The truss is the key element of any roof structure – its skeleton. When building a house, we can choose a traditional truss – made on the construction site – or a prefabricated truss – made in a factory and delivered to the construction site. Each of these solutions has its own strengths and weaknesses. It is worth learning more about them to make the best choice for you.
Prefabricated elements for the roof truss are made solidly and precisely in specialized carpentry plants. They are made of well-dried high-quality wood. Nowadays, the entire process of manufacturing prefabricated roofs is computer-controlled. In order to make a roof truss in such an automated plant, all necessary data should be entered into the appropriate program according to a previously prepared project. Prefabricated trusses are adjusted to the investor’s individual needs.
Usually, such a structure is made in an efficient and quick way – the work usually takes one to two weeks. The assembly of a prefabricated roof usually takes around 3 days. However, when planning the construction of a prefabricated roof, one should bear in mind that the ready “skeleton” of the roof will be delivered to you. Such a structural element is extremely large and heavy. A crane will therefore be required for the assembly of a prefabricated roof truss. It is also worth mentioning that the assembly of a prefabricated truss is a more expensive investment than the assembly of a traditional truss.
In the case of traditional trusses, the carpenter’s work is done on the construction site. The wood needed for the construction of a traditional truss is usually obtained from a sawmill. The most commonly used types of wood are: pine, spruce and fir. Sometimes wood species such as oak and larch are also used (however, these solutions are more expensive). It is important to select the appropriate class of wood (as provided for in the design) and its humidity (15 – 20%). Nowadays, the traditional method is usually applied to make trusses that comprise relatively few elements, i.e. rafter and collar beam trusses.
The individual elements of such a roof structure are cut to size, then fitted and connected using carpentry joints, which takes place on the construction site. Constructing a truss in a traditional way is time-consuming, meticulous and arduous work – it requires extensive experience, in-depth knowledge and precision from the contractors. Constructing a roof truss using the traditional method is also more time-consuming than in the case of a prefabricated truss – it takes at least a few weeks. Still, this solution is often chosen by investors. The strength of this solution is also its lower price compared to the prefabricated truss.
Both solutions, the traditional truss and the prefabricated truss, have their advantages as well as disadvantages. Therefore, it is difficult to indicate which solution is unequivocally better. For investors for whom time plays the key role, and for whom finances take a back seat, a prefabricated truss will be a more beneficial solution. On the other hand, in the case of people who put economical investment first, and time plays a less important role, a traditional truss will be a more favorable solution.