Fence House Roof Truss Company

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Self-Build Common Queries

How exciting, in charge of your own self-build!  But, as anyone who has been through the process will know, taking on a self-build project is a steep learning curve, with roof trusses just one decision to make amongst many others.

Roof trusses are a popular choice for most self-builders as they need less labour than other roofing methods.  In addition, a self-build using trusses has less need for interior walls, which is an obvious saving on time and expense.  One of the main advantages of using prefabricated roof trusses in self-builds is that they are usually delivered and set in a day, meaning the interior of the building will not be exposed for a long time.

That said, as with anything else in a self-build, selecting and specifying your roof truss can be a complex process if you haven’t done it before.  That is where we are here to help.  We have years of experience in helping self-builders to correctly specify their roof truss needs, and our team of experts are always on hand to help and guide you through each step of the process.  We are used to working with owners, builders, architects and anyone in between, meaning that your roof trusses can be one thing that you don’t have to lose sleep over.

Below we have pulled out some useful information related to common queries that we get but, if in any doubt, please do not hesitate to contact us, we will always be at your side during your self-build.


What are the different types of roof truss?

Roof trusses are available in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be customized to suit virtually any roof design. One of the most common types of truss systems is a pitched truss, also referred to as a common or fink truss and is characterised by its triangular shape.  There are a variety of truss designs for common trusses and also lots of other types of trusses too – you may hear these terms and wonder what they are!  Don’t worry, most of them just represent the different shapes and sizes of truss depending on the size, shape and load requirements of your roof.  We have listed some of the common types of roof truss for you below.  And, if you hear talk of any of the other ones, such as dual pitch, inverted or cathedral then don’t worry, we can explain them too!

Fink Truss -A fink roof truss is the most commonly used truss type, due to its flexibility and value for money. It provides a high strength structure with good load-carrying capacity and can also be used as a support for other trusses.

fink truss

Attic Truss – an attic truss is a popular choice for creating additional living space in the roof, as the resign removes some of the centre structure by providing additional support at the sides and top of the truss.

attic truss

Raised Tie Truss – Raised tie roof trusses can provide more internal room height – by being supported part of the way up the lower end of the rafters rather than on the ceiling tie.  They are the ideal choice for “cottage” style builds.

Mono Truss – a mono truss is typically used where the roof is required to slope only in one direction. Traditionally mono pitched roofs have been used for garages and lean-tos but increasingly people are opting for this design to give an innovative and modern look to their home.

mono truss


What is a roof truss?

Roof trusses are used to carry and support the weight of the roof deck and any materials used to cover the roof.  There are two main types of roof truss; pitched and flat. Pitched trusses are easily recognised, triangular in shape and give building that common “triangle hat” shape.  Flat trusses, as the name suggests, are used to support flat roofs.  All trusses have the same basic components.  The outside framing parts are known as chords and the smaller connecting parts are called webs.  Trusses have bearing points which is where they rest on a load-bearing wall and they also have posts and tie beams which provide support to the roof truss structure.


What does timber treatment include?

Timber can be treated to further protect wood from the elements, such as fungal decay and insects (risk in South East England). The specific risk to your timber will be dictated by your geographic location and where the timber is being used in the construction. It is an additional cost to have your timber treated (around 10% of the cost of your structure) and the process includes covering your timber with a special preservative that is specifically designed to protect wooden structures from the elements.

What is the approximate additional cost for a room-in-the-roof system?

While the cheapest way of building a roof is with a standard roof truss, they do not allow for future expansion. An attic (or room-in-the-roof) truss is specially designed to maximise space and allow for further room development. Attic trusses do cost more to buy, you can typically expect to pay between 1.5x-2x more than for a standard roof truss, but the main advantage to selecting an attic truss are that they will add value to a house due to the additional square footage, regardless of whether the space is finished or not.

What happens if I want to make a change to my roof trusses/floor joists/timber frame but they have already been installed?

We often hear this question, and it is usually because there are wires or piping to be fitted retrospectively following installation. are frequently asked this question, usually because an electrician or plumber wants to drill holes to fit wires or piping.  We would never recommend carrying out any alterations without consulting us first and often we find that we are asked too late and serious damage has already been done. Roof trusses and joists are their to support your building structure and any alteration to them; cutting or drilling, will compromise their integrity and the forces that act within them to keep them structurally sound. The only way to avoid expensive repairs or replacements due to retrospective work is to ensure carefully planning, that consider all of your building planning stages, including electric and plumbing.

What are your delivery timescales?

We do offer a 5-day delivery service within mainland UK from approval of your design.

Do I need to treat my roof trusses/floor joists/timber frames?

There is no legislation that requires you to treat your timber in these applications, however some areas, such as the South East of England, do have problems with beetle infestations that can damage the integrity of your timber structure.