Spotlight On... Roof Trusses
Choosing the right roof type can have a significant impact on your final budget, as well as affecting how your home can be used now and in the future, says Mark Brinkley
Building expert Mark Brinkley explains why your choice of roof construction can have a significant impact on your budget and how your home can be used now and in the future
W hat question is the few best self-builders way to build think a about roof? when It’s a they set out on their journey, but it can have a significant impact on their budget and on the way their home is used now and in the future. Traditionally, almost all domestic roofs were built on site by an age-old method which we now call the ‘cut roof ’. That is to say, they were assembled by the carpenters from individual timbers delivered to site. Building a roof was one of the more exacting parts of a carpenter’s skill, involving detailed angle calculations and some complex cutting. Or, to put it another way, it was time-consuming and therefore expensive. In the 1960s, the prefabricated fink roof truss arrived on our shores from America. It was a simplified, industrial method of roof building. All the carpenters were required to do was unload the roof trusses off a lorry, haul them into place and then secure and brace them altogether. Typically, a detached house would require between 12 and 20 roof trusses. Roof trusses caught on like wildfire and quickly took over the world of roof building. By the 1990s, only people building very complex roof shapes bothered with the old roof carpentry skills. But the cheapness and simplicity of roof trusses came at a price. Unlike cut roofs, you can’t easily adapt a roof built with trusses and if you wanted to have a loft conversion, you were stuck. By the end of the 1990s, builders started to worry more about the value of the wasted space in the lofts, and the fink roof truss stopped looking like such a bargain.