timber trusses

Usage of post and beam trusses is highly dependent on the house (or structure) square footage, roof lines (both pitch and context of other rooflines) overall spans, design preferences and structural requirements. Each heavy timber truss style can be modified heavily, but these classifications will fit most truss designs.

Although it may seem difficult, it’s actually pretty easy to get started on including gorgeous exposed wood trusses in your project. The first step is to review potential truss beam styles and choose ones that catch your eye.

timber frame truss in shop
timber pegs joinery

Distinct Heavy Timber Frame Truss Styles

and how to find your unique truss.


To find the right truss for your situation, the biggest factors to consider are:

A) Span and load bearing capacity.

B) Style aesthetics and complimenting your home style theme.

C) Investment rational.

In the following examples I will only speak to points A and B. Your investment rational is not my bailiwick! But in a general investment sort of way, people generally get a higher sale price for a home with artistically designed timber framing, should they choose to sell. They also tend to sell faster, as one would expect from homes that are aesthetically pleasing. And by far, the big payoff is enjoyment- from simple timber living with coffee in the morning to fun memorable gatherings with family and friends.

DISCLAIMER: In speaking to points A and B, I am not a certified engineer nor a soothsayer, able to divine the nuanced way you interpret different style descriptions and adjectives. But consider these descriptions as rudimentary guidelines built from intuition based on years of construction experience and design style communication with clients.

Click the buttons below to read about specific trusses.

timber frame great room
hybrid timber frame house

9 Primary Truss Styles

Simple Truss

Attractive traditional truss, best used in smaller applications. The size of the simple truss is limited to the load bearing capacity of its diagonal members, since it doesn’t have webs; this means your common simple truss span will max out around 30′.

Scissor Truss

A variable slope timber truss with multiple webs and a lot of flexibility. The scissor truss design still fits in well with modern building styles – especially useful for roofs with different opposing slopes.

Queen Truss

The queen truss frame calls to mind Craftsman or European timber framing design. This special truss design also balances well if you have a tall space to fill. Also, the queen truss allows for display or storage space within a timber truss.

King Truss

A popular and well-liked timber truss style for timber framing – with wide variety of web styles etc. You will need to consider factors such as wall height, room volume, truss spacing and roof slope to arrive at the best variation of the truss for your situation.

Hammer Beam Truss

This heavy truss style can be used for bigger applications like a church, park pavilion or indoor pool space. The Hammer Beam Truss is not a gambrel truss, instead it’s got a strong, solid look, perfect for large spaces.

Arched Truss

Top cords are not arched but the bottom cord and webs can be placed in a wide variety of arched truss styles. Comes out of the Classical, Euro, Traditional and in some cases Rustic timber frame designs.

Cable Truss

This is a versatile truss that fits well in many situations. Sometimes a full timber truss is too bulky or an industrial timber frame look is desired. This truss can even add a modern touch to old farmhouse for an eclectic aesthetic.

Mono Truss

The mono truss can be easily adjusted to be a scissor mono truss if desired. Space intimacy is the biggest reason to slope the bottom chord of a mono timber frame truss. Can be used in a vaulted ceiling that terminates at the beginning of an upper level or overlooking a great room.

Box Truss

This heavy roof truss design can fit into both Traditional and Modern style homes, businesses, and shops. The Box Truss can help fill up space in higher ceilings and provide an orderly and strong structure.

modern rustic lakehouse timber frame
modern timber framing

Flexibility in Truss Frame Choices

Finding your unique roof truss style is both rewarding and fun. It will have a large impact on how your whole space and square footage feels. As you plan a timbered living space, you will continually gain more insight into what you love, and what looks best in your living quarters.

These are not your average ‘framer’ wood trusses. These provide the exposed truss experience that signifies such strength, whether you’re sticking with straight timbers, or going with more of a curved look…curved arches, curved braces etc. Keep in mind though, not to get too set on a certain design, because building practicality always influences the truss design you end up choosing.. In some cases, building codes and truss engineering will call for changes to be made. Yes, there are other trusses like the gambrel or cruck trusses to choose from, and one can certainly dive deep into all of the post and beam options, but we have chosen to stick with the primary types.

Our custom timber truss styles provide massive visual appeal, with many options in beam sizing and placement. Structural or non-structural trusses can be used for both stick-built or full timber frame homes. If you’re looking to talk to Arrow Timber about getting a custom timber package built, use the contact form above.

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Here are the top 9 Truss Styles: 1. Simple Truss 2. Cable Truss 3. Scissor Truss 4. Mono Truss 5. Box Truss 6. Queen Truss 7. King Truss 8. Arched Truss 9. Hammer Beam Truss
Bert Sarkkinen
Arrow Timber
Arrow Timber