Are Roof Trusses Stronger Than Rafters?

In almost all cases, yes. Both rafters and trusses can be constructed to be as strong as they need to be, if that makes sense, but trusses by design are a more efficient and naturally stronger shape. A triangle is the strongest shape in nature, after all. 

Trusses are engineered

While rafters are constructed on site and have little to no data, trusses are computer-designed and are provided with structural calculations for building control. While this doesn't necessarily tell you trusses are categorically stronger, it does provide the data to prove they are strong enough for your chosen application.

trusses in a factory

Trusses transmit vertical loads

While rafters are shaped like an upside-down V, trusses are a triangle. Rafters push the weight of the roof at an angle onto the walls, essentially forcing them outwards. Thanks to the connected triangular shape of a truss, the weight is transferred vertically through the walls and into the ground, providing a stronger and more stable product. 


Strength in Load-Bearing: Trusses are generally stronger than individual rafters because they are engineered to bear heavy loads more efficiently. The triangular design of trusses helps distribute forces along the entire structure, minimising the need for internal load-bearing walls.

Span and Versatility: Trusses are often used in larger structures or buildings with wider spans due to their inherent strength and ability to handle longer distances without extra support. Rafters may require additional support such as collar ties or ceiling joists for longer spans.

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