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Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement


When it comes to framing a roof, there are two main styles of roof systems. One style is referred to as a “truss.” A truss roof is a prefabricated framework of structural members designed to carry the load of the roof to the outside walls. A truss roof is shipped to the construction site. The other style is called a “stick” frame or rafter system. A stick frame is built at the site and involves cutting and assembling an intricate roof design from scratch.

Truss systems are cost effective and can be erected faster than a stick system. For a truss roof, installation is simple because it arrives at the site pre-assembled. Also, trusses generally rest on outside walls which leaves the inside clear to move walls. This allows homeowners the flexibility to accommodate to different room sizes. However, trusses do limit the wide open attic space that a stick frame creates because the lumber of a truss frame crisscrosses as opposed to having wide open rafters. Also, once installed, a truss system can not be modified.

When deciding on the type of roof system you would like to have installed, it is important to plan ahead carefully. Speak with a professional designer or architect about the best roof system for your home. Not only does the roof frame need to be taken into consideration, but also the wall thickness, roof height, roof pitch, roof load, and ceiling heights.

Roof Truss Designs:

• Attic
• King Post
• Howe
• Modified Queen
• Fink
• Howe Scissors

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