Building a brand new barn is often the only option to make space for keeping your horses, cattle, or other livestock on a raw piece of rural land. While stick-framing techniques involving rafters were once the only option, today's barn owners can choose to order pre-made trusses instead. These trusses make barn building much easier in many ways, regardless of the style or size of building you need to add to your property.
Eliminate Center Poles
Rows of center poles or pillars are so common in older barns that they're used to determine the standard spacing for horse stalls in many designs. These pillars make it much harder to make unique use of the space, limiting your options for driving a large vehicle down the center of the barn for easy unloading of feed bags and hay bales. Building trusses can span much wider spaces than rafters without needing center pole supports, creating a wide open space you can finish however you like with rooms and stalls of any size and shape.
Save Money on Construction
Trusses are generally less expensive than rafters thanks to the automated, computer-guided processes used in constructing them. Rafters require a full team of construction workers to craft from scratch, while trusses can be installed by a smaller crew with the help of heavy equipment to lift the pieces into place. Trusses not only cost less to order than the materials for rafters due to efficient use of smaller pieces of lumber, but they also tend to reduce labor costs due to the faster installation process that requires fewer workers to complete.
Control the Quality
When building a large barn, it's easy to make a single mistake in the rafter design and construction that weakens the entire structure. These mistakes tend to go unnoticed until high storm winds or a falling tree limb reveal the weakness and lead to costly repairs. Since trusses are manufactured in a controlled environment and inspected before being shipped out, you can rest assured that they're trustworthy and as strong as possible.
Finally, you'll have less construction site waste to haul off or burn after the barn is complete by choosing trusses. Rafters are built from dimensional lumber that is often far too long for each individual piece, resulting in many offcuts that have no other use. This is especially true in barns with traditional gambrel roofs that require the cutting of many small pieces of lumber for reinforcements between the rafters. Even with careful planning, there's always a few inches of wood left over that needs trimming off on rafters. Trusses don't suffer from this problem since they're made to fit perfectly before even arriving on the job site.