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Old 12-11-2007, 07:10 PM
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Cost of Rafters vs Trusses

For a 9/12 gable roof 22' wide. Off the top of my head, I would say a rafter system might be 2 to 4 times more expensive than a truss system, but I would like input from experts. Thanks.
Old 12-11-2007, 07:44 PM
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I'm interested in hearing about this too. My contractor recommends going with trusses. I'm just not sure how easy it would to be to get a crane in there to lift them up. I want to replace my extremely half-assed piecemeal house of 7 gables DIY leaking roof with just a single roof line.
Old 12-14-2007, 08:22 PM
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Bump.

(Perhaps this is the wrong forum?)
Old 12-14-2007, 09:16 PM
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It's such an odd question, I hesitated to answer. And I am not sure why you want to do it.

Trusses are cheaper, easier to install, and engineered to be stronger. The only time you see hand framing now is on weird little whoop-de-doos that don't conform easily to trusses. Or repairing existing rafters. Some hips.

Your labor is going to cost more than anything you could save on materials. You might get a little grief from the building inspector as well, depending on his expertise.

I could spend the time pricing it out for you if this was more than just an idle question, but seeing that we're not even in the same millennium, just go with your original guesstimate.

Last edited by fisha; 12-14-2007 at 09:16 PM.
Old 12-15-2007, 02:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisha
It's such an odd question, I hesitated to answer. And I am not sure why you want to do it.

Trusses are cheaper, easier to install, and engineered to be stronger. The only time you see hand framing now is on weird little whoop-de-doos that don't conform easily to trusses. Or repairing existing rafters. Some hips.

Your labor is going to cost more than anything you could save on materials. You might get a little grief from the building inspector as well, depending on his expertise.

I could spend the time pricing it out for you if this was more than just an idle question, but seeing that we're not even in the same millennium, just go with your original guesstimate.
Some friends of mine want to build a new house and they want a lot of storage space in the attic. Rafters would be better for that. But they are also obsessed with saving money.
Old 12-15-2007, 05:32 AM
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Besides increased attic space,another advantage of stick building that shades the material/labor equation is the ability of owner-builders to erect the rafters working alone or as a couple.
Any knowledgeable carpenter can modify a rafter to suit a change in design,but cutting a chord in a truss usually requires engineering involvement.
Old 12-15-2007, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Can Handle the Truth
Some friends of mine want to build a new house and they want a lot of storage space in the attic. Rafters would be better for that. But they are also obsessed with saving money.
Suggest that they go with attic trusses.
Old 12-15-2007, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carson O'Genic
Besides increased attic space,another advantage of stick building that shades the material/labor equation is the ability of owner-builders to erect the rafters working alone or as a couple.
Any knowledgeable carpenter can modify a rafter to suit a change in design,but cutting a chord in a truss usually requires engineering involvement.
Having set trusses, I'd argue that for the roof he's suggesting, it'd be easier to use trusses than hand frame. Not to mention you could get them all set in a morning, as opposed to at least a weekend.

snerk. (Just imagining the typical homeowners walking 6" walls 30 feet in the air with a truss between them...)

In addition, there is a certain level of knowledge required to figure out rafters. Most homeowners don't have this experience. In this specific case, it wouldn't be a big deal, but it's a factor.

The attic space question was answered by cornflakes.

Last edited by fisha; 12-15-2007 at 01:24 PM.
Old 12-15-2007, 10:21 PM
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Without my framing square or a book of rafter tables handy, I would WAG each rafter would be about 14 feet long on a 9/12 with a 22 foot span. You could figure material cost by breaking this down.

So to stick frame this roof, you need 2 rafters every 16 inches. We don't know how many rafters/trusses you need without the length of the roof. This is assuming a straight gable roof. Hips/valleys/different pitches tying in add more material.

Depending on code, you need 2x10 or 2x12 rafters (please don't even consider 2x8). You also need a ridgeboard, ridge braces, collar ties, and purlin braces. The collar tie/purlin spacing again depends on your local building code. This is just the basics. There is a lot of labor involved in stick framing a roof.

Unless you have some old school framing buddies who will work cheap, I would go with trusses.

The above is just some insight from experience. I truly have no idea of the cost of trusses versus dimensional lumber these days.

ETA I forgot about TJI type material, but still don't know the cost comparison

Last edited by Klaatu; 12-15-2007 at 10:26 PM.
Old 12-17-2007, 04:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisha
Having set trusses, I'd argue that for the roof he's suggesting, it'd be easier to use trusses than hand frame. Not to mention you could get them all set in a morning, as opposed to at least a weekend.
I'll second this. How much longer will cutting joists and rafters and then putting it all up take? Compare it to this. Your friends will either have to pay a crew to put up the roof or take extra time away from their jobs or their weekends to do the work. Time is money, and there's a lot of money to be saved by using trusses. They won't be up there as long either, so there's less chance of an injury which would cost a lot more.

I'm no contractor. All I've done is built a gable roofed garage. While I stick framed the roof to get a full floor in the attic, I used floor trusses for the joists. They cost about as much as 2x12s and gave me an attic that I could store engine blocks in if I wanted. If I ever have to build another garage, I'll use attic trusses.

Last edited by cornflakes; 12-17-2007 at 04:10 AM.
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