We made the decision to stock steel trusses for our post frame building kits after carefully looking at the comparison between steel and timber trusses. Some people are hesitant to use steel trusses because they aren't familiar with them, or they're scared of the price point. Here are a few reasons why steel trusses are a far better option for post frame when compared to timber trusses.
#1. Fewer Trusses = Less Labor
Steel trusses can be spaced up to ten feet apart. Compare that to the standard spacing of 24" for timber trusses. This is why the price point of steel trusses should not scare you. Yes, steel trusses definitely cost more than timber per truss, but you typically need five times as many timber trusses as you do steel trusses to complete a post frame project. Additionally, steel trusses are engineered to seat flush on top of the post column, meaning no notching of the post column is necessary. Steel trusses are stiff and do not flex like timber trusses do which make them much easier to handle and install when dealing with longer length trusses.
#2. Steel Trusses Are More Durable
Wooden trusses simply do not last as long as steel trusses. Because wooden trusses are made from timber they are susceptible to fire, mold, insect infestation, moisture damage, and rot. Wooden trusses are also far more likely to be damaged in severe weather. Timber trusses are manufactured from several pieces of wood that are connected using notched inserts and gusset plates. Steel truss are engineered using robotic welds ensuring a highly durable connection. Steel trusses are also fire resistant and do not need chemical treatments to maintain the frame, are not susceptible to insect infestation, mold, rot, or moisture damage, even if left completely exposed to the elements. I mean come on, it's steel.
#3. Steel Trusses are Reusable and Recyclable
Steel is an environmentally responsible building material because it is highly recyclable. Steel trusses are also easily uninstalled and can be reused on other projects.
#4. Steel Trusses Offer Wider Clear-span Options
There is no doubt that steel trusses give you more design options. As you span greater distances using timber trusses, the truss will begin to flex more and will require a significant amount of bracing. Steel trusses can be engineered to span distances far greater than what is achievable with timber trusses.