How Much Do Trusses Cost? – An Approximate Guide

Roof truss framing is a cost-effective way to build a roof. Today, more and more homebuilders use roof truss framing to save costs and build stronger roofs.

But how much do trusses cost? Today, we’re going to explain how pricing is evaluated and calculated by truss manufacturers and what you can expect when you consider purchasing a truss system for your next project.

[Notice: since this was written in 2014, the price of lumber has increased considerably and these prices are no longer exact for 2018-2019]

An average 2,600 square foot house costs…

According to the study discussed below, we can give you some approximate pricing information for truss framing. These are general figures and will change according to whichever supplier you’re working with:

-Labor costs: 112 man-hours x $20/hour average = $2,240

-Equipment costs: Crane = $500

-Total bd. ft. lumber: 10,500 x truss manufacturer’s selling price per board foot:  $9,000 to $12,000

-Scrap disposal cost: 3 yards of lumber x $15/yard plus labor costs: $77

Total cost:  $11,817 to $14,817

Keep in mind that these statistics are for a 2,600 square foot house. Also, these are only approximate values. Labor, equipment and materials vary in price due to cost of living in varying locations. Since cost of living is much lower here in Oklahoma and the Midwest, these prices will be lower than the national average.

Prices are calculated using specialized engineering software

Roof truss framing requires the use of specialized software. This software provides intricate details about the truss project – including the estimated labor costs and required amount of wood.

An engineer inputs vital information about the project. Starting with a layout, the engineer enters the size of the building and then lays trusses on top of it. The layout creates the correct truss. Then, the engineer customizes the truss to make sure it passes rigorous load-bearing tests. In Oklahoma and Kansas, for example, this means designing trusses to handle prairie winds and other adverse weather conditions.

This engineering software limits waste and significantly reduces the amount of manpower needed to complete a construction project.

Ultimately, that means truss framing tends to be cheaper, stronger and faster than conventional framing techniques.

Save 23% over conventional framing techniques

Truss framing is the more cost-effective option. But don’t take our word for it: check out this study, called “Framing the American Dream”, where two identical houses were framed using two different methods.

One house used conventional framing techniques while the other house used manufactured truss framing. The results were extremely telling.

HPIM0932Some key points to get from this study include:

-Builders spent 294 hours using conventional framing techniques to build the home. It took builders just 148 hours when using manufactured trusses. In other words, conventional framing took 67% longer.

-15,799 board feet of lumber were used to frame the conventional home, while 10,500 board feet were used in truss manufacturing. That’s 33% more unnecessary lumber.

-The conventionally-framed home generated 13 yards of scrap lumber, while the truss-framed house generated just 3 yards.

Those are some serious savings—not just money but the environment as well.

Fast facts about trusses and pricing:

21367953214-medium-The steeper the roof pitch, the more expensive the trusses will be, because more lumber is needed to support steeper trusses.

-A 4/12 pitch roof is the most economical if you’re looking for dollar value. At 4/12 pitch, it’s incredibly strong but also shallow enough to avoid the high costs of lumber. A 4/12 pitch means that the roof rises 4 inches for every 12 inches of run.

-Trusses vary in terms of cost. One study showed that trusses installed in Boston cost an average of $3.87 per square foot of building area, while the same trusses in New York City cost $4.42. In Raleigh, they cost $2.59 per square foot of building area. Keep in mind that the study above lists board feet, which is thickness x width x length. Square foot only uses width x length.

-At Timberlake Truss Works, we work in a controlled environment with all the stock lengths of lumber right here in our shop. This means we can produce a roof with very little waste, which translates into a lower dollar amount for the customer.

-Working inside comes with many advantages: we can build every day of the week regardless of the weather. We can also avoid exposing the materials to the elements before they’re ready. Ultimately, this means we can build a roof faster on the ground than conventional framers can build it up in the air. This saves customers money. It also means home contractors can build more houses faster – because manufactured trusses are the quickest method and use less labor in a shorter amount of time.

-Manufactured trusses are tested to handle varying loads for years, keeping the truss system from sagging, which most stick framing sags after handling the same loads.

-Also, manufactured trusses are sealed by a licensed engineer and certified to be much higher quality roofing above your head. Even at a lower cost, manufactured truss systems are guaranteed safe and higher quality.

Are trusses the right choice for you?

Manufactured trusses reduce waste and unnecessary labor costs. Today, over 60% of American homes use structural building components like floor and roof trusses.

To learn more about how trusses can save money on your next construction project, call Timberlake Truss Works today at 580-852-3660  

We service Oklahoma, Kansas and North Texas

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