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Rafter construction against Timber trusses – where is the difference and how to choose the best option

When planning a home construction or reconstruction, one of the necessary choices is the type of roof. In this case, choosing between the traditional solution using beams and rafters, or industrially produced wooden trusses.

Roof rafter structures

Horizontal bearing walls are used to support rafters. However, in terms of mounting speed, the roof rafter design is less beneficial. If experienced workers can install roof trusses for an average of one to two days, most rafters often take up to more than a week to be fully installed.

Roof timber trusses

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Timber trusses are pre-fabricated roof structures. They only require main support walls but also can be beneficial to use inner bearing walls.A typical construction consists of a number of trusses, which are evenly spaced across the span that extends from one end of the building to the other. Unlike the roof raft constructions that are put together on site, the trusses are manufactured at the factory and delivered to the project location already set to be installed.

If there is a desire to save on roof structure, the rafter construction will not be the solution

The reason why we are no longer seeing so many roof rafter constructions nowadays is hidden costs. Now, a very large proportion of construction projects are made using wooden roof trusses for lower costs. Trusses are created in factories where the environment is provided to get the highest quality products.

However, it is advisable to give preference to the construction of rafters when it is necessary to implement a smaller project. For example, if you want to slightly increase the living space and build an extension to house. Exactly the same applies to small garages.

If you think there’s still no difference between the timber trusses and the rafters, we suggest looking at the main differences that will help determine which of the roof solutions will be best suited for your project.

Timber rafter structure:

  • Labor intensive assembling. Structures are measured, sawn and assembled at the construction site;
  • Rafters are best suited for small construction projects;
  • A roof rafters require for load-bearing walls;
  • Installation is a time-consuming process;
  • It is possible to customize each rafter individually on the construction site.

Timber roof truss constructions:

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  • Quality. The trusses are designed using specific software and the manufacture of the truss constructive elements is automated, eliminating the human error factor. Trusses are produced and stored in a manufacturing plant where the timber is not exposed to adverse weather conditions.
  • The project does not necessarily require load-bearing walls, or beams with a step below 6m, as required in the traditional beams and rafters construction, providing significant savings for the client.
  • Unlimited initial planning as well as later re-planning options. (It is also possible to plan the building without load-bearing partitions, there is no limit to the design of the project, the area of the premises and the configuration, as well as the need for re-planning and rebuilding of the premises during the construction of the building.
  • The installation of the trusses is much simpler. (timber trusses are produced according to each individual project and only requires installation according to the attached plan. For this reason, the trusses are popular not only among professionals but also for DIY builders, because the installation does not require specific knowledge.
  • The installation process takes much less time (It takes 1 to 2 days to install medium-sized private house trusses, depending on the roof configuration, which not only saves labor costs on the building site but is particularly important in the case of reconstruction, requiring the fastest replacement of roofing.