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30 Different Types of Roof Trusses (Illustrated Configurations)

Collage of Roof Trusses.

Just as there are many types of roofs with many roof parts, there are many different types of roof trusses. This extensive article explains through a series of custom truss diagrams the different truss configurations you can use for various roofs.

While this article focuses on configurations, we also have a very cool set of illustrations showcasing the different parts (anatomy) of roof trusses here.

If you need to build a truss, a good starting point is to get a solid understanding of the many options, designs, and configurations.

Related: Types of Roof Shingles | DIY Roof Repair Options | Types of Roof Vents | Parts of a Roof Gutter

Different Types of Trusses

Below you will find all types of roof trusses including:

Roof truss designs

Roof truss styles

Roof support types

A. Overview diagram of the different types of roof trusses with names and pictures

We kick our epic roof truss guide with an overview diagram chart illustrating the different roof truss names.

Overview diagram of the different types of truss configurations

B. Triangle Truss Configurations

Below is a detailed breakdown and, in most cases, an explanation of each type of truss.

1. Studio-Two Bearing Points Truss

Studio-Two Bearing Points Truss (Diagram)

2. Studio-Three Bearing Points

Used on larger trusses and for creating a pitched ceiling or an extra vertical space.

Studio-Three Bearing Points Truss (Diagram)

3. Coffer/Tray Truss

A pitch truss with a sloping (or non-sloping) vertical interior ceiling detail. It can take various forms and often used for aesthetic purposes, adding height and focal interest to the ceiling. This type of truss is perfect for the dining room, living room, great room and kitchen.

Coffer/Tray Truss Diagram

4. Barrel Vault Truss

This has a characteristic barrel-shaped ceiling. In order to create the semi-cylindrical appearance for the ceiling, this truss would need many small pieces of wood framed together. This decorative type of truss adds volume, keeps the room cool, and has relatively low maintenance drywall. It’s often used for cellars and long hallways.

Barrel Vault Truss Diagram

5. Clear Story Truss

A high wall between two sloping sides featuring a band of narrow windows. This structure allows light and fresh air into a room. Nowadays, it’s also used in energy-efficient buildings.

Clear Story Truss Diagram

6. Double Cantilever

Two horizontal beams that extend beyond the load they’re bearing and are fixed at one end. The double cantilever truss adds height to the structure and contributes to a light and graceful appearance. It’s often used in high-rise buildings such as exposition buildings and grandstands.

Double Cantilever Roof Truss Diagram

7. Tri-Bearing

Tri-Bearing Truss Diagram

8. Double Pitch

A pitch truss with two sets of different sloping sides. They’re often placed at the front and back of each other, with the front pitch usually steeper. This is used for gable roofs.

Double Pitch Truss Diagram

9. Modified Queen Scissors

As the name implies, this pitched truss has the combined appearance of the Queen Post truss and Scissors truss. Its web configuration resembles that of the Queen Post truss, while its appearance resembles that of the Scissors truss.

Modified Queen Scissors Roof Truss Diagram

10. Howe Scissors

A Howe Scissors truss is so-called because its appearance resembles that of an opened pair of scissors. Its bottom chords join together at the apex, creating a pitched or vaulted ceiling. Naturally, this truss is used in buildings for creating a pitched roof.

Howe Scissors Roof Truss

11. Hip Girder Truss

A pitch truss with a truncated or flat apex so that it can support more load. Hip roofs are more stable than gable roofs and more resistant to strong winds and hurricanes.

Hip Girder Truss Diagram

12. Stepdown Hip

A variant of the hip truss and the most versatile of the types. It has the same slope as the standard trusses but with a flat apex.

Diagram of a stepdown hip truss

13. Room-in-the-attic

It’s a common truss with its interior space converted into a room. This popular type of pitch truss can be versatile and add value to a property. It’s often used in a garage or drive shed.

Room-in-the-attic truss diagram

14. Gambrel Roof Truss

It has a barn-like appearance and is similar to the Room-in-the-attic for its usage with a built-in floor system.

Also see our gambrel roof gallery.

Gambrel Roof Truss Diagram

15. Polynesian Truss

Has an increased slope with a double symmetrical pitch top chord.

Polynesian Roof Truss Diagram

C. Types of Mono Trusses

1. Mono Truss Design

A mono truss is a one-sloped truss that forms a right-angle triangle. A mono truss roof allows for more sunlight and visual space, and proper drainage and is relatively cheaper. It’s often used for sheds, garages, or extensions of an existing roof.

Mono Truss Diagram

2. Mono Scissors

It’s a variation of the Scissors Truss and is used in residential as well as commercial and industrial buildings. 

Mono Scissors Diagram

D. Common Truss Types and Spans

1. King Post

The simplest truss with only one central vertical post, two rafters, and a tie beam. It is often used in the shed, porch, and garage.

King Post Truss Diagram

2. Queen Post

Unlike a King Post, the Queen Post truss has two central vertical posts, two rafters, and a beam. It is more lightweight than the King Post and can be used to cover larger areas.

Queen Post Roof Truss Diagram

3. Fink

Has a double V web configuration and is the most widely used in homes and pedestrian bridges.

Fink Truss Diagram

4. Howe

Designed by William Howe in 1840, this common truss with an M web configuration used to be very popular for the construction of modern railroad bridges.

Howe Roof Truss Diagram

5. Fan

Has dual sets of the Queen Post web configuration or similar to the Fink truss’ double V web configuration.

Double Fan Roof Truss Diagram

6. Modified Queen

It’s essentially the same Queen Post truss but with multiple panels on both sides.

Modified Queen (multi-panel) roof truss diagram

7. Double Fink

It’s the Fink truss with the same pattern repeated on both sides so that the web configuration looks like W instead of double V.

Double fink roof truss diagrams

8. Double Howe

It’s the Howe truss web configuration with an extra pair of the vertical posts and diagonal on both sides.

Double howe truss diagram

9. Modified Fan

It’s the Double Fan truss with a central vertical post and an extra pair of the upright and diagonal.

Modified fan (triple fan) roof truss diagram

10. Triple Fink

It’s the Fink truss with the same pattern repeated three times on both sides so that the web configuration looks like three Vs.

Triple fink roof truss diagram

11. Triple Howe Truss

It’s the Howe truss web configuration with two extra pairs of the vertical posts and diagonal on both sides.

Triple howe truss diagram

12. Three-Piece Long Span

Three-piece long span roof truss diagram

13. Three-Piece Raised Center Bay

Three-Piece Raised Center Bay Truss Diagram


How far apart should roof trusses be?

When your roof trusses are placed on your home, they should be at least 24 inches apart in most homes. Areas that are located in hurricane areas, however, may have them closer to 16 inches. 

How far can roof trusses span?

The total length of your roof trusses can span as far as 80 meters or 262 feet. 

How many roof trusses do I need?

The actual number of roof trusses that your home needs lie in the overall size of your home, including the garage space that is attached. 

How much weight can a roof truss hold?

A roof truss can safely hold anywhere from five to ten pounds of weight. 

Can you cut roof trusses?

Some roof trusses can be cut, but it isn’t something that you tackle in a DIY project. They must be cut by a structural engineer to ensure the home’s foundation and weight are distributed properly.

What type of wood is used for roof trusses?

When your roof trusses are being built, they need to be built with softwood lumber so that the appropriately sized planks can be built. Not all wood types are able to accommodate these needs for roof trusses. 

Are roof trusses stronger than rafters?

Once all the necessary roof trusses are built and installed, they are stronger than roof rafters. This is ideal for homes in areas with high winds that have the potential for extreme wind damage to the roof. 

Can roof trusses be repaired?

If you have damaged roof trusses after a storm, you can have an engineer come in and repair them. It is a quick fix and pretty affordable. 

Do roof trusses need to be treated?

The roof trusses do not need to be fully treated like outdoor wood because they will dry quickly even when exposed to moisture.