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  1. #1
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    Default Take a look at these attic photos

    One year old home in Dallas (Plano) Texas. About 1/3 of more of the attic rafters were using engineered I-Beams as rafters. The attic structure was very conventional except for where the I Beams were being used as rafters. Typically these I Beams are used as live-load flooring beams (2nd story floor beams). I suspect they ran short of 2x10's so they grabbed some left over flooring I-Beams and pounded them in there. There are two photos. One photo shows the south part of the attic with conventional rafters and the other photo shows the north side of the attic where I-Beams are being used on one side, while the other side are 2x10's. The angle of the photos was taken looking up.

    RAFTERS 1.jpg
    RAFTERS 2.jpg

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Take a look at these attic photos

    I-Beams can be used for rafters. Was the span of the rafter in this area much longer than the other places where they used 2x framing?


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Take a look at these attic photos

    Various manufactures permit such use.

    Appears to be proper hanger, and squash block added. There should be a metal tie strap nailed on top chord and overlapping ridge and nailed to the ridge.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Take a look at these attic photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    I-Beams can be used for rafters. Was the span of the rafter in this area much longer than the other places where they used 2x framing?
    Hi Jack:

    The span length was the same. I understand the I beams can be used as rafters. My concern is I cannot see how they are attached to the top plate wall structure, since the house is complete and there is no visibility to the rafter-to-wall connection.

    Thanks,

    Gene


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Take a look at these attic photos

    For your info.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Take a look at these attic photos

    What I see as the main concern in the photo is shown in the drawing Raymond provided: - The photo shows the ridge board is too small, the rafter I-joists hang below the bottom of the ridge board.
    - The drawing shows how it should be.

    The second main concern (maybe a greater concern) is the drawing shows a ridge beam (structural beam) versus a ridge board.

    A ridge board is permitted when rafters offset each other, and the combination of rafters and I-joists do not offset each other ... even if we ignore the fact that there is a difference between sawn lumber and engineered wood products.

    (Added last part with edit)

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 03-01-2016 at 07:36 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Take a look at these attic photos

    Jerry,

    You have eyes like a hawk!

    Could you or anyone else make out the trust manufacturers name?


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Take a look at these attic photos

    To throw in my two cents.
    1: The lower flange is suspended below the ridge beam.
    It does not appear to be a ridge board from my perspective. 2" x 8" I suspect.
    2: The rafters are not aligned nor are they offset each other.
    3: 5 will get you 10 there is no strap adjoining the top of the rafters over the ridge beam.
    How can there be if they/when are not aligned?

    It made no sense not to use the same dimensional lumber.
    It appears to be an amateur job and not professional in building application.

    What reporting software are you using Ray?

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Take a look at these attic photos

    3: 5 will get you 10 there is no strap adjoining the top of the rafters over the ridge beam.
    How can there be if they/when are not aligned?

    It made no sense not to use the same dimensional lumber.
    It appears to be an amateur job and not professional in building application.

    What reporting software are you using Ray?
    Could be as you point out about the strap. My thinking was they only lapped it over the top of the beam and nailed it.

    As to reporting software; that is Horizon.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Take a look at these attic photos

    Sorry about the software question.
    I thought is was your post.

    Gene what software do yo use? Russels' HomeGuage?

    About the rafter strapping, only one I-beam looks not aligned with dimensional rafter.
    Blocking at the web ridge intersection might help reduce twisting under load.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Take a look at these attic photos

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    It does not appear to be a ridge board from my perspective. 2" x 8" I suspect.
    Looked like that was possible to me to, but ... that does not mean it is a ridge beam and not a ridge board - the beam needs to be structural - supported at each end and capable of carrying the load applied to it, which means that a 2x8 might not be strong enough to be used as a 'beam' for the the span ... which is why I swapped terms around in my post and clarified (tried to any way) which term was applicable and which was required (a 'beam' appears to be required ... which is applicable ???).

    A 2x8 (used singly) being used as a header/beam is likely not going to be rated to even span 6 feet (depends on species and other things, that would have to be looked up in the code), and would require structural support at each end of it.

    I couldn't read the name either (one part even looks upside down because of what looks to be a 'A' at the beginning of a word/name when the photo is turned over, and almost looks like trademark signs at the ends when turn that way? That is zoomed in 250%, any more and it looses resolution, any less and it is too small to try to make out (at least for me).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Take a look at these attic photos

    Jerry,
    Thanks, I understand about the term beam requires lateral end columns.
    Spoke to fast.


    Here is what I get from the letters on the lower jflange.
    The lettering AI is specific to inflection / deflection but I could be mistaken.
    Ala----k Lst UCI " then upside-down 50000

    Look at the furtherest two left rafters.
    There are forces loading the ridge.
    You can see the fasteners.
    rafters.JPG

    Poor builders workmanship.
    An engineer did not write off on this IMO.
    The rafter to ridge dimensions do not make sense.
    Even if the ridge was Ok'ed by an engineer, throwing odd rafter dimensions can have extenuating circumstances under varying loads.

    Last edited by ROBERT YOUNG; 03-01-2016 at 05:51 PM.
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Take a look at these attic photos

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Look at the furtherest two left rafters.
    There are forces loading the ridge.
    You can see the fasteners.
    Robert,

    You are missing the (presumed) fact that the rafters on both sides were cut correctly and fitted tightly ... in which case that could not have occured ... not without the rafters on one - or both - sides not having been cut incorrectly and not fitted tightly - in which case ... it is possible that what you are looking at is just that - improperly cut and fitted (installed) rafters and nothing may have any unintended loads on it.

    Right?

    Sometimes we presume too much, and sometimes we presume too little, and sometimes we just ponder what we see and go WTH?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Take a look at these attic photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Robert,

    You are missing the (presumed) fact that the rafters on both sides were cut correctly
    I fully understand.
    Sorry, I could have contrived a neutral narrative.

    As to you point. If one rafter, conventional or engineered, either or, was not measured correctly, too long or short, by fasting the other rafters correctly at the ridge will cause loading, a force on the ridge and the connecting points.

    Do you not see a separation at the conventional rafters and ridge connection?

    There lay the million dollar question.
    If so presumption becomes measurement.

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Take a look at these attic photos

    I agree with the concern regarding the depth of the ridge plate/board and the likely missing straps. Alterations to deal with that would not be a big deal. I would be more concerned about the bearing at the wall. Since the I-joists are deeper than the lumber rafters the I-joists may not be bearing properly on the bottom chord.

    I imagine there is some reason why they used these. Getting the correct hangers and doing the work to install them says to me that they just did not grab expensive I-joists in place of cheaper rafters. Also, why the narrow spacing between 2 I-joists and then a wider space? Looks like they forgot the blocking at one of the hangers.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Take a look at these attic photos

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Jerry,

    Look at the furtherest two left rafters.
    There are forces loading the ridge.
    You can see the fasteners.
    rafters.JPG
    I often see rafters cut short. Especially when there is a gap at only one rafter, that is the likely cause. The other rafter may have been cut at the wrong angle, but as wood shrinks the angle at the cut changes. You often see this in mitered trim joints.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Take a look at these attic photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    I often see rafters cut short. Especially when there is a gap at only one rafter, that is the likely cause. The other rafter may have been cut at the wrong angle, but as wood shrinks the angle at the cut changes. You often see this in mitered trim joints.
    Thanks Mark.
    I understand.

    I have also seen small gaps in rafter construction, as well as compound mitre cuts.
    The posted image looked like the far left conventional rafter is 1" to 2' inches short.
    Looked like 5 nails where through the ridge perpendicular to the rafter end.
    A fairly large gap in my opinion.

    I am not nit picking.
    Just though I might add substance to the OP's post.

    If a gap is wide enough, I will mention it in the report.
    Typically an easy resolve for the right professional.

    Best regards.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
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