Understanding the Different Types of Roof Rafters

Roof trusses, usually made of wood, frame the roofs of houses during construction or renovation. There are many different types of roof trusses, and they all support the other material used to build the rest of the roof. They help support and distribute the load to the exterior walls.

Let’s look at the different types of trusses that are in common use.

Bowstring roof trusses

Bowstring trusses are arched and generally wide. They support the weight of buildings such as aircraft hangars and warehouses that need a lot of open space inside. There are multiple beams that form an arch, with sheets of metal or other material forming the outer roof.

Water drains off such roofs easily and there is no need for a ridge cap as for other types of trusses.

double step trusses

The standard triangular truss design is such that two sides slope toward the top apex, with struts (called “top chords”) descending from there. They are attached to a horizontal beam that forms the base of the triangle.

The top chords are often different lengths on this type of armor, causing the apex to be off center. This allows plenty of open space without obstruction by support posts.

Gambrel Trusses

Gambrel trusses are like barn roofs in appearance. There are two top strings, one longer than the other. They are located at the apex of the truss, just like the double step variety. Because the sides are steep, there is enough space to live under the roof or to use as an attic for storage.

A Gambrel roof structure for the home allows you to include an upper deck below the roof. There is also additional space for large windows, resulting in a brighter appearance inside.

It is an expert’s choice to choose the best of the different types of roof trusses for a specific building, and based on its unique needs and requirements.