Types of Roof Trusses


A roof truss is a building material used to frame and support the roof structure of a home. While traditional roof framing was built on-site using lumber or steel, the majority of new homes today are built with pre-manufactured truss systems. There are many different types of roof trusses available to accommodate different home designs and roof loads.


  • While many different trusses are available for roof construction, they can usually be broken down into one of two basic categories. Flat trusses, known as parallel-chord or girders, are used to construct flat roofs. Pitched, or common, trusses are used to build sloped-roof structures. Hip, gambrel or bowstring designs are popular examples of common trusses.


  • All types of trusses have the same basic components and structure. The name "truss" describes a triangular design, which may range from a simple individual triangle to a large number of interconnected units. The outside framing members are known as chords, while the smaller connecting members are called webs. A point where the truss rests on a load-bearing wall is known as a bearing point, and a king post is a vertical support that divides the bottom chord on many types of trusses.


  • Roof trusses are used to carry and support the weight of the roof deck and any finish material used to cover the roof. This weight can be quite significant if clay or slate roof tiles are used, or it may be very light when used to support asphalt shingles or rolled roofing. The chords support the roof while the webs brace and stabilize the chords, helping to distribute the load across the entire truss to the bearing walls on either side.


  • One of the primary benefits to truss construction is the ability to span much longer areas than with traditional stick framing. Because trusses are designed by engineers, they are also safer and more reliable than alternative materials. Truss roof systems can be erected much more quickly and efficiently than framed roofs, and a variety of different truss designs are available offer versatility to builders and homeowners.


  • Because of the triangular shape of a truss, homeowners will find that roof trusses can greatly reduce the amount of usable space in the attic. This can cause problems with storage, or may even cut into potential living space. Trusses are also generally more expensive than stick framing in terms of upfront cost, though the associated labor savings may offset this higher material cost.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit Rpongsaj: Flickr.com
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • Scissor Truss Installation

    Scissor trusses are used to create vaulted ceilings in a home. Standard trusses have a one piece, straight and level lower cord...

  • Different Types of Truss Bridges

    The truss bridge is one of the oldest bridge designs in the United States. Utilizing wood or steel, the truss bridge is...

  • Types of Roof Structures

    Roof designs are as varied as structural designs, but there are a number of roof styles or structures that are commonly used....

  • Types of Steel Trusses

    A truss is a structural frame based on the geometric rigidity and stability of the triangle, which more effectively distributes tension and...

  • Types of Metal Connectors for Roof Framing

    Common roof framing consists of several distinct components. The board that runs down the center of the roof is the ridge. The...

  • Different Types of Roofing

    Choosing a roof type will depend upon your finances, aesthetics, building codes and climate. Today's homeowners have a vast array of choices...

  • The Advantages of Roof Trusses

    Roof trusses are a standard part of many building designs, as they hold a number of advantages--both from a design and a...

Related Searches

Check It Out

22 DIY Ways to Update Your Home on a Small Budget

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!