When it comes to residential roofing, two common methods are used to construct the framework of the system — rafters and trusses. Understanding the differences between the two is essential for making informed decisions during the planning stages of a building project.
Rafters vs. Trusses
Rafters are individual, sloped beams that support the roof structure. They usually extend from the external wall’s top plate to the roof’s ridge board. Rafters are evenly spaced along the building to produce a triangular roof. Homes that use the attic for storage or living space will benefit from this construction method’s open and wide attic spaces. Since rafters are cut and placed separately, they demand additional labor.
Roof trusses, meanwhile, are prefabricated triangular wood or metal structures. Metal plates join the top, bottom, and diagonal elements. Designed for certain roof spans and loads, trusses are efficient and cost-effective. They’re manufactured and assembled prior to delivery to the building site for installation, and can fit different roof forms and pitches.
Rafters and Trusses: The Benefits
Rafters offer flexibility in roof design and allow for unique architectural features such as vaulted ceilings or exposed beams. They are well-suited for custom designs, historic restoration projects, and homes where an open attic space is desired. Additionally, rafters can provide a traditional and visually appealing look to a home’s interior.
Trusses are known for their efficiency in construction. They are engineered to handle specific loads, ensuring structural integrity. Their factory-made nature reduces on-site labor, leading to quicker construction timelines. Trusses are particularly beneficial for larger structures and commercial roofing projects where time is of the essence.
Which Should You Choose?
Choosing between rafters or trusses is a matter of knowing what your residential and commercial roofing needs are. If you have future plans to convert your attic into a living space, having a traditionally-built roof supported by rafters is ideal. Trusses are worth considering if you want a roof framework made from a non-wood material like metal, or you desire a roof aesthetic that isn’t as conventional as most typical roofs.
Whether you need seasonal roof jobs or simply professional advice for a roofing project in Peabody, MA, US Roofing is here to help. Give us a call at 978-532-6300, or complete our online form. Our team of roofers is ready to help you make the best decision for your roofing needs.