Roof truss types – Types of Roof Trusses

Types of roof trusses – In today’s society, more and more focus is placed on safety, and this is why you need to have the best possible roof truss types installed in your home.


A roof truss is basically a structure that includes one or multiple triangular units that include straight slender members with their ends  connected via nodes.

It’s important to note that the external forces that appear here and their reactions are acting only in the node area, but the way the structure is built allows the dispersion of these forces, be it as comprehensive as they might be.

Also, the joints in a truss are seen as revolute, which means that the torsional forces are excluded. But since there are different types of roof trusses, let’s find out which ones are the most popular and what distinct features they have.

King Post Truss

This particular truss is made out of wood most of the time, but it can also be built out of a combination of steel and wood. It all comes down to the architect and the building structure. The King Post Truss spans up to 8m, which makes it perfect for multiple types of houses, especially the smaller ones.

Pratt Truss

This is one of the most popular steel roof truss types and it is quite economical. This particular type of truss offers some interesting features mainly thanks to the fact that the vertical members provide tension, while the diagonal ones are bringing in compression. It’s important to note that these trusses can be used for spans that range between 6-10m.

Queen Post Truss

The Queen Post Truss is designed to be a very reliable, simple and versatile type of roof truss that you can use at any given time. It offers a good span, around 10m, and it has a simple design which makes it perfect for a wide range of establishments.

Howe Truss

This type of truss is a combination of steel and wood, which makes it elegant, while also offering a very appealing design. Almost everything is made out of wood, however, the tension members or the vertical members are manufactured out of steel in order to offer extra support and reliability!

One thing that makes the Howe Truss extraordinary is the fact that it has a very wide span, as it can cover anything from 6-30m. This makes it versatile and very useful for a wide range of project types.

Fan Truss

Just like you can see from many roof truss types pictures, the Fan Truss comes with a very simple design and it’s made out of steel. In this particular situation, the trusses form a fink roof truss.

On top of that, the main characteristic here is that the top chords are split into smaller lengths, as this allows the build to obtain purlin support. Also, you get a medium span with this type, around 10-15m, which is more than enough for most projects.

North Light Roof Truss

The North Light Roof Truss is suitable for the larger spans that go over 20m and get up to 30m. This happens because it’s cheaper to add a truss that has a wide, larger set of lattice girders that include support trusses.

This method is one of the oldest, as well as most economical ones that you can find on the market, as it allows you to bring in proper ventilation. Plus, the roof has more resistance too because of that.

If you are looking for types of roof trusses design that bring in durability and versatility, this is a very good one to check out. You can use it for industrial buildings, but this truss also works for drawing rooms and in general those spaces that are very large.

Quadrangular Roof Trusses

These are used for large spans, and this is why you can encounter then in larger spaces, which include auditoriums or even railway sheds.

Parallel Chord Roof Truss

These types of trusses are created specifically for those of us that want to engage in a roof construction without having a large budget to begin with.

These are made out of wood and the best part about using them is that they don’t require any beam nor bearing wall. Instead, they opt for full pieces of wood and thus lower the amount of labor necessary for working with them.

It does require more space in the attic and the span might not be the best, but the price might justify opting for it if you are on a budget.

Scissor Roof Truss

A Scissor Roof Truss can particularly be found in cathedrals. It doesn’t require beams or bearing walls, however it doesn’t leave that much space for insulation which makes its energy efficiency very poor.

On the other hand, the upside here is that the ceiling gets vaulted and you receive more space in the attic.

Raised Heel Roof Truss

This is one of the most efficient types of timber roof trusses, mostly because it brings a very good room for insulation, but at the same time it also provides you with a very good system for structural support.

It might require some additional materials in order to make it bring the best results, not to mention that the costs can be a little higher when compared to other truss types, but it does help you lower the energy bill value, so keep that in mind.

Most roof trusses are easy to customize, but even so, there are so many of them that it all comes down to you and the home design, because you are bound to like one that suits your needs.

A very good idea is to work with a roof contractor in order to study your home and see which is the most suitable roof truss for your home.

This way you will have the opportunity to find the highest quality truss that suits your budget and you will enjoy the results guaranteed. Study the types we presented in this article and then choose the best one to suit your needs, and you will surely appreciate the results!

Founder & Editor

Hi, I’m Jim. I was a roofing constructor for 20 years, before deciding to start and gather the best content about roofing. I love woodworking and construction and it was only natural for me to start this passion project of mine. Thank you for visitng.