Anyone building a custom home must decide in advance what type of roof support system they prefer: traditional rafters or roof trusses. Many people are choosing roof trusses these days rather than the traditional rafter systems. The following article provides key information about roof trusses for those unfamiliar with this innovative home construction product.
A roof truss is a framework made of timber or metal that is installed to give solid support to the roofing components such as the decking, underlayment, and shingles. A number of roof trusses are placed on the top of a home's walls so that the roof itself can be installed after the trusses are secured to the house. The number of trusses required for a custom home will depend on the design of the house and the type of truss being used.
Roof trusses have become popular with home builders and their clients in recent years due to several advantages they have over rafter systems. For example, roof trusses are prefabricated at the manufacturer's factory according to a set of specifications established by construction engineers. This means that the trusses are all identical and have been tested for effectiveness before they ever arrive at the construction site. By contrast, rafters are built by carpenters at the construction site, where it's easier for errors to be made.
Also, because they arrive at the home site prefabricated, roof trusses can be installed more quickly than rafters, which reduces your labor costs. In addition, since trusses can be put in place so rapidly, they are not exposed to the elements for as an extended period as rafters are on some occasions.
Another key benefit is that the way trusses are constructed makes them extremely strong.
The only significant disadvantage to trusses is that you have less space in your attic, but many people have no interest in a finished attic anyway, so this concern is not a major problem for most owners of custom homes.
Wood or Metal
Although most roof trusses for residential structures are made of wood, you also have the option of using metal trusses. Metal has some advantages over wood, with the main ones being that they are fire resistant and not subject to insect damage. A big advantage of wood, however, is that it's usually much less expensive.
For more information about using a truss roof in your custom home, talk with a building contractor.