The Top of Your Home: A Roofing Blog

Separating the Fact From the Fiction About Roof Trusses

Roof trusses are large beams that work to hold up the weight of a building, so the roof doesn't need standard joists and studs. These beams are often left exposed because of their rugged, natural look, and they're a favourite in lakefront or mountain properties or for when you want to have an open floor plan with a vaulted ceiling. If you're thinking of having a new home built, note a few common misconceptions about timber roof trusses so you can separate the fact from the fiction about this material, and ensure you make the best decision for your home's design.

Steel trusses are stronger

It is true that steel trusses can typically hold up more weight than timber trusses; however, this is only a factor for large, commercial buildings or high-rises. The weight of a residential home, even one with a relatively large footprint, can easily be managed by timber trusses.

Note, too, that timber is actually more fire-resistant than steel, as steel becomes unstable at a lower temperature than the timber beams used for trusses. Timber trusses also form a protective coating around them if they should catch fire, and the density of trusses means that there is no air inside the wood; in turn, these trusses don't feed a fire around it, so they're very fire-resistant.

Rustic appearance

Many homeowners do choose timber trusses because of their rustic appeal, but you're not limited to a cottage look for your home with these trusses. Timber trusses can be painted any colour, so you might opt for a crisp white or a bold black if you want to install them in a modern home. You might also ask your contractor about trusses in a square shape rather than triangular; these run the span of the room rather than reaching to the ceiling, and they can add an updated and unique look to your home.

Walls underneath

Timber trusses are often chosen because they hold up the weight of the home's roof, so you don't need load-bearing walls. In turn, you can have a completely open floor plan for your home, with all rooms flowing into each other, but you're not obligated to stick with this open concept! Timber trusses give you the option of going without walls, but these can still be constructed under those trusses. You can have closed bedrooms, an office or any other room that requires privacy when you use timber roof trusses, so don't assume that this option means that your home's layout will be completely open and exposed.