How is a timber roof made?.

How is a timber roof made?

The overwhelming majority of roofs in the United Kingdom (as well as those around the rest of the world as well) are manufactured out of timber construction materials, and for good reason.

Timber materials are relatively plentiful, can be engineered and reinforced to provide a lot of strength compared to the weight of these construction materials, and are easily worked into a variety of different configurations to complete the finished result construction professionals and architects are interested in.

At the same time, not all rooms are constructed the same way – even if they all use timber construction materials. Gabled roofs, hipped roofs, shed roofs, and mansard roofs are just some of the different configurations out there to pick and choose from, all of which are going to be constructed uniquely depending upon the specifics of the project that you are looking to complete.

Let’s break down the basics of timber roof construction!

Everything starts at the top plate of the top floor

Regardless of the amount of floors or levels you have in your property, the very top level of your home – the last level before your roof – is going to have a “top plate” of timber run all around it to provide extra strength and stability.

This is where your roof rafters or trusses are going to be attached, making the top plate and essential part of roof construction. You have to be sure that it completely ties all walls of your structure together so that there is strength throughout, and it needs to be stable enough and level enough to put your new roof on top of.

Rafters or trusses?

Rafter timber roof construction is by far the most common type of roof construction for sure, but only because engineered trusses haven’t been available – or inexpensive – for as long as roof rafter construction practices have been.

Rafters are essentially large pieces of timber that run diagonally from the peak of your roof down to the top plate. These are relatively easy to construct all on your own, though you do need to make sure you are properly seating your rafter ends (usually with what’s called a bird’s mouth in the construction world) to get the kind of strength and stability you need.

Trusses made of timber and other engineered materials are quickly becoming very popular in residential and commercial construction projects, and for good reason. These trusses come engineered and ready to install on a job site (speeding up the roof construction project) but they are also engineered to tie into one another and your structure to provide a lot of extra strength and stability.


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