Trusses vs. Rafters

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When it comes to roof construction, the two most common methods are using pre-built trusses or site cut rafters in place.  Each method has its advantages, although more and more builders are learning that trusses are often more economical and provide a superior product than rafters. Making the informed decision to choose pre-built trusses is important for anyone considering cost savings and durability, so it is important to understand the advantages trusses offer.

Trusses vs. Rafters:  What’s the Difference?

Pre-built trusses are manufactured off-site according to specific measurements and designs. They are delivered to the construction site ready to be installed. Using pre-built trusses can save time during construction since they are already assembled and only need to be lifted into place. This method can also be more cost-effective as it reduces labor costs and waste materials due to precise manufacturing.

On the other hand, site cut rafters are constructed on-site using individual pieces of lumber. This method may allow for some flexibility in design, as each rafter can be customized to fit the unique requirements of the building. While site cut rafters may take longer to construct compared to pre-built trusses, they can offer more versatility in terms of design changes during the building process.

How Do Trusses Save Time and Money?

There are several ways that trusses save builders both time and money when compared to rafters.

  • Labor savings. One key difference between pre-built trusses and site cut rafters is the labor required to assemble and install each type of product. Pre-built trusses save time during construction and can be quickly installed, while site cut rafters take longer to build. Rafters also require far more knowledgeable and skilled labor to ensure they are made properly, while trusses can be installed with fewer workers.
  • Storage and transport. Because trusses are fabricated off site and dropped directly at the building location, there is no need to store or transport materials. This means that most job sites will be free of clutter and waste, and materials will be protected from weather and theft.  In addition, transportation costs are often included in the price of trusses, while rafters require builders to pick up and transport their own materials.
  • Pre-built trusses are engineered for optimal structural performance, ensuring consistent quality across all trusses. Site cut rafters rely on the skills of the construction team to achieve the same level of structural integrity, so in many cases there is an unpredictable or uneven quality in the final results.  No matter what roofing method a builder chooses, ensuring proper installation and adherence to building codes is crucial for a safe and durable roof structure.

At Stone Truss, we have been building quality roof and floor trusses for many years.  Give us a call to see how we can help you save time and money on your next job!

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