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Difference Between Rafters and Trusses

Rafters vs Trusses

Rafters and trusses have long been employed in making roofs of houses. Though both rafters and trusses are commonly employed in conjunction, it is possible to go with either of them while designing a roof. There are both advantages and disadvantages while making a roof with rafters or trusses. This article talks about features of rafters and trusses to enable readers to choose between them, depending upon budget, complexity and time at hand while making roof of the house.

Both rafters and trusses are made up of timber or metal and are either prefabricated or cut at the site. They are most commonly used to provide a support system to the roof depending upon the design of the roof and its complexity. Rafter is more traditional of the two support systems, and consists of placing 2X6 inch logs of timber in a triangular pattern to make a roof. With passage of time, designing roofs has become a full time job and more complexity has gone into making roofs. Though, they look like the earlier ones, they are more complex from the inside. These days, instead of rafters, smaller timber pieces that are prefabricated (2”X6”) are made use of, to provide support to the roof. They are called trusses and are made in a timber factory and supplied in required numbers to the site where roof is being constructed which saves a lot of time and all carpenters need to do is to install them in a careful manner so as to provide brace to the roof being constructed.

Difference between Rafters and Trusses

• When rafters are used, though they consume a lot more time than when trusses are used, they leave a lot of space, which can be utilized to have a spare room like space just like an attic. Rafters also make for easier renovation, whenever it is required.

• When it comes to time and money though, trusses are preferred as they help in saving both time and money.

• Being prefabricated, trusses save a lot of time. They also result in saving of money.

• Installation of roof trusses is much easier and faster than roof rafters.

• It is always better to talk to your architect in this regard; better keeping in mind your priorities and requirements.


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