses in the market because of its affordability is the Pratt truss. Pratt Trusses are known to cover lengths that range between 6-10 meters, making them ideal for minimal projects. This includes slanting members that slope downwards the center, which happens to be the opposite of Howe Truss.

  • Raised Tie Trusses 

If you want ceilings that come in a sloping design in your room, go for raised tie trusses. These are commonly known and ideal for Velux windows.

  • North Light Roof Trusses 

If you have a broad set of lattice girders with support trusses, perhaps North light trusses are recommended. This truss may be old, but many would still use it because of its affordability. If you happen to pass by drawing rooms, industrial buildings, and large spaces establishments, you will notice that they’re using North light roof trusses.

  • Parallel Chord Roof Truss 

Built with 2 chords parallel to each other and usually supported by strengthening trusses in between the bottom and top, parallel chord roof trusses are common to most roofing construction businesses. In addition, it reduces the issue of condensation and mold since they create a vapor barrier.

  • Gable Truss  

Gable trusses are commonly known to many as the ‘bookends’ to the roof. This is because it serves as the end support for the roof and is built on each end to support roof sheathing. It is usually used for most residential gable roof construction, and it varies on your roof design. Moreover, gable trusses are used in combining other kinds of trusses.

How Much Does a Roof Truss Cost?

The cost of placing a roof truss varies in many factors. It usually costs around $7,200 to $12,000, for a 2,000 sq foot house. You will probably spend around $1.50 to $4.50 per sq. foot of the building area only for the materials. 

Therefore, it depends on the size of your house. Moreover, you can spend around $35 to $150 per truss, and it may increase if you prefer more extended trusses with slopes or design; that can reach around $400 each. 

What is the Strongest Truss?

According to experts that have tested and compared all trusses to know which is the most durable but only uses the least amount of material are the Howe and Pratt trusses. 

These trusses were tested by creating minimized and maximum compression forces. The only difference between these two was the diagonal members that change direction. (West Kentucky Community and Technical College)

Trusses VS Rafters: Understanding the Differences 

Aside from trusses, another support will give your roof, and it is called the rafters. Both have triangle shapes, but there may be confusion between the two that makes people undecided. Here are some of the differences you need to consider.

  • Rafters need cutting and must be constructed on-site. In contrast, roof trusses come in a fully designed structure ready to install on the roof.
  • Rafters require more time, costs, and labor. In comparison, roof trusses can be manufactured off site and always available to be installed when they have already reached the site.  
  • Rafters contain two outer beams to support the roof structure. On the other hand, roof trusses come with many beams, which adds better support to the roof.


One of the essential features that a building must have is an excellent foundation of the roof. There are plenty of good reasons why roof trusses proved their test of time in construction. Due to its benefits to homes and buildings, there’s no way you can ignore these when you decide to build projects.

I hope you now have a better understanding about roof trusses and how it works for buildings. Just come up with careful planning of the desired structure and, of course, the materials you’re going to use.

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