The launch is part of Swinton-based Roof Frame Ltd’s bid to change the way roof truss business is done, harnessing the full power of the internet, with plans to offer an Argos-style online catalogue of roofs already designd and completed (with automatic updates for raw material and nailplate price fluctuations).

"We must have done hundreds of 7m 30 degree trusses over the last 20 years," said Roof Frame managing director Nigel Woods.

"It’s time to give the end-user more control. The simpler roofs like garages and gable-to-gable houses – which probably account for about 80% of most roof truss manufacture – are being designed over and over again."

Mr Woods said he had invested a lot of time and money in the project, which allows clients using the company’s website to enter detailed roof information including spans, the pitch and length of the building in order to generate an instant automatic quote and PDF image of the roof.

He said the DIY pricing system would efficiently service builders, end users, estimators and quantity surveyors looking for a quick price – the type of tenders which can bog down fabricators and rarely convert to actual business.

Mr Woods said the aim was to increase the company’s share of pro forma orders to help with cash flow, increased website traffic, reduce repetitive work, allow it to focus on its more profitable complicated roof work and put Roof Form on the map.

"I would like to see the industry change so it is more internet-based.

"If you can go shopping online at Argos you should be able to do the same and go shopping online for roof trusses."

Web DIY pricing capability for more complex roofs – such as Tee intersections, barn hip roofs and mono roofs – will be added in the coming months, with an online roof catalogue to follow later.