What’s the Difference Between Rafters and Trusses?

Whether you are planning to build a new house or a room addition, you need to consider what kind of structure will support your roof. You can either go for rafters or trusses to keep your roofing system intact. In the past, rafters were the preferred option, but today, most modern residential structures have trusses. A trusted residential roof replacement company differentiates rafters and trusses.

Rafters and Trusses


What Are Rafters and Trusses?

Also called “stick framing,” rafters are long planks that slope down from the central ridge beam at the peak of the roof, which intersect with exterior walls. These planks hold up the sheathing and roofing. Along with the rafters, ceiling joists running horizontally across the attic’s floor between the outside walls tie the walls together, forming a sound roof and attic structure.

On the other hand, trusses create a triangle-based webbing that supports the roof. They are usually made from wood and are vital when tying the outside walls. Chords refer to the sloping beams that extend to the top of the truss and the beams running horizontally along the bottom. The triangular webbing of trusses is made with beams and ties that provide equal weight distribution across the roof area.

Which Should You Choose?

A reputable residential and commercial roofing contractor can help you determine which method is best to support your roof. With rafters, you will get more attic space that you can use for storage or other purposes. They are also ideal for people who are planning to have cathedral-style or vaulted ceilings. This option also makes attic insulation installation easier due to the open space it creates.

Meanwhile, the installation of trusses does not require as much time when they are small enough to be lifted by at least two workers. The beams and ties of rafters distribute the weight of the roof over a wider area while utilizing shorter lengths of wood. Aside from superior strength, you may also enjoy savings on labor and material costs with this option.

At Sully-Jones Roofing, we offer quality roof installation and repair services. Our experienced team is here to help with your residential and commercial roofing needs. Call us at (619) 444-0150 or fill out our contact form to get a free estimate. We work with homeowners in San Diego, CA, and nearby areas.