Given their strength and the speed with which they can be installed, roof trusses have become increasingly popular, replacing rafters for roof support in residential structures. Roof trusses transfer all the weight to the exterior walls of a building, relieving the stress on inner walls.
Before commencing the construction of a dwelling, it’s essential to determine the type of roof trusses to be used. In deciding between timber vs steel roof trusses, it’s best to first consider the positives and negatives of each.
The Positives Of Timber Roof Trusses
Timber is generally less expensive and readily accessible from hardware and timber stores. It can be easier to lift and handle, does not require heavy machinery, and is quick to install, adding to the cost-effectiveness of the construction.
It is strong, doesn’t rust, and doesn’t contract or expand as the temperature fluctuates, as steel does.
Energy-Efficient and Eco-Friendly
Timber is more energy-efficient than steel as it does not transmit or absorb heat and provides insulation. This enables property owners to save on their energy costs. It has the dual effect of being both a cost-saver as well as being friendly to the environment.
Timber is popular as its appearance lends itself to a wide variety of decorative uses.
The Negatives Of Timber Trusses
Timber is susceptible to both fire and water damage. Over time, natural weathering can cause warping and bowing. However, properly installed wood trusses help protect from these issues, and in the event of a fire, timber has an advantage in its greater critical flammable temperature.
Exposure To The Elements
Wood is vulnerable to rotting and erosion over time and this can be further accentuated by the weather conditions in certain regions.
Timber is prone to insect infestations, such as termites. This can be avoided by regular, affordable pest treatments, which many householders have done on an annual basis.
The Positives Of Steel Roof Trusses
Steel roof trusses have greater resistance to the effects of weather.
Resistance to Fire and Pests
Steel is not fuel to fire, thereby reducing the risk, and whilst termites can pose issues for timber, steel trusses are not susceptible to this problem.
As they are prefabricated in factories, steel trusses can be made to many shapes and sizes and can cover greater spans.
The Negatives Of Steel Roof Trusses
Steel can be more expensive than timber, and this will be further impacted by the size of your property. In addition, the installation requires a broader set of professional skills and practices. It’s important to factor this into your budgeting at the planning stage.
Unlike timber, rust can present a problem with steel, so it’s vital for regular maintenance.
Transmission of Heat
It is less energy efficient than timber, as steel easily transmits heat, adding to a property owners’ household energy use. Careful installation of thermal insulation can counter this but adds to the overall expenses.
At Leach Trusses, we specialise in timber roof trusses for the Sunshine Coast. Our friendly and professional team is happy to expand further on the pros and cons of timber and steel and help guide you to the right option for you. Contact us today.