Trusses vs. Stick Framing

Roof trusses are prefabricated frameworks designed to support a roof, floor, or other structure. They incorporate durable triangular webbing that can span fairly long distances. Though trusses have been around since medieval times, stick framing has been around even longer. Stick framing is the term used when a rafter is built using individual pieces of lumber that are assembled at the job site. There are several factors to consider when deciding between wood trusses and stick framing.


Trusses can save you time and money compared to stick framing. A construction crew can frame approximately two and a half homes using roof trusses in about the same amount of time it takes to stick frame one home. Overall, using trusses consumes 25 percent less wood and 30 times less waste at the job site. A typical job site using trusses only creates ½ a cubic yard of waste. That’s because trusses are designed by computer and produced to factory specs before they’re delivered. Any waste is left at the truss plant and not on the job site!


When investing in your home, you want to know that what you are building will stand the test of time.  You want quality and durability when deciding between purchasing trusses or stick framing.  Homes built with trusses are more durable because of how those trusses are engineered. They are more stable, with less bounce, and ensure lasting strength and structural integrity that surpasses stick framing.


Using trusses can shave days off of construction. It also requires less skill and experience from the framer than stick framing because of the engineering that goes into the process when the trusses are constructed before arriving at the job site. To order trusses, expect a quick five to ten-minute phone call unless you have more complicated requirements.

Design limitations

For most jobs, trusses are a superior option, however, there are some special cases where only stick framing will work. These rare cases usually correspond to special types of roofs or designs aiming for a particular aesthetic. For most projects, however, you can order trusses to frame your project. Trusses can also incorporate small rooms, like attics, into their design if you specify that you would like to add them when you order. Otherwise, adding large spaces within the trusswork may require special attention.

Which should you choose?

Though some stick framers choose to continue doing so simply because that is how they’ve always done it or are not aware of the advances that have taken place in truss construction, building with trusses is a winning choice full of advantages.  One of Wheelers senior designers explained the tremendous value added in that “floor and roof trusses are considered a significant upgrade at no additional cost.”  Though it may not be feasible to use trusses in every design, call your local truss manufacturer.  Innovation in truss design is ongoing and you will find more often than not, there are truss solutions to your creative design challenges.  Roof and floor trusses offer significant savings, enhanced durability and shave a substantial amount of time off framing a new construction.  Wheelers design team has decades of experience and they are ready to help you find the best solution for your next build.

Wheelers / Sep 25, 2020

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