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Parts of a Roof Truss

Typical Parts of a Roof Truss

A truss is essentially a framed set of rafters that supports the roof of your house. A truss offers greater strength which allows for a much wider span between walls than older traditional framing techniques. Trusses allow for a wide variety of shapes to be used in designing a roof since they offer greater flexibility. As a bonus most trusses are built from wood which is a renewable resource and is thus an environmentally friendly building technique.

Below you will find the major roof truss components illustrated and briefly defined.


roof truss


  • Slope Is the measure of how "steep" a roof is. For example, if a roof is "4 in 12", the roof rises 4 inches for every horizontal run of 12 inches. The pitch of the roof is a big factor in determining the kinds of materials that can be used and the longevity of the roof. Usually, a steeper roof (higher pitch) will last longer due to its better drainage capabilities.
  • Top Chord - Main member of a truss running along the underside supporting the decking.
  • Bottom Chord - Main member of a truss running along the lower side between supports.
  • Peak The highest part of the truss.
  • Overhang That portion of the roof truss structure that extends beyond the exterior walls of a building.
  • Cantilever - a beam anchored at one end projecting into space.

See also: Roof Components - Roof Rafters


Roof Truss Image courtesy of the Wood Truss Council of America


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