Why are Roof Trusses More Popular Than Rafters?
Over the past half century, roof framing has undergone a bit of a revolution. Roof trusses are gradually replacing the conventional rafters, more than 80% of new residential construction has been making use of trusses to support the roofs. Below is some information on why this change has come about and what the differences are.
What are Rafters?
Rafters are the traditional way of supporting a roof, built, cut and installed on site by carpenters. Roof rafters are made from sloped framing boards of dimensional lumber; they are normally 2x10s or 2x8s, they connect the roof peak which is also called the “ridge board” to the plates of the exterior walls. The rafters are secured at the bottom by the ceiling joists. Then there are collar ties, which are placed horizontally, halfway down the rafters, hold the roof planes and rafters together.
Advantages of Rafters
While roof rafters are being used less and less frequently due to the expense that is higher and the labor costs of trusses vs rafters, there are still certain advantages to the roof rafters. With stick framing, it is much more flexible and can be altered without compromising the structure. As a result of this, you are able to create open space under your roof, valuable for either practical purposes such as building an extra office, bedroom or even storage space or simply for good looks.
Despite the fact that the actual installation process is quite a bit slower than when making use of trusses, roof rafters require a much shorter lead time to prepare, so if you need to get your building up asap, rafters is definitely the quicker option. Using rafters is also more suitable for the more remote locations, as transporting a pre-assembled truss system to your site might be a bit complicated.
What are Roof Trusses?
Roof trusses are engineered to be lightweight units that consist of top and bottom “chords” which are supported by a webbing of lumber in a triangle shape.
Advantages of Trusses
The fact that roof trusses are normally pre-assembled to your exact building specs offsite, often using automation such as computer driven saws, means that they are a lot faster and much more economical to have installed than roof rafters. Although they are making use of smaller and cheaper pieces of lumber which are linked with tooth plate connectors, roof trusses are extremely strong and stable, they are capable of spanning great distances of up to 60 feet. This will reduce the need for interior load-bearing walls and it will allow for a more open floor plan.
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