Creating a Roof Overhead: A Look at Roof Trusses

When it comes to the roof on your home or commercial building, it is easy to take its structural integrity for granted. We assume that a roof will keep us dry, safe, warm, and protected from the Maryland elements. What most of us don’t realize is that a roof is a feat of physics that begins with roof trusses.

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What are roof trusses?

A timber roof truss is a structural framework that gives your roof its pitch. Dating back to medieval times, trusses give the roof of a building its support that limits movement from one side to another.

What are the different types of trusses?

roof truss replacement

Crown Remodeling installing a new roof truss.

There are two basic types of trusses. The closed truss has a tie beam that runs parallel to the floor. Most homes with flat ceilings have closed trusses above them. Closed trusses may also have visible beams that you can see throughout a room. Still, the tie beam runs parallel to the ground and from one end of the roof to the other. Open trusses, on the other hand, may have an interrupted tie beam, an arch, or a scissored appearance that allows for a vaulted ceiling. An open truss may also be open to view without a ceiling, but the tie beams will still be scissored or interrupted to allow for a taller space.

How far apart are trusses in a house?

On a standard house, roof trusses are 24 inches on center, meaning there is a roof truss every two feet from one end of your home to the other. While this is the basic standard dimension, some homes may have roof trusses every 12 to 16 inches if the building code requires it, if the house will see significant snowfall, or if the style of the roof needs more support.

Do you need load bearing walls with roof trusses?

roof replacement job in progress

Crown Remodeling hard at work at a roof replacement.

Typically, load bearing walls are installed in homes to support roof trusses that are not strong enough to support the weight of the roof. Load bearing walls are considered “mid-span support” and are often used to spare the expense of making roof trusses stronger. If your home currently has a load bearing wall that you want to remove, it is important to have a structural engineer look at ways to support the roof of your home either with a header beam or modifications to the roof trusses. Before you begin removing walls, it is important to allow a qualified contractor and their team look at your home.

How much does it cost to install roof trusses?

Think of installing roof trusses like framing in the air. To install them properly and make sure your roof is sound for decades to come, plan on spending between $6 and $9 per truss for installation. Installed at every two feet, the number of trusses you need to re-frame your roof will depend on the size and design of your home. For a free estimate of what it will cost to have new roof trusses installed in your building, call Crown Remodeling today.

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