Stick vs Truss Roof: Pros and Cons

a roof under construction

There are two ways to put up a roof, using the stick method or using the roof truss method. Though the stick process is an older process, it is still very popular. Roof trusses have been used in the majority of new homes during recent years. Though they use completely different processes, there are pros and cons to each method.

Stick Roof Overview

A stick-framed roof is made up of individual rafters and that are connected to a top beam. The beam, or the ridge, is the central part of the structure, as all the framing must be connected to it. Additional boards are placed horizontally on the frames to create a complete cover for the structure. This method is used on houses and buildings with cathedral ceilings, attic rooms or storage areas, because they allow for an open, triangle shape between the ceiling joists and rafters.

Stick-Framed Roof Pros

The stick-framed roof process allows more space underneath the roof, either for an elegant look with a cathedral-style ceiling or for storage space in an attic.

They are easily changed and manipulated later if needed, by either changing up the space, removing an attic floor to make a more open room, or other modeling plans.

They are typically cheaper to install, as they do not require as many materials or as much man power to construct.

If your roof leaks, it is easier to determine where the leak is coming from because you will be able to access the bottom of it and find it.

Stick-Framed Roof Cons

Stick-framed roofs are not as steady as a trussed roof, as they only connect to the walls and one beam.

They require more maintenance than trussed roofs.

Though they do not have a lot of strength by themselves, you can add additional strength by installing collar beams.

If you are not using the extra space or don’t appreciate taller ceilings, having a stick framed roof will be an additional unwanted cost, when trying to heat or cool your house during certain times of the year.

Truss Roof Overview

truss against the backdrop of a blue sky

The truss roof method is used with gable and hip roofs. They are made prior to installation, by making triangular forms reinforced by several other planks of wood. Because they have a bottom base, they cannot be used if an attic area or a cathedral ceiling is desired.

Truss Roof Pros

Truss roofs are heavily reinforced, so they are more durable than stick-framed roofs.

They are lighter and easier to install and they do not require as much maintenance.

They allow you to install more insulation, which will make it easier to heat or cool your home.

Truss Roof Cons

Because they take more materials to create, building truss roofs can be more expensive than stick-framed structures.

Once the trusses have been placed and the roof installed, you cannot change or remove them, making renovations more difficult. They also do not allow for any extra storage space.

Both options are good options, but you must think about what you want for your home, and consider what you will do with it in the future. After considering both options for a while and doing some research, you can use the information to make the best decision to suit your needs.