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Rafters vs. Trusses: What’s the Difference?

Updated: Sep 29, 2021

Whether you’re building a new home or tackling a home addition, one of the things you need to consider is the type of structure used to support your roof. Unless the plans call for a flat roof, you have to choose between rafters and trusses.

Rafters vs. Trusses: What’s the Difference?

About Rafters

This type of roofing structure is also known in the industry as “stick framing.” Rafters are elongated planks that slope down from the central ridge beam located at the top of the roof to an intersection at the outer walls. Each plank supports the roof’s important components like the decking, underlayment and any roofing material like asphalt shingles or metal. Combined with ceiling joists that extend horizontally across the attic floor, your home has a coherent roof and attic structure.

One of the most notable advantages of having rafters as your roof structure is that they help create your upstairs attic. Apart from providing an open space for storage, it can be filled with insulation to ensure indoor comfort and overall energy efficiency. Together with adequate ventilation, you can be sure your replacement roof won’t have a reduced lifespan as well.

About Trusses

Trusses, meanwhile, are prefabricated wooden structures that support the roof while tying together the outside walls. Designed to distribute the weight of the roof evenly over a wide area, they come with triangular webbing and stand along with chords or sloping beams that expand to the peak of the truss. A typical home roof construction has multiple trusses spread out evenly over a span extending from one end of the house to the other.

This type of roofing structure is the standard in the residential construction industry today for various reasons. For one, each truss is manufactured in an indoor factory environment, ensuring the structure’s exact dimensions before installation. They also tend to be smaller, which means building the roof takes less time and labor to complete.

A1 Quality Roofing Inc. is the contractor you can turn to when you need a waterproofing roof system. To learn more about our excellent roofing services, give us a call at (951) 877-4406, or fill out our contact form to request a free quote.


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