Roof Building with a Scissor Truss

Scissor truss roofs create a unique sloped ceiling inside the .  The pitch of the roof defines how steeply the ceiling will slope.

This is a very common type of roof truss used in residential home . In areas where there are extreme weather conditions or where the soil is unstable, this type of roof is particularly useful because it can increase the stability of the building.  It is also often combined with other types of roof trusses in a home.

scissor truss is often used to cathedral ceilings since this type of roof truss does not require a bearing beam or wall to support the roof and it has a greater load limit than many other types of trusses.  In order to form these trusses, two inside beams are placed to rise up to meet the middle forming a “scissor” effect.  This gives the “vaulted” appearance of the ceiling in the home.  These should not span more than 48 feet however.

The Cost of a Scissor Truss Roof

One of the benefits of a scissor truss roof is that they are less expensive than a conventional roof.  There are no framing supports necessary and the truss is flexible allowing the builder to determine how steep the slope should be.  Unlike many other types of trusses, roof fillers are also not necessary to seal the gap between the truss and the roof.  Therefore there are no special skills necessary during installation reducing the final cost.

The Benefits of a Scissor Truss Design

In many types of roof trusses, water or moisture damage is the biggest maintenance problem.  Because a scissor truss is more open and does not use fillers, water cannot collect and moisture dries out more easily.  This means they are less likely to suffer structural damage and cracking over time.  In exposed beam ceilings, repairs are also simpler.  This is because they have a simple layout with clearly marked joints.    Anyone with an understanding of basic woodworking can perform any necessary repairs.

Other Considerations for Scissor Truss

Another benefit of a scissor truss is that it can be customized to meet a variety of roof designs.  Only scissor roof trusses can be modified to change the design of the roof.  This is done by increasing or decreasing the slope.  They can also be installed quickly and be ready in about a day.  However, there is a drawback to this type of truss as well.  Because there is less unused space, there is not as much room for insulation as in other roof truss designs.


Scissor roof trusses are a beautiful addition to the architectural style of a home and they can be put together quickly.  They are frequently used in entry ways or great rooms to create height, dimension and visual interest.  In addition, the Scissor Truss is ideal for areas with heavy snowfall since they are structurally engineered specifically to withstand the additional load weight.

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