What You Need to Know About Timber Roof Trusses

If you've ever visited a building that had high ceilings and thick, exposed beams that ran across the length of that ceiling, you know what is meant by timber roof trusses. These trusses are timber frames that provide the framework for the ceiling and roof of a home or other building, versus standard joists and studs. Very often, these trusses are chosen so that they can be left exposed, for a rustic or grand appearance, and to add more height to a ceiling, for an open and airy look and feel. If you're thinking of timber roof trusses for your own home, note a few factors to consider and details to discuss with your builder or roofing contractor.

Do they affect the style of roof shingles you can choose?

Timber roof trusses typically don't affect the style of shingle or roofing material you might choose. However, they are sometimes a bit more pointed than other roofing styles, because this triangular shape helps to support the weight of the home. In turn, more of your home's roofing exterior may be exposed and visible, so you may want to choose a style of roofing material that is very attractive, versus bland asphalt shingles. Your contractor can also note if a certain material of roof might put added weight on the roof trusses, so that you may need an additional truss along the home's frame, for more support.

What about storage?

If you want to ensure you include an attic in your home design, discuss your options with your contractor or builder. Trusses are often left exposed, but this is not a requirement. You can even have a certain area of the ceiling covered to create an attic space, while allowing other trusses to remain exposed. However, creating an attic may require a certain style of truss that will support walls and flooring, so you may need to change your original design plans just slightly, to accommodate needed storage.

Are steel trusses better for added strength?

Steel trusses are often used in commercial buildings because those buildings are large and very heavy, so they may need added support from the roof. However, a residential home typically doesn't need any more support than what is offered by timber trusses. Timber is also very fire-resistant, as the wood used for these beams is dense and doesn't provide oxygen for a fire. If you're worried about this material for your home, rest assured that timber is sufficiently strong, very attractive when left exposed, and safe for any house.