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The average roof truss costs $7,200 to $12,000 for a 2,000-square-foot home, including professional installation. This breaks down to $1.50 to $4.50 per square foot for materials and $20 to $75 per hour for labor.* A roof truss is the skeleton of your roof, supporting everything from the shingles to the flashing and gutters.
We’ve detailed various factors that affect this price, plus provided tips for reducing costs and finding a reputable contractor.
*Article cost data via Angi and Home Advisor.
What Is a Roof Truss?
Your roof is heavy. Lightweight asphalt shingles can weigh 200 pounds per square. This means there’s more than 4,000 pounds above your head on a 2,000-square-foot home. A roof truss distributes this weight evenly across the roof’s framework to prevent sagging, buckling, or roof system collapse.
Roof trusses have three main components:
- Bottom chord: A horizontal beam (runner or tie beam)
- Top chord: Two boards angled up from the ends (rafters)
- Webbing: Bracing boards or runners
The most common roof trusses are prefabricated wooden trusses with steel plates joining lengths of lumber. Steel-framed trusses are available but less common in residential homes.
Roof Truss Cost Factors
Several factors determine your total roof truss cost. Namely, the roof’s pitch, size, and complexity as well as the truss material. Learn more about roof truss cost factors below.
Cost by Roof Size and Complexity
Roofs with more than one level or several hips and valleys can make roof truss installation more challenging. Also, complex roofing systems require more boards and installation time.
Roof trusses cost between $1.50 to $4.50 per square foot for materials. Here’s how that works for various roof sizes.
|Roof Truss Size by Square Foot||Cost of Materials|
Cost by Roof Pitch
Roofs with steeper angles are more difficult to navigate and will likely require more labor. Steep roofs are dangerous and need more beams or boards than a flat roof. Calculate the roof’s pitch by the number of inches it rises for every 12 inches it extends horizontally.
Cost by Truss Material
Roof trusses come in various materials, all at different price points. Premium materials, such as steel, are more expensive.
Wood is the most common material and is found in most residential buildings. It costs $35 to $400 per truss. Wood is easier to install but susceptible to extreme weather conditions, mold, and pest damage.
Steel trusses cost about double the price of wood trusses—$150 to $600 each—and are typically found in commercial buildings. However, some pole barn designs may require steel trusses. Metal is more durable than wood and is not at risk of damage from insects or mold.
Labor costs range from $25 to $75 per hour, depending on the job’s complexity, your location, and the contractor’s expertise. Some contractors may charge by the square foot, particularly with new construction. In this situation, the cost is $4 to $10 per square foot. If you’re removing an old roof truss and installing a new one, the removal cost is $4 to $5 per square foot and $300 to $1,800 for disposal.
Roof truss installation also requires special equipment, such as a crane. The crane and operator costs $300 to $1,000 depending on how long installation takes, but roofing contractors may get a discounted crane price.
Expect to pay more in labor if you live in an urban area. Rural areas tend to be more easily accessible, lowering the installation cost.
Additional Factors Affecting Roof Truss Cost
The type of truss, building, and roof weight load can also affect your total roof truss cost.
Type of Truss
Roof trusses come in many types. Certain building designs and requirements, such as the span, pitch, load capacity, and architectural design, need different structures. Here are common types of roof trusses.
- Attic roof truss: Attic truss support webbing consists of two vertical posts to create additional space for an attic space or loft.
- Common roof truss: Common trusses are made of triangles with equal length top chords. King posts, queen posts, finks, fans, and howe roof trusses all fall under this category.
- Fan truss: This type has two fans starting at two points along the bottom chord.
- Fink truss: Fink trusses consist of two support beams joined at the peak and angled down away from each other. This creates a “W” shape and provides extra durability.
- Flat truss: The top and bottom chords are parallel and commonly found on flat roofs.
- Gable truss: Gable trusses use vertical support webbing at the end truss.
- Gambrel truss: Gambrel trusses have two pitches on one side of the roof. Gambrel roof trusses are common on barns.
- Hip truss: Hip trusses create a flat roof section between slopes and have a flat top.
- Howe truss: Howe trusses include three vertical supports and two angled chords. This creates an “M” shape.
- King post truss: A king post truss has a single post located vertically at the roof center with two webbing chords.
- Mono/half truss: A mono/half truss has a single-sloping top chord with a vertical edge on the opposite side.
- Queen post truss: Two vertical posts that come up from the bottom tie beam to support the rafters in a queen post truss. A horizontal support beam connects the posts, allowing it to handle a wider span than a king post truss.
- Scissor roof/vaulted truss: A scissor-shaped bottom chord splits into two sections and angles upward. The scissor truss creates a vaulted ceiling.
Type of Building
The cost of adding a roof truss to different building types varies due to materials, labor, and support considerations.
- New houses: Building a roof truss on a 2,000-square-foot home costs $7,200 to $12,000. Framing the entire house costs $14,000 to $32,000, so a roof truss takes up a large chunk of this expense.
- Pole barn houses: A pole barn house is built using poles secured to the ground to support the exterior walls and roof trusses. This type of building uses post-frame construction, making roof truss installation easier. It costs between $5,000 and $10,000. The trusses are $250 to $500 each.
- Garages: Installing a roof truss on a detached garage costs $3,500 to $9,000, or $7 to $16 per square foot, depending on the size. Installing a roof truss on an attached garage can cost as much as $30 per square foot.
- Home additions: Framing for an addition costs $10 to $30 per square foot, including sheathing. However, this depends on the addition’s size.
|Building Type||Average Cost|
Pole barn house
Required Weight Load
The structure’s necessary support level impacts cost. For example, areas with heavy snow require stronger trusses and/or more trusses to support the weight. If you live in an area with excess snow, you may need a bulkier roof truss to support it. This costs 25% more to purchase and install.
Professional vs. DIY Roof Truss Installation
Building a roof truss is difficult and dangerous, so we don’t recommend a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach.
Professional Roof Truss Installation
The average roof requires several shapes and types, but professional roofers typically use premade or prefabricated roof designs. These are cut to size when necessary, though custom trusses are an option. Pros match truss styles based on external shape and internal webbing.
Trusses also require specialized equipment and expertise to install correctly, which increases the cost. Professional installation runs between $25 and $75 per hour, or $4 to $10 per square foot. Demolishing the old truss adds $4 to $5 per square foot.
DIY Roof Truss Installation
DIY roof truss installation could save you roughly $2,240 on labor, but it’s a dangerous job requiring a high skill level and special equipment. Incorrect installation can lead to injury and put your structure at risk of damage. A DIY roof truss installation involves the following costs:
- Materials: $1.50 to $4.50 per square foot of building area.
- Equipment: $150 per day for a crane.
- Permits: $500 for a building permit.
Keep in mind that a DIY attempt may void your manufacturer’s warranty.
How to Reduce Roof Truss Costs
Building a roof truss isn’t cheap, but there are ways to cut down on costs.
- Use prefab roof trusses: Custom trusses are always pricier. The average roof has different shapes and sizes, but a pro can match truss styles based on your roof’s external shape and webbing.
- Choose a simple design: A simpler roof truss design requires less labor and materials, lowering the cost. Discuss different design options with your contractor to find the most cost-effective solution.
- Don’t attempt to DIY: Doing the job yourself may save you money up-front, but it may also void your warranties. Doing the job incorrectly could cost you thousands in damages, and you may end up hiring a professional anyway.
- Shop around: Get quotes from multiple contractors to compare prices, experience, reputation, and references.
How to Hire a Professional
Building and installing a roof truss is dangerous and complex. Don’t just go with the lowest quote. Here are a few things to consider when looking for a local roof framing contractor:
- Are they licensed and insured? Most states require contractors to be properly licensed and insured. This ensures you’re covered in the event of an accident or damage to your house.
- Do they have good reviews? Look up the company on websites such as Yelp, Google, and the Better Business Bureau to check its rating, accreditation status, and how it has handled any customer complaints.
- Can they provide references? Ask for references and check examples of previous work.
- What’s the fee structure? Get a cost breakdown and request a project timeline.
Repairing vs. Replacing a Roof Truss
Truss repairs often involve reinforcing damaged or failing lumber, or cutting out part of the truss and replacing it with a new board. Truss repairs sometimes require an engineer’s help to ensure the building’s structural integrity is maintained. If there’s extensive damage, a full replacement may be necessary.
The average roof truss cost depends on your roof’s size, complexity, and pitch, as well as the truss material. Hiring an experienced contractor to complete the installation is the only way to ensure it’s done safely and correctly. Improperly installed roof trusses can cause structural damage. We recommend getting estimates from at least three contractors before making a decision.
Roof Truss FAQ
What is a roof truss?
A roof truss is a framework made of wood or metal that supports your roof. Trusses are usually built off-site, and a crane lifts and installs them onto the roof. Trusses are either custom-built or prefabricated. There are many types, but they all share the basic interlocking, rafter-and-joist design.
What is the strongest type of roof truss?
The strongest type of roof truss depends on its application. Trusses are strong because they use interlocking triangles. This helps distribute their weight evenly across the framework.
How do I know if I need to install a roof truss?
Most houses require a roof truss, but not all. Some flat roofs or roofs with one slope may not require roof trusses and instead use rafters. The biggest difference between roof trusses and rafters is that trusses are prefabricated structures while rafters are built on the job site.
How long does it take to install roof trusses?
It takes an average of 112 hours for a professional to install roof trusses. This depends on the roof size and the job complexity. Most roof trusses are prefabricated, so a pro will assemble trusses on-site and secure them to the roof.