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  1. #1
    Dan Hallock's Avatar
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    Default Badly cut boards in rafters--be concerned?

    I'm moving into a new home and noticed 2 damaged rafter boards (2x6 at 24 inches at centers) that, according to the inspector, were "cut bad". There is no sign of wood rot or infestation. They have probably been that way since the home was built but I noticed them and was concerned. Is it common for roof framing to have some boards that are, for lack of a better word, frayed, in places? The inspector was not concerned and did not recommend them be replaced. Just wanted a second opinion on this.

    Thank you!

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  2. #2
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Badly cut boards in rafters--be concerned?

    DH: "Cut bad" is rather nebulous. Do you have photos?


  3. #3
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Badly cut boards in rafters--be concerned?

    Is it a new house or just new to you? Can you post a picture? That is tornado country, isn't it?


  4. #4
    Dan Hallock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Badly cut boards in rafters--be concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Stanley View Post
    Is it a new house or just new to you? Can you post a picture? That is tornado country, isn't it?
    The home was built in 1998. I don't have a picture of the boards in question. Yes, it is tornado country although I've yet to see one in the 30 years I've lived in Tulsa (thank God!) Here's a picture of the home.

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Badly cut boards in rafters--be concerned?

    Cut bad could mean several different things. It could mean that the rafters are not tight up against the ridge board, the bottom of the rafter could be below the ridge board, the rafter could be notched too deep or ?????

    Also, frayed.....possible...as in splintering. That would depend on how bad! Sorry I didn't really read all of your original post. That's why I added this part.

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    Last edited by Wayne Carlisle; 09-01-2009 at 02:41 PM. Reason: added info

  6. #6
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Badly cut boards in rafters--be concerned?

    I don't want to give you a false sense of security, but,... Generally, framing crews are prone to commit a variety of sins, many of which have no great consequence unless they just do not insert at least a few nails.
    In the absence of a photo, you could get a local structural engineer to take a look...that would result in some prescribed repairs or just be a few hundred dollar sleeping pill....either way - might be worth it.


  7. #7
    Dan Hallock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Badly cut boards in rafters--be concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Stanley View Post
    I don't want to give you a false sense of security, but,... Generally, framing crews are prone to commit a variety of sins, many of which have no great consequence unless they just do not insert at least a few nails.
    In the absence of a photo, you could get a local structural engineer to take a look...that would result in some prescribed repairs or just be a few hundred dollar sleeping pill....either way - might be worth it.

    Thanks. This has all stemmed from a structural engineer who, when I pointed out the boards, included it in his report and recommended replacement. When the seller's agent called to inquire about it, he changed the report and canceled his recommendation. So we have two reports--one recommending and the other not. Hence, my need for a 2nd opinion. My thinking is this...builders sometimes use not-so-perfect boards and I just need to know if not-so-perfect is "okay" in a roof frame. Thanks!


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Badly cut boards in rafters--be concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hallock View Post
    Thanks. This has all stemmed from a structural engineer who, when I pointed out the boards, included it in his report and recommended replacement. When the seller's agent called to inquire about it, he changed the report and canceled his recommendation. So we have two reports--one recommending and the other not. Hence, my need for a 2nd opinion. My thinking is this...builders sometimes use not-so-perfect boards and I just need to know if not-so-perfect is "okay" in a roof frame. Thanks!
    Sounds like you got a kiss ass structural engineer. If you have it in writing, I would be asking for it to be done no matter what the report was changed to at a later date. This is just crazy. Time to fire the SE and get a real second opinion from somebody that is not related to the seller or the agent.
    From your post, it sounds like you had both a home inspector and a Structural engineer that called it out. Do you really think when you go to sell the house that it won't be called out again? It will probably be cheaper to go ahead and do the repairs than to keep having to get a SE again. Of course there is the possibility of laminating a copy of the SE's letter and attaching it to the beam for future buyers and inspectors.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  9. #9
    Mitchell Toelle's Avatar
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    Angry Re: Badly cut boards in rafters--be concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hallock View Post
    Thanks. This has all stemmed from a structural engineer who, when I pointed out the boards, included it in his report and recommended replacement. When the seller's agent called to inquire about it, he changed the report and canceled his recommendation. So we have two reports--one recommending and the other not. Hence, my need for a 2nd opinion. My thinking is this...builders sometimes use not-so-perfect boards and I just need to know if not-so-perfect is "okay" in a roof frame. Thanks!
    Can't believe the SE changed his wording in the Report, especially after (or just because) an Agent made a phone call. I could see sending an addendum if I was doing some follow-up research and found that I was in error with my first comments.

    You really should be getting your fee returned and then getting a review of the condition from someone who knows what they are doing, gives an opinion, then sticks to it...not changing according to which way the wind blows.

    I hope you do this...get your fee back.


  10. #10
    Michael Garrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Badly cut boards in rafters--be concerned?

    Generally, framing crews are prone to commit a variety of sins, many of which have no great consequence unless they just do not insert at least a few nails.

    Really,well tell us about all these sinners.


  11. #11
    Dan Hallock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Badly cut boards in rafters--be concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Sounds like you got a kiss ass structural engineer. If you have it in writing, I would be asking for it to be done no matter what the report was changed to at a later date. This is just crazy. Time to fire the SE and get a real second opinion from somebody that is not related to the seller or the agent.
    From your post, it sounds like you had both a home inspector and a Structural engineer that called it out. Do you really think when you go to sell the house that it won't be called out again? It will probably be cheaper to go ahead and do the repairs than to keep having to get a SE again. Of course there is the possibility of laminating a copy of the SE's letter and attaching it to the beam for future buyers and inspectors.
    Well, we might be getting this resolved. The inspection company that hired the SE has agreed to pay for repairs to the two boards using "sister boards" to add structure. Any opinions on this?


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Badly cut boards in rafters--be concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hallock View Post
    Well, we might be getting this resolved. The inspection company that hired the SE has agreed to pay for repairs to the two boards using "sister boards" to add structure. Any opinions on this?
    That may be a viable repair, but at this stage, you want a structural engineer with real credentials to draw up a plan for the repair. You should insist on getting a signed copy. Make sure the work in the attic matches the plan exactly, re: fasteners and dimensions. Good luck.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Badly cut boards in rafters--be concerned?

    Dan

    I have to agree with John's comments. As a home inspector and structural engineer I have seen the work of really bad carpenters and some really good ones. The same applies to structural engineers, doctors and lawyers there are good, bad and everything in between.

    Back to your house, from the photo your house has a fairly complicated roof system that would challenge all but the best carpenter. If you decide to hire another SE insist on a review of the entire roof system there may be other areas that are not so obvious. Depending on how accessible your roof system is spending another hour looking at the overall roof system would be worth the extra $100 dollars.

    Good Luck


  14. #14
    Dale Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Badly cut boards in rafters--be concerned?

    Dear Dan, I am a 15 year+ Certified ASHI inspector in Tulsa I would like to help you if you don't have your rafter problem solved. I don't know if I'm suppose to say this but you can reach me at 254-1212.


  15. #15
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Badly cut boards in rafters--be concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hallock View Post
    Well, we might be getting this resolved. The inspection company that hired the SE has agreed to pay for repairs to the two boards using "sister boards" to add structure. Any opinions on this?

    Why on earth would an inspector that inspected your home hire a structural engineer. Are you saying he found the engineer and you paid for the engineer or was this included in the inspectors price to have the engineer come to the home for evaluation.

    All sounds a bit strange to me.

    Good thing is that bad or not someone is paying for a fix and you are not. Sistering rafters is a very common practise and method of repair.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Badly cut boards in rafters--be concerned?

    A few years ago I questioned the roof framing on a 15 year home. Seller got an engineer who wrote a useless report. "The roof is framed with this and that blah blah blah, it shows no signs of failure, blah blah blah."

    I called the engineer who told me blah blah blah. I then asked him about load paths and what was keeping the roof from pushing out the exterior walls. He finally admitted that if he put the numbers to paper that he probably could not "make them work" in demonstrating the integrity of the framing. He neglected to include this part in his report. His report didn't say anything wrong - it just didn't say anything useful.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Badly cut boards in rafters--be concerned?

    When I get reports a lot of times the engineer says that blah blah blah "should" work. I don't accept the report until they say that blah blah blah "will" work.

    Just my 2 cents worth.


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