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Rafters Vs Trusses: Why Should You Care?

Posted on June 8, 2022

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Rafters Vs Trusses: Why Should You Care?

When the contractor starts building a roofing system for your home, then the first thing involved is laying the foundation, i.e., the structure of the roof. Many homeowners of Tennessee are unaware that there are two popular ways to frame a roofing system: When it comes to roofs in your house, there are two main choices: rafters or trusses. Both are strong and stable ways to support the roof, but they each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Before choosing a particular frame for your roof, it is important that you know a little bit more about both these types of roof components and then decides on an option. This is why we decided to make this blog comparing, rafters vs trusses.

Roof Rafters: The Traditional Approach

To make a comparison between rafters vs trusses, we should first understand what is a roof rafter. The roof rafters are a type of roof framing that involves 2×10 planks of wood being attached to the roof ridge line. These are the traditional type of roof framing, being used in houses for decades.

Roof rafters are the beams that support a roof. They’re typically made of wood and they run from one side of the house to another, spanning the distance between the walls and the ridge of your roof. Mostly they’re just referred to as “rafters” or “stick framing” due to the fact that these are created individually, in the form of sticks.

Roof Trusses: The New Age Framing Option

There was once a time when rafters were the only popular structural components used to build roofing systems in North America. But over the years there has been another option in vogue. These are the roof trusses.

Roof trusses are another type of structural support for a roof. They are used in wood-frame construction, and they can be built from timber or steel.

Roof trusses are large, strong beams that support the weight of the roof and keep it from caving in. A unique quality that trusses possess is that they include an interlocking or webbing structure. Trusses are made up of two or more pieces of wood (usually 2x4s) connected by metal plates, which act as joints between the pieces.

They’re used in both residential and commercial buildings.

There are many different types of roof trusses available, you can choose these according to the type and style of your home.

  • King Post/ Queen Post Truss
  • Fink Truss
  • Mono Truss
  • Double Pitch Truss
Rafters Vs Trusses

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What Is The Difference?

Though you can see whether you use rafters or trusses, both play the same part, supporting your roof structure. They both act as a strong foundation upon which other components of the roofing systems are laid. However, that is where the similarities end. Both of them have their own sets of features and can benefit you in different ways; here, we take a look at the difference between rafters vs trusses.


Rafters are the framing members that support the roof’s weight and help to divide the roof into smaller sections. They also transfer the load of the roof down to the walls and ceiling below.

Trusses, on the other hand, are supported by rafters or by their own internal structure. They’re made up of triangles with a great deal of surface area for strength, which makes them excellent at distributing weight in an evenly distributed manner.

Size And Construction

When it comes to rafters, they are a little bigger than their counterparts, they are usually manufactured in planks of sizes of 2x10s.

Trusses are made by using two or more 2x4s boards. These are joined by beams.

Rafters use simple and straightforward construction techniques to support the weight of a structure’s roof. Trusses use complex geometry and complex construction techniques to do so.


This is one of the biggest differences when it comes to rafters vs trusses. Rafters are built on-site. That is they will be made right at your location. On the other hand, roof trusses are pre-fabricated. The manufacturer will make trusses in the factory and then transport them to your location.


Rafters are made on-site and thus can be costly. They are also harder to install and require more labor. This raises costs and installing rafters can be hard on your pocket.

Trusses are relatively easy to install. Since these are pre-fabricated, the laborers are not required to construct it. It is transferred via the necessary transport to your house. Trusses are cheaper than rafters.

Get The Best Roofing Services In Tennessee

Suppose your roof requires some maintenance or needs a complete change altogether. In that case, it is better to take the help of professional roofing contractors such as Miller Roofing and Renovations in Tennessee. We have a combined experience of more than 35 years and serve the areas of Memphis, TN, and Southaven, MS. With us you do not have to worry about the quality of the service.

Replacement, Repair, Installation, we do it all. Contact us now at (901) 457-9405 to get a free roof inspection.

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