Truss Manufacturer Configurations for Oklahoma and Kansas

The function of a roof truss is to provide the overall support structure for your roof. It ensures that the weight of any roof covering, such as shingle or tile, is evenly distributed in a way that does not compromise the integrity of your home.

There are dozens of different roof truss configurations you could use. The final type depends on discussion and agreement between you, your architect and the truss manufacturer. Certain roof truss configurations will work better in some designs than others. A perfect example of this is using a parallel chord truss configuration for a flat roof. Whereas pitched trusses are more suitable for sloped roofs. So, your choice of truss configuration might already be decided by the style of roof you’re having installed.

We’re going to look at each truss type in a bit more detail – they might look very complex to the layman. But once you understand the basics of how a truss works, then you’re in a far better position to make a decision on what will best suit your property.

Types of Trusses:

Common Truss

As the name suggests, this is the most common and functional configuration of a timber frame truss. A lower beam joins both rafters together. The entire truss is usually easy to assemble in a short timeframe.

Howe Truss

Comprised mostly of wood, but with the key supports constructed from steel. The unusual shape of this type of truss is why it’s often referred to as the “K truss”. A Howe Truss is ideal for a roof with a span of more than 20 meters, the steel being responsible for the integrity required in roofs of this size.

Pratt Truss

Also referred to as the “N truss”, this configuration is made entirely from steel. It is ideal for larger buildings with roofs that are especially long or wide. The Pratt truss is a mix of upright supports and diagonal beams. This type of truss is affordable and extremely durable. Spans of up to 100-meters are possible.

King Post Truss

Another truss named after its shape, the King Post truss is very similar to the common truss except it has an additional support post (the King post) between the upper chord, in the gable of the roof. Some architects will include additional support diagonals. This results in a gable that looks somewhat like a crown. This type of truss can be made entirely from wood, or from a combination of steel and wood, depending on your budget.

Fan Truss

This truss configuration uses a central support member, with several other diagonal supports extending from this central point in a fan pattern. Fan trusses are traditionally constructed entirely from timber, can support spans of up to 15 meters. Fan trusses are one of the most commonly used truss configurations for sloped roofs.

North Light Truss

You’ll find this type of truss used more in the construction of workshops and industrial units than on residential roofs. This sloping configuration is ideal for maximizing the distribution of natural light and can span areas of up to 30 meters. 

Parallel Chord Truss

Constructed using large beams of wood – usually in single pieces – this is one of the least labor and cost-intensive truss configurations you can use. Another benefit is that it doesn’t require a load-bearing wall to be present. They are most commonly used in the construction of a flat roof, except in the case of a vaulted parallel truss roof.

Raised Heel Truss

This is referred to as a “raised heel” truss because the bottom chord is fitted with a heel which raises the top chord of the roof. One huge benefit of a raised heel truss is it can be installed in a single day, making it ideal for regions where unpredictable weather is a factor. This truss configuration is typically made entirely from timber and is also extremely energy efficient.

If you live in Oklahoma or Kansas, you know that extreme weather can be a fact of life, and this should be something your Truss Manufacturer includes in your roof design. Aesthetics are important, but the integrity of your home trumps how well it looks, every single time.

Still not sure which truss configuration makes the most sense for your home or business? Please feel free to give the Timberlake Trussworks team a call. We’re more than happy to share five decades of construction experience with each of our new and existing customers, both in Kansas and throughout Oklahoma.

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