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Bespoke Roof Trusses: Benefits & Why You Need Them

Updated on November 5, 2017
A Home Bespoke Roof Truss
A Home Bespoke Roof Truss

Background of Roof Construction

Roof trusses have not been the most common structural feature in homes or buildings forever. Since the very early years of housing construction, the most common roof installations were completely flat. The reason for this was a distinct lack of knowledge and how incredibly cheap the construction materials and the building process was. There were no major issues with flat roofs in countries that had little to no rainfall but for homes in places like Europe and far wetter regions found that the collection of rain and mud proved fatal to the stability of their roofs, causing them to collapse.

With today's modern construction methods we have discovered that the roof truss design is far superior for any building and home in a variety of countries and regions. They are equally as cost effective as the older flat roof design methods and provide a much more stable construct that can withstand a variety of harsh weather conditions that accompany living in certain locations across the world. The beauty of a roof truss is their ability to be uniquely designed to sit on any building regardless of dimensions or height.

Despite the outdated methods, you can now install or repurpose a flat roof for your property with all of the benefits that come with a pitched or triangular truss. So let's take a look the many differences and benefits of each roof individually designed for homes and buildings worldwide.

Roof Truss Construction
Roof Truss Construction

Flat Roof Design

Yes, early construction methods provided homes with a completely flat roof, but more modern flat roof designs are pitched at 10 degrees or less to a horizontal line, making them not 100% entirely flat. This coincides with health and safety, fire, and building regulations of today's modern society. The new designs allow you to keep the aesthetic of a much flatter roof whilst simultaneously preventing any damage and collapse from collections of rainwater or dirt.

Flat roofs are far more common in the construction of tall office buildings, as the design limits the amount of "dead space" that cannot be used. They are also easy to build and require less time and raw material to construct. But this only really benefits businesses who need to erect an office building quickly and efficiently with the maximum amount of space used. There is no need for intricate and tailored truss designs in the busy work environment, unlike modern homes.

Bespoke Timber Truss
Bespoke Timber Truss

Bespoke Roof Trusses

The roof truss design is a significant technological advancement within the construction industry. But at their most basic, a roof truss is a frame construction made from kiln-dried timber. Using kiln-dried timber means you have the benefits of an incredibly lightweight wood that has maintained its core strength.The frames are joined together using steel nail plates that form an incredibly strong and robust supporting shape for the rest of your roof materials.

Because of the significance of a roof and its design, there is room for things to go wrong. It is essential that any changes to the design during the construction process is discussed and confirmed with the head structural engineer to reduce the risk of collapsing. It is just as important to inform the structural engineers of the removal or addition of any screws, bolts, pegs or plates that are holding the frame together. However, this should not detract from the reliability of a bespoke roof truss design and their ability to be tailored to the precise requirements of your property.

Other Common Trusses

Here are some other common roof designs:

A gabled roof is incredibly popular for roofs worldwide. Their cheap and easy construction methods make them a common choice for both home owners and property owners. Their design makes them durable during heavy winds, rain, and all manners of bad weather.

A hipped roof is typically found in a bungalow, with the sides sloping downwards to the walls. Hip roofs are self-bracing during strong winds and their streamlined design aids in enhancing this protection from the strong weather. A downside to a hipped roof is a distinct lack of loft or attic space.

Mansard roofs come with two very distinct features, steep sides and a "double pitch". The attic or loft space is used efficiently and offers a very simple way to add more floors to the building or home you are designing for.

Despite the variety in truss designs, they all essentially perform in the same way, with a variance being in aesthetics. All trusses are fantastic methods against the harshness or weather in different parts of the world and can even be designed to fight against certain types of hurricanes.

Roof Truss Construction Basics

Why Your Home Needs a Roof Truss

As previously discussed, a significant reason to install a roof truss is the cost efficient construction methods and their durability during much harsher weather. This benefits the modern home owner who simply cannot afford to constantly repair and maintain their roof due to leaks, damage or collapse. The reinforced timber structure is tried and tested technology that simply cannot be beaten.

Not only are they financially beneficial but they are aesthetically pleasing too. There are designs that display an open roof truss which gives a room an incredible spacious atmosphere. If the truss design is not completely covered by the ceiling, then it is considered open, which means extra care and attention is given to the finish of the timber to ensure an aesthetically pleasing feature in a room.

Common Truss Installation Mistakes

It is more common than you would think for mistakes to be made during truss installation. This process is not foolproof and requires the full attention of all those involved with the installation process. The first common mistake that is made is builders not paying close enough attention to where their foundation is being set up to be poured. Any deviations from the foundation construction plans will lead to various problems down the road.

Another common mistake made during truss installation is the loading of truss frames onto the incorrect area of the building. it's far easier than you might think to load the wrong section of the design onto the wrong area of the home or to even install them the wrong way round. Do not deviate from the loading plan and triple check you are about to move the correct frame section.

Mistakes are made during any construction process but finding a trusted roof truss design company in your area is easy, and will greatly benefit you and your properties value. A trusted company will have an up to date website with case studies and testimonials available to browse through, and hopefully, some friends or family of yours will have prior experience with them and won't mind sharing that experience.

Open Timber Truss
Open Timber Truss

Conclusion

Those who are enthusiastic about DIY home improvement have a great project on their hands when creating a bespoke roof truss for their property. The time, dedication and concentration it takes to successfully construct a truss is something to be admired. But it is far more common to go to a trusted roof truss specialist in your local area. They have the capability to design, build, and deliver your truss design all from their warehouse or building site. These experts provide all of their customers with the highest quality timber and strengthening products to ensure the safety and well-being of all their clients.

A roof truss can become an attractive feature and make any building or home stand out from all the rest. Experienced designers can deliver a truss with the addition of a loft or attic space at the top of the property to store items or add an extra living space. The cost of hiring an architect and truss designer will be completely outweighed by the value it will bring to your home in the future.

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