The Most Popular Types Of Roof Trusses And Their Uses

construction of roof trusses

Published Sept. 7, 2022

Constructing buildings requires a lot of work and planning. You can’t simply design a house and get right on to building it. Specific steps must be followed and many safety requirements have to be put into consideration when building different structures. 

In residential buildings, trusses are vital in maintaining the stability of the building’s roof. A lot of different types of roof trusses exist. In this article, we will discuss each one of them.

What Are Roof Trusses?

Before we get into the different types, let’s discuss first what a roof truss is to get a better understanding of its importance. 

A roof truss is defined as an arrangement of beams and other objects to create a sturdy roof structure. The truss acts as the skeletal system of a building’s roof to ensure that it is not too flimsy and is strong enough to withstand intense weather and wind. 

Different roof trusses vary depending on their size and shape. Therefore, it can be hard to distinguish which kind of truss you need. To better understand how the most common roof trusses differ, let’s have an in-depth talk about each of them.

How To Know What Type of Roof Truss Do You Need

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Take these factors into consideration when choosing what type of roof truss you’ll build:

  • Shape Of Your Roof

Residential roofs in the U.S primarily come in 3 shapes – gambrel, hip, and gable. Once you are aware of what shape of roof you want, then you’ll be able to tell what kind of trusses you need.

For example, a hip roof will have hip trusses. Meanwhile, a gambrel-style roof is naturally going to have gambrel roof trusses.

  • Type Of Ceiling

Your home’s ceiling can also indicate what kind of roof truss you should utilize.

Vaulted or pitched ceilings on the top floor of your home indicate that you have used scissor trusses. Needless to say, this isn’t always the case since all buildings are erected differently.

  • Attic Space

If you want to have attic space, then it’s best to go for attic trusses. 

After all, it’s this type of roof truss that’s designed for homes to have room beneath the roof for storage, recreation, and a whole array of other different purposes.

Types of Roof Trusses

The Most Popular Types Of Roof Trusses And Their Uses
  • Standard Fink

The standard fink roof truss is the most common type of roof truss that people use in the UK for residential buildings. Such roof trusses are made of materials in a “V” shape. Imagine a zigzag pattern that starts from one side of the roof going to the other that firmly supports the structure. 

Aside from that, you should know that multiple derivatives of the fink roof truss exist. The most common examples of which include double fink and fan roof trusses.

  • Mono

Think of an upside-down letter ‘V’ but split in the middle. These roof truss types are in the shape of a right triangle. 

Mono trusses create multi-level roof lines that constructors use to add roofing to an existing structure. This type of roof truss is usually more affordable than other trusses and is used for sheds, garages, or as extensions of existing roofs. With that said, mono trusses are also being built on new buildings.

  • Raised Tie

Raised Tie trusses are the types to form a slope in one direction only. This roof truss design offers more headroom as it features higher ceiling lines. In addition, it allows you to create a higher ceiling without raising the overall height of the house/building. 

Quite interestingly, raised tie trusses can come in different designs and shapes that you can adjust to match your preferences.

  • Attic

People use attic roof trusses when they want to utilize the roof area of their homes to add space and room. Attics are usually used for storage or as bedrooms. Some individuals also refer to this type of roof truss as the “room in roof” truss because it provides lots of living space.

Attic trusses are becoming more common in households as it is a convenient way of adding more living space without having to go through rearrange your whole building plan.

  • Scissor

The scissor roof truss consists of a sloping ceiling that is shallower and angled towards the outer roof pitch. 

Additionally, the braces of scissor roof trusses resemble the shape of scissors, hence the name. 

Such a structure allows the roof to have more strength giving more flexibility to the design. This roof truss is primarily utilized for buildings that have slightly sloped ceilings. 

  • King Post

A lot of people say that a king post is the simplest kind of roof truss. It utilizes few materials and has an incredibly simple design that’s been used since ancient times. Furthermore, king post roof trusses are incredibly affordable, making them the ideal choice for those on a budget.

Unfortunately though, king post trusses have a limited span. In most instances, they measure 5 to 8 meters, making them unsuitable for large-scale roofing projects.

  • Queen Post

Queen post roof trusses are very similar to king posts. Both have simple designs, use very few materials, and are incredibly cost-effective. With that said, queen post trusts require more materials to make. As a result, they’re typically more expensive than king post trusses.

Another thing that sets queen post trusses apart is their span. You see, they can measure up to 12 meters. Be that as it may, they’re still best suited for residential construction.

  • Hip

As its name alludes, hip trusses are used for creating hipped roofs. For those who don’t know, this style of roofing slopes on all sides, making it resistant to heavy rain and snow.

The one major downside of hip roof trusses is that each one has to be specially engineered to make sure they’ve got the right slope and ridges. Don’t worry as we can do this for you easily.

  • Flat

Flat roof trusses are primarily utilized for commercial buildings. However, they are sometimes used for the construction of homes with flat rooftops. Now with all that said, such roof trusses are incredibly easy to design and construct. However, they aren’t as aesthetically pleasing as other types of roof trusses.

  • Gable

A gable truss is mainly used for residential homes with gable-style roofing. Quite interestingly, they are often used in combination with other kinds of roof trusses.

Depending on their span, gable trusses are usually 20% to 50% more expensive than your average roof truss. This is especially true if you decide to utilize quality reclaimed lumber.

The Bottom Line

Now that we have covered the basics of the general types of roof trusses, hopefully, you could understand the difference between them better. Roof trusses are essential in building homes. For that reason, choosing the right one to utilize for framing your roof is incredibly important.

Knowing which type of truss to use for your home can help make your building plan easier as you will have already covered the basic structure by then. 

After creating a building design and layout, all you have to worry about is the interior and other aesthetics. Building a home or any other structure is a commitment, so make sure you have all the information you need before making any final decisions.

(You might also like: Is A Post Frame Home For You?)

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The Most Popular Types Of Roof Trusses And Their Uses

About The Author

is an experienced blogger with a deep passion for content creation. He descends from a long line of lawyers, writers, and educators. Over the years, Chris has tackled all sorts of niches for a myriad of clients. As a result, millions of people worldwide have read and benefited from his content.