Should you use timber or steel for your roof trusses?

Posted on: 21 April 2023

Roof trusses are triangular structures that are used to support the roof from within. They are usually made from either timber or steel. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of each type.


Timber trusses are still very popular, largely because they are so economical. A timber roof truss will cost a lot less than a steel one and is likely to be the preferred option in a small-scale project. Some people also prefer working with wood because it is a more natural material. It will be more attractive if it is visible from within the building, such as if it is used in a vaulted ceiling or if an attic truss is installed in a room that is in use.

However, they are not as strong as steel trusses. If too much weight is put on them, they can warp under the strain which can cause the roof to sag. Timber is also susceptible to damage by pests such as termites or woodworm, which could lead to an expensive repair. Timber trusses will therefore need to be checked and given regular maintenance. You should also remember that they are not suitable in an area with extreme weather, as high winds could damage them.


The main advantage of steel trusses, then, is that they are much stronger than timber. They are therefore used in large projects where they will have to bear more weight. This also makes them suitable for building in areas that will experience extreme weather conditions. It is worth remembering that steel is lighter than timber even though it is stronger, and so will not itself contribute to the weight load to the same extent. They are also very low-maintenance, as they will not suffer from rot or pest damage. They also have the advantage of being fire resistant and will help to stop the spread of any fire that breaks out in the building.

In return for this, steel is likely to be a more expensive option than timber. However, as it does not need regular maintenance, it is quite possible that it will save you money in the long term.

In conclusion, timber is more suitable for smaller projects, or where the budget is an important consideration. However, both materials have their advantages and disadvantages. If you are in any doubt, just talk to your installer who will be able to give advice on which material to use. For more information on roof trusses, contact a company near you.