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New Roof Framing Cost

New Roof Framing Cost

National average
$16,000
(1,500 sq.ft. cross-gable roof on a two-story home)
Low: $11,000

(1,500 sq.ft. open-gable roof on a single-story home)

High: $20,000

(1,500 sq.ft. hipped roof with dormer windows on a two-story home)

Cost to frame a new roof varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from Carpenters in your city.

The average cost of framing a new roof is $16,000​.

In this guide

Wood vs Steel Framing
Rafters vs Trusses
Truss Types
Type of Pitch/roof
Framing Process
Labor Costs to Frame a Roof
Enhancements and Improvements
Additional Costs and Considerations
FAQs

How Much Does It Cost to Frame a New Roof?

If you are building a new home, putting an addition on an existing home, or replacing your roof down to the rafters, you will need a new roof frame. Roofs are framed out of lumber and pieced together in a series of triangles designed to bear the load. They can be pieced in many different configurations from simple to elaborate and create a variety of different looks and ceiling heights.

Most homes today have roofs made of trusses 1, which are made offsite and delivered for installation. A 1,500sq.ft. roof has an average cost range of $14,500 to $18,400, with most homeowners spending around $16,000 on a 1,500 sq.ft. cross-gable roof on a two-story home.

New Roof Framing Costs

New roof framing costs
National average cost$16,000
Average range$14,500 - $18,400​

Minimum cost

$11,000
Maximum cost$20,000


Wood vs Steel Framing

The majority of roofs are framed using wood trusses 1, with a few using wood with steel bracing. However, it is also possible to build larger roofs using steel framing. Steel has a much higher cost than wood - nearly twice as much for materials. While lumber may have a cost of $4 per board foot 2, steel may be as much as $8 a board foot 2.

Steel framing, however, provides more stability for longer runs as well as for taller roofs. Cathedral ceilings and other tall roofs and interiors require steel bracing as part of the roof even when using wood because they require additional stability. Steel could, therefore, be used to create stronger roofs with more elaborate angles and pitches, potentially using less material. If you plan to use the attic space, want to use less material, and have higher ceilings, a steel frame may provide the needed versatility. Otherwise, wood frames or wood frames braced with steel can often accomplish the job for a considerably lower price.


Wood Framing ($4 Per Board Foot)

Roof frame made of wood


Steel Framing ($8 Per Board Foot)

Steel roof frame


Rafters vs Trusses

While the majority of today’s roofs are built using trusses 1, most roofs were originally built using rafters. Rafters are large pieces of lumber that are constructed and fit on-site to form the roof. They offer customization and versatility, but they also require an expert carpenter and command much higher prices than trusses 1 because they require more labor to produce. Because they are built on-site, they also take significantly longer to install, and it is easier to introduce errors into the building design.

Rafters allow for taller ceilings than some trusses 1, which can be a benefit if you plan on finishing the attic. However, they also produce shorter runs, meaning that the home will have interior load-bearing walls 3 and cannot support an open floor plan as easily.

Trusses 1 are factory-built using precision computer-aided technology, so there is less room for error. They are built in a controlled environment and can be installed in a day, so there are fewer weather-related delays. Trusses 1 cost less to build and install, and there are many different types of trusses 1 available, including ones up to 40-foot runs that are perfect for open floor plans. Using steel bracing makes it possible to create trusses 1 that allow for the use of cathedral ceilings, different roof styles, and finished attics.

Truss Types

While rafters can be built on-site to nearly any specification, trusses 1 come in many set types. There are more than 25 different styles of available trusses 1, which allows for several types of roofs, including mixed-type roofs and custom designs. A few truss 1 types are more popular:

  • Queen Post - The queen-post truss 1 is used for additions and extensions to the home. It is a much shorter truss 1, only extending about 16 feet. These small trusses 1 cost closer to $50 - $75 a truss 1.
  • Fink - The fink is one of the more economical forms of trusses 1 and can span up to 30 feet in width. The pitch is no more than 5½ inches per foot 2, which makes it easy to roof. This style can make up a gable roof, which is one of the more common types you see on homes. They cost around $100 a truss 1.
  • Raised Tie - If you want a high ceiling, consider a raised-tie truss 1. This is an economical way to add height to your interior without making the pitch roof too high. The internal tie, or support of the truss 1, is much higher than in other trusses 1, giving you room to raise the ceilings. They cost $100 - $125 a truss 1.
  • Hip - If you have a hipped roof, you need a hipped truss 1. This more elaborate truss 1 uses more lumber. Because the bulk of the truss 1 price is in the lumber, and not in the labor, these trusses 1 often cost more than other styles. They start closer to $125 - $150 a truss 1, but if your home has a large roof, it will be higher.
  • Fan - If your home is extremely large, then opt for a fan truss 1. This is similar to the fink in style - triangular in shape - but is much larger and can hold more weight. It also makes up common roof types, such as gables. These are larger and use heavier materials, making costs closer to $150 - $175 a truss 1.

Type of Pitch/roof

The type of truss 1 directly ties to the kind of roof you want your home to have. Just as hipped roofs require hip trusses 1, you need a specific truss 1 to accommodate many different designs.

Common roofs include:

  • Gable - The gable is the most common roof type. It may be open, closed, or cross and consists of triangles that are even on either slope. You can have a single or multiple gables in a home. They have a moderate pitch of about 5 to 5½ inches per foot 2 on average, making them economical and easy to roof.
  • Gambrel - You will not see many gambrels outside of New England, but they are very popular in areas that see snow. The gambrel roof allows you to finish the attic because the pitch on the sides of the roof is extremely steep, nearly vertical in design. The top sections of the roof have a more moderate pitch. To create this roof, you may need a combination of trusses 1, including a mono and low-pitch fan.
  • Mansard - Mansard roofs are very uncommon but highly decorative. This is a four-sided roof with a double slope on each side. The lower slope is extremely steep, almost concave in appearance. Like the gambrel, you can have a finished attic and need a combination of trusses 1, including the mono.
  • A-Framed - An A-framed roof extends all the way to ground, giving the home the shape of a capital A. These roofs are extremely difficult and expensive to build, with a very steep pitch 4. However, they allow snow to slide off, so they do not need to bear a lot of weight. You need to use a steep-scissor truss 1, and the walls of the home must bear the weight of the roof.
  • Flat - Flat roofs are less common in residential homes than in commercial buildings. They do not use the same system for framing but can use a lattice truss 1 if necessary. These are inexpensive to build and roof but require a lot of maintenance because they do not allow easy drainage.
  • Mono - The mono roof is a single, very low-pitched roof used mostly on contemporary homes. It uses a single mono truss 1 and often has a pitch lower than 3 inches per foot 2, making it easy to roof but hard to maintain.

Framing Process

When using a truss 1 roof, the framing process is actually fairly simple and straightforward. The trusses 1 are ordered about three to four weeks before they are needed. They are factory-built and assembled with computer-aided technology to the exact specifications of your home and roof size. They will be delivered to the site on a flatbed truck.

A crane is needed to lift the individual truss 1 pieces into place, where they will be balanced and nailed into the frame of the home. The entire process can be done in less than a day once the trusses 1 arrive, which is the biggest benefit of using this roofing system.

Labor Costs to Frame a Roof

Labor is one of the smallest portions of the cost to build a truss 1 roof. Material costs, including the factory assembly ($11,000 - $12,500), the cost of the crane ($500 - $700), and other incidental costs ($80 - $200) make up the bulk of the project costs. Labor is typically charged by the hour at a rate of around $25 an hour for a total of about $2,500 - $3,000 of the $16,000.

Keep in mind that very tall buildings, large properties, and complex roofs cost more because they involve more material and labor. Costs also increase for roofs with a very steep pitch 4 and that need premium materials, such as steel braces.

Enhancements and Improvements

Scrap/disposal Fees

There are often additional fees associated with the roof-framing process, including disposal of excess materials. This is usually nominal and adds around $70 - $200 to the project.

Designer

If you have a very complex roof, you may want to hire a designer to make drawings and plans for the roof. This adds about $50 - $100 an hour for the work.

Additional Costs and Considerations

  • In most cases, roofs are framed in new construction or during the installation of a new roof. By bundling services together, you may be able to negotiate a better price. Speak to your builder or roofer to find out what discounts may be available.
  • When framing a garage roof, your costs are around the same per square foot 2, $10 - $12, but on a much smaller scale, so the total price is lower. Framing a garage roof may only be $3,000 - $5,000, depending on the size.
  • Any truss 1 span over 40 feet in length requires heavier timbers or steel beams, which raises the costs of the project significantly. Material costs may double in this case.
  • You need a permit to frame a roof, but this is usually rolled into the permit required for new construction or the roof itself. If you are unsure, talk to your builder or roofer.

FAQs

  • What two ways can you frame a roof?

The two basic ways to frame a roof are to use rafters, which are hand-built on-site, or trusses 1, which are factory-made and delivered.

Trusses 1 are significantly cheaper than rafters for material and labor.

Most trusses 1 are sold at a cost of around $4 a board foot 2 but may be higher or lower, depending on the material.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Truss 1 Trusses: Structural framework used to support a roof
glossary term picture Footing 2 Foot: A support for the foundation of a house that also helps prevent settling. It is typically made of concrete reinforced with rebar, but can also be made of masonry or brick. It is usually built under a heavier part of the house like a wall or column, to distribute the weight of the house over a larger area.
3 Load-bearing walls: A wall that supports the weight of the house, transferring it to the foundation
4 Steep pitch: Pitch of a roof having a vertical rise of 3 inches or more for every 12 inches of horizontal run

Cost to frame a new roof varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Roof frame made out of wood

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Albany, GA
0%
Anaheim, CA
+21%
Apopka, FL
+1%
Arlington, VA
+38%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Baton Rouge, LA
+19%
Bensalem, PA
+29%
Bradenton, FL
-8%
Buffalo, NY
-1%
Cabot, AR
+4%
Canton, GA
-5%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Cupertino, CA
+33%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Denver, CO
+1%
Des Moines, IA
+1%
Fairfield, OH
-3%
Fort Myers, FL
-7%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Gallatin, TN
+11%
Greensboro, NC
-9%
Hollywood, FL
0%
Houston, TX
+24%
Kansas City, KS
+16%
Kansas City, MO
+4%
La Puente, CA
+9%
Lancaster, CA
+4%
Linden, NJ
+39%
Long Beach, CA
+16%
Lubbock, TX
-22%
Madison, WI
+13%
Miami, FL
+1%
Millville, NJ
+14%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Nashville, TN
+21%
New York, NY
+77%
Newport, RI
-3%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Pompano Beach, FL
+2%
Raleigh, NC
-3%
Richardson, TX
+11%
Rio Rancho, NM
-15%
Rocklin, CA
+6%
Saint Louis, MO
+16%
Salt Lake City, UT
-6%
San Angelo, TX
-26%
San Antonio, TX
-4%
San Bernardino, CA
-1%
Labor cost in your zip code
Last modified:   See change history
Methodology and sources