Rafters vs. Trusses: What’s the Difference?

by | Oct 13, 2021 | Roofing | 0 comments

If you are constructing a new home or building an addition to an existing house, a crucial decision to think about is the structures that will support your roof. Unless the blueprint calls for a flat roof, you have to pick between rafters and trusses. So, what are the main differences between the two? Local roofing specialists break down the important details in this article.

What Are Rafters?

Rafters are extensive planks of which size is generally around 2x10s or 2x12s. It slopes down from the central ridge beam, which is located at the peak of the roof and intersects with the outer walls. The main function of these long planks is to support the roofing and roof sheathing. The method that utilizes rafters in roof construction is called stick framing.

What Are Trusses?

A truss is a prefabricated structure made of wood. It forms a triangular webbing of structural members to support the roof while tying the outside walls of the house together at the same time. Trusses stand along with chords, which are the sloping beams that expand to the top of the truss. According to a metal roofing expert, the fundamental function of beams and ties that make up the webbing of trusses is to distribute the weight of the roof over a broad area.

How Do Rafters and Trusses Differ?

One of the main differences between rafters and trusses is that trusses are assembled using pre-engineered structures in a factory, whereas rafters are assembled at the construction site. Further, rafters are beneficial for attic spaces that will be turned into additional rooms down the line because not only do they provide larger space for storage, they also offer attic insulation as a radiant barrier. 

A truss roof construction, on the other hand, offers greater strength and better quality control for it is designed automatically based on a computer setting, making it incredibly resistant to weather exposure. The only drawback is that trusses do not leave much room for an extra room, reducing the attic space.

Atrium Roofing is a premier source of residential and commercial roofing solutions, including roof replacement and hail roof damage repair, in and around San Antonio, TX. Our top-rated team is committed to providing the comfort and efficiency every client needs through industry-leading products and outstanding customer service. Call us today at (210) 806-7171 or fill out our contact form to request a free, no-obligation estimate.

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