Roof Rafters and Trusses: A Quick Guide

Not many homeowners are familiar with all the components of their roofs. Sure, they may be able to point out their shingles or even their flashing. But what about the stuff that’s underneath? Roof rafters and trusses are basically the structural parts that support the residential roofing system, which is why it’s important to have a basic understanding of them.


Roof Rafters

Roof rafters are long planks that are usually made of 2x10s or 2x12s that slope down from the central ridge of your roof and intersect with the outside walls. These beams provide support for the roof itself as well as the sheathing.

In roofing, rafters are also known as stick framing. Roof replacement contractors typically recommend that you get rafters instead of trusses if your roofing budget is a bit tight. That’s because roof rafters are generally much cheaper than trusses. Rafters also provide a larger attic space so they are ideal if you want to convert your attic into a storage space or extra room.

Roof Trusses

Roof trusses, on the other hand, are prefabricated wooden structures that also utilize a triangular webbing that adds a lot of strength and support to your roofing system. Because they come to the jobsite already pre-assembled, many roofers prefer them as they are quick and easy to install.

Older homes usually make use of roof rafters while newly constructed ones tend to lean towards trusses. The only real downside to trusses is that they are costlier than rafters, but this extra cost is easily offset by the ease of installation.

FAQs About Roof Rafters and Trusses

Still have questions about roof rafters and trusses? Explore the FAQs below for more information. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in this list, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Berry Roofing & Solar for details about roof rafter and truss installation.

Can trusses be replaced with rafters?

This is possible in many cases, but it is important to confirm with a structural engineer based on the specifics of your space. Because redesigning the roof has the potential to change the structural integrity of your property, consulting with an expert is a must before getting your project underway.

Is a ceiling joist the same thing as a rafter?

If you’ve heard the term “joist,” you may make the mistake of thinking this is a synonym for rafter. Unlike rafters, which are positioned diagonally between the wall plate and the apex of the roof, joists are parallel beams that are placed across an open space.

Which is more popular, trusses or rafters?

Over the past 50 years or so, trusses have become more and more popular. In fact, most new roofs are now constructed with trusses instead of rafters. Of course, rafters are still an option for those who prefer a steeply vaulted ceiling and want to maximize the space in their building.

Which option is stronger?

When it comes to the question of strength, trusses are superior. Thanks to the webbing pattern created by truss roofs, they offer exceptional structural strength. Furthermore, roof truss design is conducted in a controlled environment, meaning there is less room for error when constructing the components.

Reach Out to Berry Roofing & Solar Today

Whether you are in need of minor roofing repairs or are thinking about upgrading to solar roofing panels, the folks over at Berry Roofing & Solar have you covered. For all your roofing needs, including information about roof rafters and trusses, feel free to give us a call at (951) 900-1309 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation today.