2 Reasons to Use Prefabricated Trusses for Your Roof (And 1 Not To!)


Roof trusses are triangulated, prefabricated wood or metal structures which are built at a factory according to manufacturer's specifications and then shipped to your construction site and placed using a crane once the wall structure is complete.

Prefabricated trusses from a roof truss supplier have become increasingly popular as a construction option compared with conventional stick-framing, where dimensional lumber is used and each board is individually measured, cut and fixed together. Trusses have a number of advantages over the latter, and this article outlines some reasons to consider using them depending on your purpose.

1. Stronger houses

Trusses are joined together to form triangular configurations that transfer the weight of the roof to the exterior walls of the house. The lumber used has uniform density, size and quality, and metal connector plates are used to ensure all joints are rigid.

This assembly is done following engineering principles on a computer system (utilising computer-aided design, or CAD) according to the exact specifications of your house, factoring in worst-case scenarios and eliminating chances of human error. The assembly is transported to your premises with numbers and an instruction sheet for the exact assembly.

If instructions are followed during installation, you're assured of a very stable roofing system, capable of withstanding very harsh weather conditions. This is unlike stick-framed houses where lumber is joined on-site according to builder's calculations, and loads may not be evenly spread throughout the structure, which means weaker portions may succumb to external pressure in the event of extreme weather.

2. Vaulted ceilings and open-floor plans

Prefab trusses are designed to be able to carry their weight over longer distances, especially compared with stick-framing. This means that the roof can carry its weight to exterior walls so that you don't need internal load-bearing walls.

This has two advantages. First, you can easily increase the feeling of space by constructing a vaulted ceiling without breaking the bank (executing vaulted ceilings with stick-framing is significantly more costly). Second, you can play with open-floor plans in various parts of the houses. Both of these come in handy if you have limited space to build on and therefore cannot waste valuable space on walls and doors.

When trusses are a disadvantage

Because trusses are constructed to fit the exact floor plan of the house on which they will sit, you are not allowed to alter or cut them in any way or veer from the manufacturer's installation plan. Therefore, if you have future remodelling plans, prefab trusses may not be the best solution for you. These can never be changed once they have been placed (unless you want to completely redo the home).

You can overcome this by suggesting your remodelling plans to the truss supplier/manufacturer to find out whether your plans can be accommodated during design and construction. They will tell whether or not your remodelling plans are viable and make allowances for them where possible. 


23 August 2017

Roofs: Repair, Re-shingle, Replace and Other Roofing Ideas

Hi and welcome to my blog. My name is Jules, and several years ago, I bought an old house. As it needed so many repairs, we learned to compromise and prioritise our goals. That included the roof. Although the house needed a roof, we spent a few years working on other elements of the house, and during that time, we repaired and patched parts of the roof or added shingles as needed. Finally, we were able to replace the entire thing. I learned a lot through the process and wanted to create a blog about it. If you are interested in anything to do with roofs, please check out my posts.