How to Build a Roof Truss, and If You Should

Roof Truss vs. Rafter Framing: Which Is Best for You?

A roof truss is a lightweight but sturdy structure that provides support for your roof. Whether you’re building your roof trusses yourself or ordering prefabricated roof trusses, this cost-effective building solution helps streamline the new construction process. Keep reading to learn how to build a roof truss — and if you should, or if there’s a different option that is more suitable.

Can You Build Your Own Roof Truss? 

In short, the answer is yes, you can build your own truss. But while it’s possible, keep in mind that only building engineers can ensure accurate results. The process requires an expansive working area, a crane for lifting each truss onto the structure, and a crew to help assemble and move each truss.

Benefits of Prefabricated Roof Trusses

So while it is possible for you to build your own roof trusses, it’s a better idea to purchase a prefabricated roof truss. Prefabricated roof trusses are assembled in a controlled environment, and then delivered to your job site. They’re engineered by professionals and customized to the exact dimensions needed for each roof, and you can find them here at Standard Supply & Lumber.

The benefits of prefabricated roof trusses include: 

  • Quality Materials: When purchasing prefabricated roof trusses, you can be confident in the quality of materials used and the reliability of working in a controlled environment. Assembling them in a controlled environment ensures that the materials are not exposed to temperature fluctuations and moisture. This means you’ll have a high-quality product. 
  • Reliable Structure: Prefabricated roof trusses are designed by engineers and constructed by experienced professionals, meaning you can be confident in the exactness and reliability of your trusses. Whereas trusses that are assembled on site are left to the decisions of each person on the site, prefabricated roof trusses are constructed under the detailed eyes of engineers. 
  • Cost-effective: Purchasing prefabricated roof trusses can save you the additional cost of paying for a crew to painstakingly procure the materials and assemble them on-site. 
  • Time-saving: Save time on your project by having the trusses you need delivered to you already assembled. Instead of having to plan for assembly time in your construction timeline, you can start installing your trusses the day they arrive. 

A DIY-Friendly Alternative: Rafter Framing

If you’re really keen on doing some DIY work, there’s an alternative roof-building option that might be more manageable: rafter framing.

Roof trusses and roof rafters are very similar, as they’re both structural systems used for roof framing. However, there are some differences that make rafter framing a bit easier for the everyday craftsman to build themselves.

Roof Trusses vs. Rafter Framing

A roof rafter is a series of sloped wooden beams that reach from the hip or ridge to eave, wall plate, or downslope perimeter. They support a roof’s deck and shingles, or whatever other type of roofing material you choose.

Rafter framing is also known as stick framing, which is the most traditional way to frame a roof. It involves fastening individual dimensional lumber boards together to create a truss-like structural support system.

The approach is a little more hands-on and time-consuming to accomplish, but it also allows for more customization in design. Rafters are typically cut and constructed onsite, rather than in a controlled environment offsite, which means there is more room for error — to be expected from a DIY project, rather than a precision-engineered one.

Truss Manufacturing Services at Standard Supply & Lumber

At Standard Supply & Lumber, we source the highest quality lumber for our manufactured trusses. We use Machine Stress Rated lumber only in its top and bottom cord, promising you grades of no less than 1650 MSR. Combined with our team’s decades of industry experience, you can be confident in the quality, reliability, and customization options of our prefabricated roof trusses. Or, if you’d rather take the rafter framing route, we can supply the high-quality dimensional lumber you need. 

A quality product is best when paired with exceptional customer service, and we proudly serve our customers from start to finish on every project. From initial conversations through to delivery, our helpful team of experts is here for you. Our customized truss solutions can also be shipped throughout Michigan, meaning you can access our cost-effective trusses for all your projects. 

To learn more about our prefabricated roof trusses, contact our team.