Many people think that trusses are now preferable to rafters, but this isn’t necessarily true. It really depends on the type of project. Rafters are useful if you want to use the extra space to build a large attic. You might want to use rafters to match a unique architectural design.
Trussed are currently more popular than rafters. 80 percent of modern homes use trusses to hold up the roof. Trusses are lightweight. Engineers design them to meet the specifications needed to reliably hold up the roof. They’re typically made out of wood, but some structures may have metal supports. Trusses are typically less expensive than rafters. They’re often manufactured in bulk using automation. You also need less material to hold up a roof. Trusses can span 60 feet, and some roofers claim they are easier to install than rafters.
Prebuilt trusses are very heavy. You’ll need a large truck to transport them. A crane will typically lift and place a heavy truss on a home. It’s hard to store things under trusses because the webbing covers the space between the floor and the ceiling. These can be significantly more obstructive than rafters. It’s also very hard to modify or remove trusses. Most people build roofs to last the lifespan of the home, but cutting even a small piece of the webbing may compromise the roof’s integrity. An engineer should examine the space if any major changes need to be made.
Rafters are likely less popular simply because they are more expensive than trusses. It’s must easier to tear down and rebuild a roof assembled with rafters. The rafters can be moved if wiring or pipe needs to be placed in a certain area of the roof. You might want to use the extra space to build a room with a vaulted ceiling. Some people like to convert this space into a spare bedroom or large attic. Rafters take longer to install than trusses, but the installation process is a lot more flexible.
Rafters are created using stick framing. Several workers need to be present to assemble the frame. Trusses are also typically easier to install. Some roofers will not install rafters because they do not have experience putting them together. The style is much less popular, and many of the workers who routinely installed these supports are now retired. This simply means that you’ll need to shop around if you want to find an expert who can install these kinds of roofs.
Making a Final Decision
Trusses are probably the better choice for homeowners who simply want to be a roof that is stable and affordable. Rafters are better suited for homeowners who want to utilize the particular roof style. Trusses are factory assembled, so you don’t have to worry about defects. Many people who select rafters find the vaulted ceilings appealing. Creating a larger attic or additional bedroom with the space could potentially improve the home’s value. Rafters are a great idea for small roofs. They are often used to build sheds and other very small buildings. Trusses are ultimately more economical than rafters, but some people prefer the style and flexibility that rafters offer.