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The difference between engineered roof trusses & loose rafters

The differences between engineered roof trusses and loose rafters is something we’re often asked at Ochil, so we think it’s something worth revisiting in an article. A truss is essentially a triangular wooden structure that provides support for the roof and ties the outside walls of the building together. Built off-site, they are a fast, convenient and cost effective option. Rafters on the other hand are a more traditional roofing option that support the roof and intersect with the outside walls. Rafters are constructed onsite.

considering roof trusses or loose rafters

The main differences between roof trusses and loose rafters

As we’ve mentioned, the two main differences between roof trusses and loose rafters is where and how they are constructed, but there’s a bit more to it than that. If you are keen to get to the bottom of the differences, here are what we consider to be some of the most significant:

Speed and accuracy

One of the most significant differences between roof trusses and loose rafters from an architect or house builder’s point of view is the speed and accuracy that engineered roof trusses bring your build project. When you choose Ochil roof trusses, they are built offsite using the most up to date technology. With onsite loose rafters, the chances are you’ll be relying on a member of your team getting the measurements and every cut spot on.

While your workforce is highly skilled, even the most skilled roofer can make mistakes. And the problem is this - mistakes cost money and often lead to significant delays. When you choose roof trusses, the level of accuracy you can expect is exceptional. This means that there are no nasty surprises and the build can move ahead at your desired pace. 

Strong and stable

If your project is a larger build, there is no doubt that roof trusses provide more strength and stability than loose rafters. Because of the way roof trusses are engineered, you get even weight distribution. That means they are stronger than loose rafters that leave an open space in the middle of the building. Why? Because it’s that open space on a larger build that means issues could arise due to the weight of the roof.

Cost effective

When it comes to price, there is a difference between roof trusses and loose rafters. There are various reasons why roof trusses often end up as the more cost-effective option. Firstly, the fact that they’re made off-site, means you don’t need to fund secured storage onsite. All you do is get them delivered when you need them. In many cases roof trusses also mean that you require fewer labourers with potentially lower skill levels as the main requirement will be to put the trusses into place rather than to have them cut and construct the rafters. Roof trusses are also generally a cheaper option because they are made from short planks, which means that the production costs are lower. 

When you consider the risks involved in loose rafters, together with the additional skills required to put them in place, and the fact that they’re not suited to all sorts of build, you soon see that it’s important to plan carefully. We hope that this article has helped you get a feel for the key differences, but if you need further information, help or a quote, get in touch or, if you have plans in place, you can get a quote here.

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