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The Difference between Roof Trusses and Rafters

June 28, 2021

There are two main types of support structures used to support roofs: roof trusses and rafters. These two types of structures are frequently mistaken for one another or thought of as interchangeable. However, they are two different types of structures.


In today’s blog, we will be discussing the difference between roof trusses and rafters:


Defining a roof truss

A roof truss is the most common method used to support modern houses. Most often, roof trusses are pre-assembled at a facility before they are transported to the site. When assembled together, they create a strong, wooden structure that supports the roof while joining the walls of the house together.


Defining a rafter

Conversely, a rafter is another part of roof construction that runs from the ridge of the roof going towards the external part of the wall. It is commonly known as a stick frame, and is the conventional way of providing support to a roof. In earlier days, houses were supported with rafters.


What’s the difference between the two? The biggest difference is how they look because roof trusses are made mostly with 2x4 pieces of wood while rafters are built with dimensional boards. Also, trusses perform more functional purposes while rafters can be used to showcase architectural elements. Now that you know of these differences, it is time to discuss why roof trusses are the modern choice while rafters have been left in the past.


The two biggest reasons why roof trusses are more popular are simple. They are made in a controlled environment and they work better for larger structures. As trusses are ready to be installed after arriving onsite, their construction is done based on strict industry standards for quality and safety. This reduces time and cost to make them onsite. Lastly, rafters are not recommended for huge, spacious buildings because of how they are made. Conversely, trusses have been proven to be effective and safe for bigger constructions.


For more information on trusses, contact us at Tamarack Lumber today.