Center beam vs Truss for roofing

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by GimmeCake, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. Beam

    2 vote(s)
  2. Truss

    0 vote(s)
  3. Both

    1 vote(s)
  1. GimmeCake

    GimmeCake Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2013
    There are two different roofing setups as I'm aware of.

    The first is a center beam in the top of the roof where the roof beams slant from both sides of the bean onto the top of the structure:

    The second is where each pair of slanted beams aren't connected, but have additional beams keeping both beams together:

    Now, typically both are used in major construction projects, but due to the size of chicken coops (4x4ft max for what I'm planning) you use one or the other. But when it comes to chicken coops, what is the best one? Or at least, what did you use for you're design? I'm going to put up a poll so you don't have to reply to help me out (replies are helpful, but telling me what you prefer via poll can still help). [​IMG]
  2. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 29, 2012
    Well if its a low roof and you need the ceiling gone for headroom go beam. If it doesn't matter and you won't hit your head on it you can go trusses though I can't help wondering if the chooks will manage to find a way to roost on them lol

    Cost of the two methods will be another matter to consider.

    Trusses are easier to put up if you're new to building.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  3. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    For a coop 4 feet by 4 feet, I would use a slanted or sloped roof, usually called a shed roof, such as indicated in these plans.

    The load of the roofing is not such that you need truss construction. This style of roof is much simpler to build and requires much less wood to construct. Having only one plane, it is simple to shingle.

  4. res

    res Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree. We build slanted roofs on a much larger scale, too. Biggest we have done was 16' x 50' (not pictured) and used engineered plans, and was built to code. There is no need to overbuild a 4x4 coop roof. The photos are different stages of construction of the 12x20 tractor shed and 12x20 covered run we built last year. Both have slanted roofs, both covered with 26g painted sheet metal. Per engineered plans.






  5. kateseidel

    kateseidel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 9, 2010
    If you build trusses, your chickens will roost in them. While this may not be a problem, keep it in mind. It got to be a problem for me (aside from the mess, I had two injure their legs jumping down), and I ended up having to close off the "rafter" area to keep them out.

  6. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2010
    I agree with res and chfite - shed roofs are easy to install and more than adequate for a coop that size. I just built a new 4x8 coop and it has a shed roof -


    Here you can see the framework/rafters/purlins better:
  7. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Then main reason for using trusses is you can use smaller lumber on larger spans.
    On anything as small as a coop, it's not cost effective to design a truss when a single board will work

    If you just want the typical "house type " roof for appearance, you could lay out your angles, and make "trusses" without all the center bracing needed on larger buildings.
    It would just be a simple triangle

    Butt the "rafters" together, and tie them together with one piece across the bottom.

    Once you get your dimensions figured out, use the first three pieces as patterns to make all the others before you attach any of them
  8. Wrooster

    Wrooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2013
    Northern Florida
    For 4 feet of width I'd agree you should just use a flat shed roof. Allow some overhang on all 4 sides to keep the rain out.

    But I wanted to point out that in the case of peaked roofs on anything much larger than a one-dog doghouse there's more to it than walls and a roof. You also need ceiling joists or collar ties or something to tie the tops of the walls together. Otherwise the weight of the roof structure pushes out on the walls and there is nothing to keep them from bowing out except the stiffness of the wall itself.

    You can staple chicken wire or any light-weight fence material in the opening to keep birds from roosting on whatever is up there.

    BTW, there can be overlap between those 2 designs. if you take trusses, which can be very simple for a coop, and run a vertical 1x4 between them at the peak, everything is stronger and easier to assemble.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013

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