17 Key Advantages and Disadvantages of Timber Roof Trusses | Uses & Benefits of Timber Roof Trusses

17 Key Advantages and Disadvantages of Timber Roof Trusses | Uses & Benefits of Timber Roof Trusses

What Are Timber Roof Trusses? | Advantages And Disadvantages of Timber Roof Trusses | Benefits of Timber Roof Trusses | Treatment of Timber Roof Trusses | Pros and Cons of Timber Roof Trusses

What Are Timber Roof Trusses?

A timber roof truss is a timber structural framework designed to span the space above a room and support a roof.

Trusses are typically spaced at regular intervals and connected by longitudinal timbers such as purlins. A bay is the space between each truss.

Under gravity, rafters tend to flatten and bulge outwards from the walls. This can fall the walls in larger spans and thinner walls.

To make tied rafters, pairs of opposing rafters were initially joined together by a horizontal tie beam.

However, such roofs were structurally unstable, and since they lacked longitudinal support, they were prone to racking, a collapse caused by horizontal movement. Timber roof trusses appeared later in history, during the Middle Ages.

A cross-braced roof truss is a stable, stiff unit. In an ideal world, it balances all lateral forces against one another and thrusts just directly downwards on the supporting walls.

In practice, lateral forces may emanate due to wind, excessive truss flexibility, or structures that do not allow for modest lateral motions of the truss ends.

Benefits of Timber Roof Trusses

  1. Timber roof trusses can withstand the test of time, providing stability to buildings for many years to come. They are strong enough to hold up against snow, wind and rain without offering any structural support due to their natural composition and design.
  2. Timber roof trusses are very cost efficient and easy to install. Since they are made from natural products, once the initial installation is completed, there is no need to incur extra costs on maintenance. Also, the use of timber roof trusses creates good jobs for more people turning it into a sustainable project for the community as a whole.
  3. Timber roof trusses do not require complex engineering skills like other conventional designs do. Their main structural members are triangles, squares and rectangles, which can be easily assembled in different configurations. Even for those who are not adepts in technical knowledge, they can still be designed to make use of any available materials for assembly.
  4. Timber roof trusses are very common in many areas of the globe and have been utilized for decades due to their natural and sustainable characteristics. They provide effective thermal insulation along with visual appeal to the building’s exterior.
  5. Timber roof trusses are very easy to install for everyone because they can be purchased in pre-made packages that don’t require any special tools or technical know-how. The assembly only needs simple hand tools and some basic carpentry skills to build the needed supports.
  6. Timber roof trusses can also lengthen the life of your building due to its strength against natural elements like wind, rain and snow.
  7. Timber roof trusses are also very cost effective because they are made from sustainable resources and can be used for various architectural designs which creates jobs for more people, turning it into a sustainable project for the community as a whole.
  8. Finally, timber roof trusses offer versatile design options to meet any building’s aesthetic taste and appeal. They can be painted in any shade to match the interior design of a building or even have unique structures like arches added for visual effects.

Advantages And Disadvantages of Timber Roof Trusses

1. Timber is Flexible and Versatile

Timber roof trusses can be linked to other trusses and components since they are compatible with other structural items.

Timber trusses can also be used to create huge open areas, which designers and architects can employ imaginatively. Partitions can also be moved without jeopardizing the structural integrity of the building.

2. It is Economical

Timber is very economical compared to other materials such as steel and concrete. Construction costs for timber roof trusses are relatively lower than those of other roof systems.

It can be used to create large open spaces that may not be possible with other systems, especially since it is lightweight.

The durability of timber also contributes significantly to its economic advantages.

3. Timber Roof Trusses Last Longer

Timber provides a strong, durable building material which can last for a long period of time without wear and tear.

Timber is a natural material, which means it has the ability to withstand climate change. The lifespan of timber trusses is 25-50 years, as opposed to steel and concrete, which can last up to 85 years.

Timber roof trusses are lighter than other roof systems such as steel or concrete. They are also simpler to transport and easy to assemble at the construction site, adding comfort to contractors.

4. Energy Efficient

Timber roof trusses are preferred because of their energy efficiency. The permeability of the timber helps to improve thermal performance in the building.

A building with thermal insulation will be able to keep out rain, snow, ice and wind, which will prevent heat loss through the structure.

5. Timber Roof Trusses are Easy to Install

Since timber can be cut using standard power tools, it’s easily customizable by any carpenter. Because it is lightweight, it is easy to transport and set up at the construction site.

It can be installed without any footings and there is no need for special equipment or cranes.

6. Timber Roof Trusses are Durable and Cost Effective

Timber roof trusses provide designers with versatile options to create a building that may not be possible with other structural systems.

They are also very cost effective because they are free from fire, corrosion and decay making them long lasting materials.

7. Eco-friendly

Timber roof trusses are 100% recyclable, making them a very eco-friendly building material. This makes them an excellent choice for environmentally conscious clients.

Compared to steel trusses, timber trusses consume much less energy. It is also the only renewable construction material.

8.  Aesthetically Appealing

Timber trusses are aesthetically appealing and will enhance the look of the building.

9. Timber can be Used on any Roof Structure

Timber can also be used as roofing material for existing structures. Because there are different types of timber, designers can choose from a variety of woods that cater to individual needs.

For example, a house may use poplar or cedar wood while a church from spruce or teak wood.

 10. Readily Available

Timber can be readily available as it is indigenous to forests. It is also economical in terms of cost.

Disadvantages of Timber Roof Trusses

1. It is a Sustainable Material

Timber roof trusses cannot be used for a very long time before they decay. They are not also fire resistant. Although it is an environmentally friendly material, it has some drawbacks.

2. More Maintenance

The strongest problem associated with timber roof trusses is that they require more maintenance compared to other building materials.

This may pose problems on the part of homeowners who are new to DIY projects because they cannot easily access the components of the building.

3. It is an Expensive Building Material

Timber roof trusses are quite expensive compared to other structural materials. They are also not fire resistant.

This means that homeowners need to be very careful because they cannot just throw them away whenever they need to replace them.

4. It Requires Lots of Space

Timber roof trusses require a lot of space for installation and construction because it has high parts count and long parts.

It also takes a lot of time during the carpentry process because various measures need to be taken to ensure its stability.

5.  Prone to pest, rot, mold and fungi attacks

Timbers are decayed by fungi, mold, and borer attacks. These pests and insects are destructive to timber trusses.

6. Timber Roof Trusses are not Wind Proof

Since timber is light in weight, it is not wind resistant. If it is exposed to the adverse weather conditions, it can easily collapse because of the force of force the wind exerts on the structure.

7. Shrinkage and Swelling of Wood

This is a common problem in construction industry because timber is often used for construction.

Although it is very strong and durable, it can experience movement and shrinkage because of the expansions and contractions of its cells.

It will also experience swelling if not kept in line with the constant changes of temperature.

8. Timber Roof Trusses are Vulnerable to Impacts

Timber roof trusses may be damaged through impact especially on the sides where there are no fire-resistant joints between beams and rafters.

Minimizing the Problems of Timber/Wood

The majority of the regularly used wood protection solutions involve drying, coating, and/or impregnation.

Wood must be chosen with care.

Some species have heartwood that is naturally resistant to decay. Sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.), oak (Quercus spp.), and juniper are examples of such species (Juniperus spp.).

Sapwood is never naturally durable; it has little or no decay resistance and must be treated for long-term durability.


Coating protects wood that is used both indoors and outdoors. Coating minimizes excessive moisture uptake and loss, as well as shrinking and swelling, which can lead to surface cracking and other issues.

Coating, however, does not completely prevent fluctuations in moisture content. The coating slows, but does not stop, the moisture level.

Coating wood with a solid color or pigmented stain protects it from UV radiation.

Fungicides added to coating provide some protection against the growth of decay and mold fungus.

The degradation hazard is really increased by deteriorating paint coating. Cracked paint causes moisture to reach the wood surface, preventing speedy and thorough redrying.


In general, wood will not be affected by common fungus if the moisture concentration is less than the fiber saturation point (FSP).

FSP for various woods ranges from 20 to 35 percent, although 30 percent is commonly accepted: Fungi cannot attack wood used indoors or in hot spaces because the equilibrium moisture content (EMC) is significantly lower than the FSP. 6%, for example

One of the most efficient ways to avoid wood from deteriorating is to properly dry it and keep it dry. The last scenario is critical since even kiln-dried wood will rapidly regain moisture if placed in a damp environment.

Wood can be dried in the open air or in a dry kiln. For wood goods used in warm areas, air drying alone is insufficient.

As a result, kiln drying is required. There are numerous advantages to kiln drying: One of them is the elimination of stains or wood-destroying fungi or insects that may attack the wood and degrade its quality.

Wood that will be used indoors merely has to be dried to give long-term rot protection.

Preservative Treatment of Wood

Wood preservatives can be used to keep wood from deteriorating. However, some wood preservatives may be harmful to humans and other animals.

As a result, if wood is used outside in areas where it is frequently wet or in close proximity to liquid water, it must be treated with wood preservation chemicals to ensure long-term durability.

Remedial treatment

Wood in service must be retreated on a regular basis, either by brushing or by a variety of other means.

Wood window frames, door frames, and wood timber and beams are occasionally retreated by drilling holes in areas where rot has commenced and filling these holes with a suitable treating mix.

Treatment compounds in the form of solid rods are commonly used because they provide a delayed release of active components.

Retreatment of ground contact wood must be accomplished through the application of pastes and wrapping in preservative impregnated bandages.

Timber Roof Trusses FAQs

1. What Are Timber Roof Trusses?

A timber roof trusses are structural members used during the framing of a roof, usually for support and to maintain the roof shape. Timber roof trusses have been used for centuries.

Connections between the truss members, or “rafters,” are usually bolted, and webbed to make for a rigid frame. Timber roof trusses offer several benefits.

Firstly, timber roof trusses are an affordable option. They are made from natural materials that are going to decay over time, but at a much slower rate than other construction

2. How Are Timber Roof Trusses Built?

Timber roof trusses are built by first constructing the timber frame. The frame is then covered with shingles and/ or sheets of plywood to create a strong surface.

The strength of timber roof trusses is added by the sheathing or plywood provided on top of the framing system.

3. What timber is used for roof trusses?

Timber roof trusses are made from soild wood timbers. For each timber needed, a number of straight pieces of wood are cut.

The piece is then placed in a mould and kept in shape by pressing against the sides until the product is complete.

4. What are the kinds of timber used for timber roof trusses?

Timber roof trusses can be made from osage orange, white oak, tulip poplar, eucalyptus, and pine among others

5. Is it okay to use pressure-treated wood for roof rafters?

The preservative employed in the treatment procedure determines whether pressure-treated lumber is suitable for trusses.

If the lumber treated with waterborne preservatives is kiln dried following treatment, the majority of the preservative compounds are rendered inert, allowing conventional plates to be used.

6. What are the pros and cos of timber roof trusses?

Timber trusses are made from renewable materials in a relatively easy and quick manner. This makes them an excellent choice for environmentally conscious clients.

Compared to steel trusses, timber trusses consume much less energy. Some cons include susceptible to fire, as well as pest and rot attacks.

7. Is it okay to use WPC (wood plastic composite) instead of timber roof trusses?

Yes, although it is much pricier compared to timber roof trusses.

However, it is an eco-friendly product that is fire resistant and also resistant to termites, rot and fungi. It will also last for a very long time compared to other options.

8. What are the advantages of using timber roof trusses?

Timber roof trusses offer several benefits. Firstly, timber roof trusses are an affordable option.

Because there are different types of timber, designers can choose from a variety of woods that cater to individual needs. It is also versatile, which allows for easy changes depending on the client’s taste.

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