A rafter is the wooden frame at the top of the building that the roof is constructed on. Two rafters are called a couple, and together form both angled sides of pitched roofs. How flat or angled the roof ultimately sits is dependent on the angle formed by the rafters underneath, as well as how the roof will sit directionally and proportionally to the overall structure.
In many homes, rafters are not visible until entering an attic area. Other construction projects will have exposed or partially exposed rafters for aesthetic purposes. Rafters are nearly always wooden but can be made from a variety of materials. Rafters can also be created using heavy squared beams instead of dimensional lumber.
In some homes, however, exposed rafters can provide a rustic aesthetic that is often desired. This is more common in industrial-style homes and cabin-style homes. To learn more about rafters in your custom home plans and how they affect the pitch of your roof, speak with an experienced home designer today.