Hiring Contractors For Home Improvements

Hiring Contractors For Home Improvements

Steel or Timber: Which Type of Trusses Are Best for Roofs and Frames?

Tim Graham

In the majority of commercial and multi-unit residential buildings today, the roof and frame trusses are made from either steel or timber. Both types of trusses have advantages and drawbacks that you need to be aware of before you commit your money to a new construction project. Here are the advantages and the drawbacks of steel and timber frame trusses

The Cost

Timber trusses are cheaper than their steel counterparts. However, this considers only the short term. Whilst timber is cheaper to install, you'll need to replace it more often than you'll need to replace steel trusses. Over time, the cost can even out to be about the same.

The winner: Timber is the winner if you're looking for the cheapest initial cost.

The Durability

Steel trusses are more durable than timber ones. Whilst steel doesn't sustain damage from heat or cold exposure, it's fairly common for timber trusses to warp under these conditions. Additionally, timber can be highly susceptible to insect damage, something that steel trusses are impervious to. 

The winner: Steel trusses are the clear winner in terms of durability. 

The Maintenance

Timber trusses need considerably more maintenance than steel ones do. To maximise the longevity of timber trusses, you'll need to have the timber periodically treated with a specialised protectant that helps reduce warping, rot, and other common problems. Steel requires no particular protectants -- it's one of the strongest of all metals and is naturally resistant to all the same things that can threaten timber. This means it's easy and maintenance free.

The winner: Steel is the decisive winner in terms of maintenance. 

The Installation Complexity

When it comes to installation of the new roof or frame trusses, timber is unquestionably the easiest option. Timber is much easier for contractors to install. Steel trusses are far more complex to install, and they also take considerably longer to install. Because steel trusses are so much more labour intensive, it often takes larger teams of contractors to install steel trusses, whilst timber trusses can generally be installed by a small team of contractors. Contractors generally need specialised training and knowledge to properly install steel roof or frame trusses while contractors with general knowledge and skills may be able to install timber trusses.

The winner: For installation complexity, timber is the winner. It's a faster installation than steel in nearly every case. 

As you have learned, both timber and steel trusses have advantages. Which is best for your situation? Contact your local contractor to answer that question today.


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About Me
Hiring Contractors For Home Improvements

Hello! My name is Richard and this is my new blog. On this blog, I hope to pass on some useful information about how to work with contractors. I recently decided that I wanted to give my property a complete overhaul. I wanted to have a new roof installed, the interior remodelled and the driveway repaired. I asked around and I put together a great team of contractors who could all work together to get the job done. However, that isn't to say there wasn't the occasion challenge during such a big project. I learnt a lot from the experience and I am really pleased with the work that the contractors carried out.