When building the ‘home of your dreams’ you will be confronted with multiple choices that need to be made. Whether you should install trusses or rafters is just one of these decisions. But it is a biggy.
Is there a difference between the two? Yes there is. Let’s take a closer look.
Rafters are always triangular in shape. They’re made from wood or steel and it’s also worth noting that they are older in heritage than a truss.
Normally, a rafter will have a singular support beam running the length of the roof span, with its chords (rafters) dispersing the weight of the roof into the structure. For those who’ve been on our blog before, we do construct something similar to this and call them duopitch trusses.
The main difference between rafters and trusses is that rafters are normally installed on site, are normally a part of the structure, and often they are built into the walls. As a large generalisation, rafters are made from a heavy gauge of material, think of a barn’s roof.
It’s also worth mentioning that rafters take longer to install and require a specialist. These two requirements make installing rafters expensive, which in our current economy is a huge factor.
Trusses are a newer technology to rafters, and they are more cost effective.
Like rafters, trusses can also be triangular. However, there are more options with trusses, such as large flat expanses of roof (think of warehouse roofs).
The major difference between the look of rafters and trusses is that a truss normally has webs providing additional support, whereas rafters do not. For those who are unsure of what a web is, it’s the beam of wood between the chords.
These webs provide additional support and strength in regards to load bearing capacity. This means trusses are stronger than rafters.
Trusses are normally prefabricated in a factory, under controlled conditions, which means there’s a smaller margin for error. At the EndoTruss factory we utilise computerised cutting machines that ensure they are millimetre perfect.
A major bonus is that pre-fabricating a truss makes it easy and quick to install. With a team of installation professionals at hand, it can be done within a day or two.
Normally, trusses are cheaper than rafters on labour costs, as you don’t need to be an artisanal woodworker.
We might be a bit biased, but we think you should only choose a rafter for aesthetic reasons. Think of rafters as an Italian sports car, while the truss is a German sedan.
No one can argue that giant, natural, oak rafters are not great to look at. But they normally come with a huge price tag, and they don’t do the job as well as a truss.
If you need to talk more about roofing options, feel free to call our team, here: 011 864 5174