Timber roof trusses are a bit different than standard roof rafters. Roof joists or beams, otherwise known as stick framing, are attached to plates on the exterior walls and then to load-bearing walls underneath them. They are usually covered with drywall and a flooring material for the attic or crawlspace. Roof trusses are very large beams that are connected in a triangle shape and which hold up the weight of the home, so load-bearing walls under them are not needed. If you're having a new home built or are remodeling your home and your work will affect the roof, note a few tips for determining if timber trusses are the right choice for you.
Timber trusses are made in a factory, usually with computer-driven saws that make precise cuts. In turn, there is less wood waste that you would otherwise see on a construction site. If you want an eco-friendly choice and aren't sure of how to recycle the wood scraps that are common with standard construction, timber trusses are the better option.
Since timber trusses are built in a factory and shipped to your location, you can determine exactly when they arrive and are put into place. With standard roof beams, these need to be cut onsite and then installed. Your contractors may make imperfect cuts or the weather may be a factor in how easily they can cut the beams, so that your construction schedule is delayed. If you have a very tight schedule, opt for the ease of timber trusses.
If you think you might renovate your home sometime in the future and want to move around walls, timber trusses are a good choice since they don't need load-bearing walls. You can then locate walls where they suit you and not where they're needed for structural integrity. As an example, if you're building a family home but know you might want to eliminate a child's bedroom once they move out, timber trusses give you this freedom to take down those walls. You can take down walls for an office once you retire without worrying about the overall structure or strength of your home's roof.
Timber trusses are actually more fireproof than standard roof beams, since they're very dense without much air inside the wood. Without oxygen, a fire dies out, so your timber trusses don't feed a fire like roof beams. If you live in an area prone to brushfires or lightning strikes, these trusses can be a safer option for your home.