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Thread: Cut rafters

  1. #1
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    Default Cut rafters

    152a.jpg135a.jpg137a.jpgI'm stumped.... 1955 1300sf ranch.

    Roof rafters.. rough sawn 2x4s 24" o.c. ..... ALL cut.
    then....rejoined with sisters...4' x 2x6
    then..supported....
    some Decking, upper portions of roof, originally planks, was replaced with plywood.

    yes, yes, lots wrong...but...I'm scratching my head over why the rafters were cut to begin with...
    Anyone?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Cut rafters

    Maybe the roof sagging and the rafters were bowing - they could have cut them, jacked them up, and installed the big sister to support it.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Cut rafters

    Hello Victor, you have returned!

    Is there air-handling equipment in the attic? It looks to me like a deliberate hole was cut in the roof, and then patched up by amateurs.

    Maybe someone planned to build a dormer into the roof, without a plan or a permit and then had to put the rafters back the way they were?

    If all the rafters are cut, then maybe the house was moved to that site.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Cut rafters

    I have seen this done a lot by house movers due to the height of the building they don't care that they cut then they just splice it back and think all is good. I bet if you check the records you will find that this structure was moved good sign would be all rafters cut at the same height.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Cut rafters

    Those had occured to me also..I lean toward the "swayback" correction.
    Yes, the air handler was in the attic, however, the cuts and plywood replacement occured from end to end.
    Not so convinced on the dormer idea.
    The Move is a possibility.
    I don't know if the following adds to the clues but, here goes...
    The house was built on a crawl space, the masonry was about 30" high, fairly recently parged with lots of cracks showing.
    the central interior walls were out of plumb ...about 3"
    the hardwood floors were buckling.
    I'm thinking a bulldozer remodel is in order but....

    I keep going back to those rafter cuts...WHY???
    was it a 'genious' move... or plain idiocy?
    You know those famous redneck last words.. "Hey Bubba....watch this..."

    ETA:..Paul...we were typing at the same time...I saw your post as soon as I submitted mine.
    Makes sense....adds weight to the Move theory. And...yes, they were all cut at the same height.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Cut rafters

    Looks like someone removed some purlins which were supporting those splices, albeit the supports for the purlins now look to be too short.

    If a "sway back" condition existed and was corrected, I would think that the ceiling joists would have been brought back into their proper respective position relative to the rafters - meaning that all should again line up where they were.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Cut rafters

    Jerry;
    I couldn't begin to guess as to whether Purlins were ever present. there was no indication.
    As far as I could tell, those supports were added to assist the scabbed 2x6s.

    as far as the ceiling joists having moved, it was extremely hard to visualise anything in this house. The entire house, walls and ceilings were T & G wood.
    From the attic, all looked to be in place.

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Cut rafters

    Have seen such repairs by amateurs when a tree had crushed the roof and the homeowner and his good intentioned buddies made the repairs, of course, celebrating the chance to bond while taking advantage of the opportunity to kill a case or two of beer around the picnic table as they deliberated how to tackle the challenge to "get er done".


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Cut rafters

    So Why would you move this house ? it's not like it is anything special (unless it was moved back from the beach - then why would you cut the roof - it's not likely there would have been any bridges to go under (just a guess)

    So here is a thought - this could have been damage from a hurricane (a tree, the wind parked a car on the roof, or some other foreign object , or the roof just was pulled off after being breached. So what leads me to think this - I checked to see where the person who posted this is . Myrtle Beach - then asked why would someone do this - or what would cause someone to make this repair.

    The 2X4's look like they were put there as temporary support - it also looks as if these supports were done quickly. Walls 3 inches out of plumb - wind ?

    I think this is more of an exercise in reasoning , thinking about local conditions and what might be the reason for such repairs - however until some real history of the property comes available it could even be reasoned that this is the result a of Godzilla attack unlikely - but this is why history becomes so important)


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Cut rafters

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor DaGraca View Post
    152a.jpg135a.jpg137a.jpgI'm stumped.... 1955 1300sf ranch.

    Roof rafters.. rough sawn 2x4s 24" o.c. ..... ALL cut.
    then....rejoined with sisters...4' x 2x6
    then..supported....
    some Decking, upper portions of roof, originally planks, was replaced with plywood.

    yes, yes, lots wrong...but...I'm scratching my head over why the rafters were cut to begin with...
    Anyone?
    Depending upon length. rough tumber only comes in so many dimensions.
    By 12' is the longest I have seen on 2X4 dimensional lumber.

    I have run across this time and time again and being in a moderate snow accumulation area, Montreal Quebec, I too wondered about load and engineering.
    On site rafters.

    Your images are confusing. I can not see the rafter clearly.
    I normally see a knee wall at or near the 2 sided bracing, sistering, or the scabbed joint.
    I call out jack posts on ceiling joists. I can't tell but that what I think I am seeing in your images.

    OBSERVATION. Rafters are in two sections. the rafter intersection is scabbed with bridging.
    One 2" X 6" xxx inches long dimensional lumber on each side. If it is.
    If the fixation or bond looks suspect I write it up.

    One on my narratives.: Although one piece rafters are usually the normal this may not have been required when the house was built.

    Add your recommendation if you have any.
    Limitations if any.
    No issues then on to the next component.
    JMO.

    I see this most often in post 1960's homes. to prewar time homes.
    Lumber was scarce. dam I hear everything was scarce until the mid 50's to 1960's.

    Never seen 2"X4" rough cut. at 24" centers in an attic.
    I would have to be there.
    Best I can offer.

    All the best.

    Last edited by ROBERT YOUNG; 06-10-2013 at 07:40 AM.
    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Cut rafters

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Depending upon length. rough tumber only comes in so many dimensions.
    By 12' is the longest I have seen on 2X4 dimensional lumber.
    Need to Visit SPF | 2x4x16 SPF Dimension Lumber | Home Depot Canada
    *and yes the link is Canadian Big Orange Box

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Cut rafters

    A closer look at the photos reveals that (at least at the ones I looked more closely at) they were not spliced from shorter pieces of wood as the grain pattern crosses the cut line and matches up on each side of the cut line, with only a little gone due to the width of the saw kerf.

    That also kind of rules out straightening bowed lumber as some lumber would be removed to allow the rafters to be 'bowed back into place'.

    It is almost as if those were long pieces cut shorter so they could be brought into the attic through a smaller opening, which would not need to be done during construction as the longer pieces could just be lowered into place prior to installing the roof sheathing.

    No answers in the above, only created more questions.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Cut rafters

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    Need to Visit SPF | 2x4x16 SPF Dimension Lumber | Home Depot Canada
    *and yes the link is Canadian Big Orange Box
    That link is manufactured lumber.
    Rough dimensional I handled is 4" X 2" true. Not 3.5" X 1.75".
    Toughened your hand up fast:-) After that it was by 6"

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
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  14. #14
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    conyers, ga
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    Default Re: Cut rafters

    could this be a manufactured home that was moved ? installed incorrectly ? re-roofed incorrectly ?



  15. #15
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    Default Re: Cut rafters

    Ok..I think I have it....
    After some slight research, I found a conflict on the "build" dates.
    The first, which I'm inclined to believe, due to the abandoned K&T wiring I found in the attic, was 1955.
    The second build date according to the county records was 1980.
    This points to the house having been moved.
    The fact that all of the rafters were cut at the same height, suggests that it had to go under a bridge.

    The re-joining left a lot to be desired.

    As paul said ...

    " I have seen this done a lot by house movers due to the height of the building they don't care that they cut then they just splice it back and think all is good."

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