30 Different Types of Roof Trusses (Illustrated Configurations)

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Illustration of house with roof trusses

Just as there are many types of roofs, 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.

A. Overview diagram of the different types of truss Configurations

Overview diagram of the different types of truss configurationsB. 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 a 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 grand stands.

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 hurricane.

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 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

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, proper drainage and relatively cheaper. It’s often used for sheds, garages or extension of an existing roof.

Mono Truss Diagram

2. Mono Scissors

It’s a variation of the Scissors Truss and 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 the most widely used in homes and pedestrian bridges.

Fink Truss Diagram

4. Howe

Designed by William Howe in 1840, this common truss with a M web configuration used to be very popular for 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 vertical post 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 sot that the web configuration looks like three Vs.

Triple fink roof truss diagram

11. Triple Howe

It’s the Howe truss web configuration with two extra pairs of vertical post 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





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