Roof trusses are increasingly common in residential construction, accounting for roughly two-thirds of the U.S. market for new houses built in the U.S.
Trusses reduce labor as well as materials costs, as a 1996 study by the Wood Truss Council of America and the Building Systems Council of NAHB discovered. “Framing the American Dream” presented a comparison of labor and materials costs in two identical 2,600-sq. ft. houses, one built with engineered components and the other framed conventionally. Using roof trusses saved a total of 156 hours of labor and 4,190 board feet of lumber.
Another advantage: Some manufacturers are making roof trusses from lumber that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The Hayward Corporation of Monterey, Calif., is one firm that makes trusses from 100% certified wood. TrusPro Inc., of Guadalupe, Calif., is another.
Trusses can be ordered for just about any roof configuration and are made from smaller lumber sizes than dimensional rafter stock. They are assembled by the manufacturer in jigs using pieces engineered specifically for the application, which translates into consistency and precision, and they can be boomed into place quickly once they’re on the job site.
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