A roof is more than just a cover to a building. Roof structures have to support the weight of the roof, and things such as rain or snow that add to it. Not only that, but the roof structure provides lateral support for the walls of the building. Among the most cost-efficient choices for framing a roof is roof trusses. Steel or wood trusses are built off-site and brought to the construction location to create the roof frame. Roof trusses are incredibly strong and quick to install, and they typically cost less than traditional framing methods. This guide is designed to provide you with the key information you need about buying roof trusses: roof truss prices and the different truss manufacturers from which to choose.
Truss vs. Conventional Framing
Before we cover roof truss prices and truss manufacturers, let’s reinforce the benefits of using trusses.
Truss framing is more cost-effective than conventional roof framing, where the roof is created on site using loose timber. The Structural Building Components Association (SBCA) found that conventional framing took more time, labor, and material than using pre-manufactured trusses. In the SBCA’s study, conventional framing took as much as 57% longer, used 33% more lumber, and created significantly more scrap material. All the evidence points to truss framing as a more economical and environmentally friendly method compared to conventional roof framing.
Truss Structure: Fink Trusses, Attic Trusses, and Others
Roof trusses can be designed in a number of shapes to suit your needs. The shape or type of truss that you choose will affect the price. Two of the most common types of trusses are Fink and attic.
Fink Trusses: Fink trusses are usually the cheapest form of roof framing. A Fink truss forms a W shape within the basic triangle of the roof formation (in fact, they’re sometimes called W trusses). These trusses are lightweight, making installation easier and quicker compared to other types of trusses and reducing manual labor and equipment costs.
However, the shape of Fink trusses limits the usefulness of the space, making the attic area effectively uninhabitable. Depending on your needs, Fink or W trusses may not be the best option for you.
Attic Truss: If you wish to have living space in the very top level of the house or structure, an attic trussed roof may be the way to go. Rather than using the W-shaped support of Fink trusses, this method uses upright support beams spaced at a distance away from the center. This creates an open space along the length of the roof and storage along the sides.
However, this method is more expensive than a basic Fink truss. The timbers need to be larger, making the overall truss heavier. Installation is not as simple and generally requires more time and equipment, such as a crane.
Other Trusses: There are many more types of trusses available, and specific roof frames can be custom-designed for your building. Talk to a local roof framing professional in your area to learn what options are best for you.
Will Your Trusses Be Made of Steel or Timber (Wood)?
Another important consideration in the price of roof trusses is the material of which the trusses are made. Both steel and timber trusses have some notable benefits and drawbacks.
Timber (Wood): Timber trusses are more traditional than steel trusses, and they are generally the cheapest option. However, timber will not necessarily last as long as steel frames. They may warp over time and are susceptible to rot and insect damage. This can cause structural damage over time, necessitating costly repairs. That being said, many builders and architects still prefer timber over steel and consider these risks to be outweighed by the benefits of timber, including the cost.
Steel: Steel trusses have become more popular lately, but they are much more expensive than timber — sometimes costing five times as much as wood trusses. Not only is the raw material more expensive, but installation costs may be higher as well due to increased complexity. However, unlike timber trusses, chemical treatments are not necessary to maintain steel trusses, and you do not have to worry about insect damage.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Policy Development and Research found that on otherwise identical homes built in South Carolina, the home using steel-framed trusses was 14.2% more expensive than the wood trussed home, including 4.3% higher installation costs.
What Other Factors Affect Roof Truss Prices?
Steepness of the roof pitch: The steeper the roof pitch, the more expensive the trusses will be. More material is necessary to support a steep truss, therefore increasing overall cost. The most cost-efficient steepness is a 4/12 pitch. This provides a strong support system without increasing the cost of materials. (A 4/12 pitch means that the roof rises 4 inches for every 12 inches of horizontal run.)
Complexity: A main factor in the price of almost all building elements, and certainly in the roof structure, is complexity. The simpler the shape of the roof, the lower the price will be. For example, a Fink trussed roof is a simpler construction than an attic trussed roof — consequently, the Fink trussed roof will usually be the cheaper option.
Location: As always, local labor rates, availability of material and equipment, and skill levels in different regions will all influence the final price.
Material: As discussed above, steel trusses will increase cost significantly over timber trusses. Not only is the raw material more expensive, but installation costs are higher as well.
Estimated Costs for Wood and Steel Trusses
The price of new trusses will vary based on size and style. The number of trusses needed for a particular structure will vary based on the size of the building. Below are example prices for trusses of different lengths (spans), styles, and roof pitches. You can design your own trusses on this page of Menards.com.
Common (Fink) Truss — Wood, new:
- 4/12 pitch, 10-14’ span: $33 – $37 each
- 4/12 pitch, 16′-30′ span: $43 – $69 each
- 4/12 pitch, 32′-40′ span: $86 – $132 each
- 6/12 pitch, 26’-28′ span: $74 – $100 each
End Truss — Wood, new:
- 4/12 pitch, 14’-18′ span: $45 – $61 each
- 4/12 pitch, 20’-30′ span: $76 – $100 each
- 4/12 pitch, 32′-40′ span: $105 – $142 each
- 6/12 pitch, 26’-30′ span: $90 – $110 each
The prices for steel trusses are much higher:
- 20′-28′ span: $223 – $312 each
- 30′-36′ span: $335 – 476 each
- 38′-40′ span: $502 – $569 each
Of course, those are just the prices for the trusses themselves; there are also labor, equipment, material, and scrap disposal costs to consider.
These are general figures that will change according to the supplier that you choose, but this breakdown should help to give you an overall idea of the start-to-finish cost of roof trusses.
Major Truss Manufacturers to Consider
Manufacturers of trusses typically have a team of builders and engineers to design trusses that fit your exact needs. Roof trusses must be of a precise design and size to support your building. Reputable manufacturers like the ones on this list have the expertise to assist in this process. Here are a few major manufacturers of trusses in the USA:
A-1 Roof Trusses
- What type of trusses does A-1 Roof Trusses sell? Wood and steel
- How long has A-1 Roof Trusses been in business? Over 40 years
- What is the service area for A-1 Roof Trusses? Southeastern USA
- Read more on the A-1 Roof Trusses website.
- Find an A-1 Roof Trusses.
- What type of trusses does Midwest Manufacturing sell? Only wood trusses
- How long has Midwest Manufacturing been in business? Since 1969
- What is the service area for Midwest Manufacturing? Central and Northern USA
- Read more on the Midwest Manufacturing website.
- Available for sale at Menards. Find the nearest Menards.
Reliable Truss and Components (a division of National Lumber)
- What type of trusses does Reliable Truss and Components sell? Wood and steel trusses
- How long has Reliable Truss and Components been in business? Since 1954
- What is the service area for Reliable Truss and Components? New England
- Read more on the Reliable Truss and Components website.
- Contact Reliable Trust to find out if service is available in your area.
- What type of trusses does Stark Truss sell? Wood and steel
- How long has Stark Truss been in business? Over 50 years
- What is the service area for Stark Truss? Central and Eastern USA
- Read more on the Stark Truss website.
- Find the nearest Stark Truss.
Truss Aluminium Factory
- What type of trusses does Truss Aluminium Factory sell? Only steel trusses
- How long has Truss Aluminium Factory been in business? Since 1988
- What is the service area for Truss Aluminium Factory? Nationwide
- Read more on the Truss Aluminium Factory website.
- Contact Truss Aluminum Factory to find out if service is available in your area.
Universal Forest Products
- What type of trusses does Universal Forest Products sell? Only wood trusses
- How long has Universal Forest Products been in business? Over 60 years
- What is the service area for Universal Forest Products? Nationwide
- Read more on the Universal Forest Products website.
- Find a Universal Forest Products.
Stores That Sell Trusses
Trusses are sometimes sold at large hardware stores. We have listed a few nationwide stores to help you in your search. Inventory will vary by location, so contact your local store directly to find out what they offer in your area.
- What type of trusses does Ace Hardware sell? Inventory varies by location. Not all stores sell trusses. Contact your local Ace Hardware to inquire if that store supplies roof trusses.
- Where does Ace Hardware have locations? Nationwide
- Find an Ace Hardware.
The Home Depot
- What type of trusses does Home Depot sell? Inventory varies by location. Metal and wood available at many locations.
- Where does Home Depot have locations? Nationwide
- Find a Home Depot.
- What type of trusses does Lowe’s sell? Inventory varies by location. Metal and wood available at many locations.
- Where does Lowe’s have locations? Nationwide
- Find a Lowe’s.
- What type of trusses does Menards sell? Wood only
- Where does Menards have locations? Central and Northern USA
- Find a Menards.
Tip: You may want to try to wait for the next Menards 11% off sale
Can You Buy Used Trusses?
Can you buy used or repurposed trusses for a new building? Yes, in some cases this may be a possibility. A number of companies and individuals offer used trusses for sale. This could save you a great deal of money, as used trusses are typically much cheaper than brand-new ones.
Buying used trusses from a company rather than an individual offers an extra level of protection, in that companies typically guarantee that the trusses are still in safe condition to use. Of course, due to the limited supply, relying on used trusses for a building project will reduce your options for the design of the structure. If you prefer maximum flexibility or if you have an unusual or complex design for the intended structure, you’re likely better off having trusses custom made.
The vast majority of companies that sell used trusses are very much local businesses; many may even be individuals. The people or companies selling used trusses will typically only service a small area. To find a company that sells used trusses near you, search online for “used trusses for sale [your town]” to see what options are available to you.
The many options you have when it comes to choosing trusses can drastically influence the price. Prefabricated Fink roof trusses are the most cost-effective, but may not work for you because this style of truss limits the usefulness of the space. Steel will be more expensive than timber. Whether or not you wish to and can secure used trusses, and where your project is located, will influence the overall cost as well. You can also consider savings elsewhere, such as on the roof covering and insulation process. We hope that this guide helps you choose the right truss for your project and reduce the costs when buying roof trusses.