Home » Home Improvements » Steel Truss for Roof Frames Residential Homes that You Should Know | Roy Home Design

Steel Truss for Roof Frames Residential Homes that You Should Know | Roy Home Design

A steel truss for houses began to appear in the last 4-5 years. Previously, conventional steel material had been widely used, but for industrial construction.

A conventional steel structure is known for strong and has high durability. This structure allows the building to be made with a wide span. The steel used for construction is generally I-shaped and tied each other using the dynabolt system.

The original steel material is black. The color of steel sold on the market is generally given further treatment. To prevent rust, steel is given an additional coating or painting. Because it has large physical materials, conventional steel is not commonly used in residential locations.


In contrast to conventional steel, steel truss is a high-quality steel that has a light and thin character, yet have a conventional steel equivalent functions. The steel truss frame was created to facilitate assembly and construction. Although thin, mild steel truss has a degree of 550 mpa tensile strength, while the ordinary steel around 300 mpa. This tensile and tension strength to compensate for its thin shape. In the United States, the thickness of the mild steel ranges from 0.4 mm – 1 mm.

Mild steel roof truss have several components, namely truss, batten, screw, and hip rafter to prevent raindrops. Truss is the main structure in steel roof construction. To get a sturdy truss, look at the width of the stretch and the amount of load to be received, as well as the degree of slope of the roof. The thickness of steel material for truss and web ranges from 0.7 to 1 mm. While for battens around 0.4 to 0.7 mm.

Calculation of steel truss is very different from the wood truss, which tends to be denser. More heavy the burden that must be supported, more short the truss distance. For example, for roof tile weighing 40 kg/m2, the truss distance can be made every 1.4 m. While if the weight of the roof tile reaches 75 kg/m2, then the truss distance will be 1.2 m. This calculation is still influenced by many factors.


The steel truss roof has several advantages. The following are the advantages points.

  1. Because of its lightweight compared to wood, the load that must be borne by the structure below it are lower.
  2. Mild steel is non-combustible.
  3. Consumers do not need to worry about steel truss being eaten by termites.
  4. Because its material character is lightweight and easily assembled, when compared to a wooden frame in the same area, the installation of a steel roof truss is relatively faster.
  5. Mild steel barely has the ability to expand-shrinkage.

See also: Prevent Termites: Best Way How to Get Rid of Termites in House

The disadvantages are in the following points.

  1. The steel roof frame cannot be exposed like a wooden frame, the frame system that is shaped like a net is less attractive without a cover/ceiling.
  2. Because the structure is like a net, then if there is one part of the structure that is miscalculated, it will propagate to the other part.
  3. Steel roof frames are not as flexible as wood frames which can be cut and formed various profiles. In the construction of a round roof, it will be easier if the construction uses wooden frames.

Galvanized or Galvalume?

The galvanized or galvalume term is quite familiar to those in the construction world. This term is used to distinguish types of coating on mild steel. Galvanized is the term for mild steel which is given a layer of zinc. According to Ir. Handojo Wongsodipuro-LionTruss, for galvanizing, 90% of the coating elements are zinc.

Galvalume is the designation for the coating containing the elements aluminum and zinc, in the market many call it zinca lume. It actually is a trademark of Bluescope zincalume. Some steel truss manufacturers claim that at the same coating size, galvalume has a higher corrosion resistance than galvanized.

To equal the strength of galvalume to hold rust, then coating on galvanized made thicker. Like other material products, in the market there are various kinds of materials available based on its class, choose mild steel with excellent material quality that has been tested in the field.

Things to Consider Before Choosing a Mild Steel Roof Truss

The use of mild steel in the market is increasingly popular, but there are some technical things that must be understood to avoid buying the wrong roof truss. A lightweight steel roof frame is a building structure that cannot be designed and built carelessly, without a good system that does not care about the effects of structural failures that occur.

Here are some understandings that buyers must know before deciding to choose a particular brand.


The wrong assumption that has spread in the community is that the lightweight steel truss is the same as the wooden roof truss. Actually, the character of light wood and steel are two materials that have completely different property mechanics, then it must be treated differently, too.

In addition, it should be noted that the concept of the framework is a unified system that is structurally integrated with one another. So, it should not be treated as unit material (bars). Therefore, a system is needed that is able to accommodate those needs.


Zinc Aluminum coating has a higher corrosion resistance than Zinc coating which is often called galvanized. To make an equal rust resistance, a Galvanized steel coating must be much thicker than Zinc-Aluminum coating.

With the same thickness, a Zinc-Aluminum coating has 4 times longer rust resistance than a galvanized coating. The quality of mild steel used for structural products is ideally not less than 550 MPa.


Having a system means that it has specifications for all material components which are then specifically formulated into a special computer program to design steel truss structures. Structural tests in the lab must be carried out on a design before the truss structure is declared safe to use.

Be careful when using public civil engineering computer programs that are not specific to designing steel roof truss. To produce a good system, required effort and many years of experience in research and development before a roof truss system was declared feasible to use.

Look at the things below when choosing a steel roof truss:

  1. Choose a steel roof truss from a responsible manufacturer and always maintaining the quality.
  2. Think about the consequence risk of failure rather than the difference in purchase price.
  3. Ask the handyman Installer qualifications.
  4. Don’t be fooled by the warranty offered. There are manufacturers who think the warranty to be only a piece of paper that is easily prepared.
  5. Ask what certification documents you have.
  6. Examine existing work/fabrication drawings. Does each truss have a fabrication plan and the sizes for fabrication are clearly listed?
  7. Ask about the bolts used, not the retail bolts (non-structural) without technical specifications
  8. Ask for recommendations from an expert who understands construction such as a planning consultant.
  9. Ask the results of testing the truss structure in its entirety.

Questions About Steel Truss Frames

Here are some common questions asked by consumers when they want to buy a steel truss frame.

Is the product of a mild steel roof frame as strong as wood?

The strength of a roof frame depends on the calculation of the steel truss construction. Lightweight steel roof frame is a truss arrangement that forms a system that is supported by software. With computer calculations, the right construction can be obtained. Therefore, it is generally no element sold separately (sold in a package).

How the process of steel truss installation?

In the field, the process of assembly and installation is controlled by experts who know the rules of civil engineering, so it could not be done by just any applicator or fabricator.

Is it true that the steel roof trusses is rust-resistant?

Most steel roof truss manufacturers claiming that their products are rust resistant. This happens when the mild steel remains dry. Rust appears only if there are wounds on mild steel (for example when cutting) and the presence of water that continues to inundate the part.

Does that mean no rust appear?

Not all steel trusses manufacturers are capable of controlling the work in the field directly. According to Ir. Alvin (Pryda), the process of cutting of mild steel in the field generally use grinding that causes heat. Because the coating is done by hot dipped, the use of grinding can erode the galvalume or galvanized layer. To avoid rust, the manufacturer uses a shear knife or special scissors. In addition, self-drilling screw on the light steel has already given treatment to prevent electro galvanize rust. In the galvanized layer, the zinc material reacts to close wounds when the cutting process. This material is to prevent rust. As a result, the previous surface color and before cutting remain the same.

Is the mild steel roof truss safe enough?

Safe if construction calculations are carried out carefully. Please choose a manufacturer that was able to explain in detail its construction. Don’t pick a manufacturer who offers a bargain price but compromising the structure, it would be dangerous in the future.

See also: How to Build a Secure Roof Design Construction for Houses

Is the mild steel roof truss faster to install than wood truss?

Theoretically, yes, because the character of a lightweight steel roof truss reduces rafter and purlins usage. Mild steel frames can be assembled quickly, there are steel trusses manufacturers who do truss assembly in the field. If all material needed is completely available, the installation of lightweight steel roof truss for a size of 100m2 can be finished less than a week.

The mild steel roof frame is still expensive?

The expensive of the steel roof truss depends on several factors, such as the roof model. The more complicated the model, the material used will be more and more. More wide of the span, the more roof truss that must be installed. In addition, the load factor that will be borne affects the use of roof truss material. Prices are also very varied around $ 19.20 – $ 34.28/m2. This price can increase or decrease depending on the use of material and the level of complexity.

Is there a warranty?

Generally, steel truss manufacturers provide a warranty on the structure. If the structure is curved or falling out, then a consumer can conduct a claim. The granting of the guarantee varies from 3-10 years.

To reduce the risk of rust, the mild steel is given Galvalume and Galvanized. The more and good the coating, then stronger the resistance to rust attacks will be.

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