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How To Choose a Truss System

From elementary to elaborate, choose a truss system for your home that both mirrors your taste and serves as a functional masterpiece.

Photo: Roger Wade

There are a number of truss styles to choose from when planning your home. Each style may be used for one story or two, depending on personal preference, load capacity, window placement and room layout.

Whether your style is contemporary, traditional, rustic or refined, one choice is sure to be a perfect fit for your home. And if you can't decide, combine a few different styles to create a truly unique interior look.


King posts are perfect for great rooms or areas where the trusses will have to span greater distances. King posts come in two varieties: suspended and full. A suspended king-post truss with a single, vertical post is often used for areas that are about 16 feet wide, a comfortable-sized room with the option for centered windows or furniture.

The full-length king post allows for wider spans, but also includes a vertical post that transfers the load of the ridge beam to the floor. Because of this, a full-length king post would best be used in between bays or on an end wall where windows or wall spaces could be balanced on either side of the post.


A queen post is a rectangle within a triangle and effectively opens up entryways and focal points in your home. This design allows for a window or eye-catching architectural element under the ridge, while keeping the lower part of the wall open for picture windows or large furnishings.


The strength of the hammerbeam offers the possibility of wide expanses of about 24 feet without the need for vertical support posts. That means you could include a whole wall of uninterrupted glass with only enough framing to hold the glass together and a hammerbeam supporting the roof.


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