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  1. #1
    Trevor Hunter's Avatar
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    Default Bizzarre roof construction found during inspection

    Hello,

    I am new to all of this and was having a home inspection done on a house I plan to purchase only to find out that the roof (as shown below) was constructed by a moron. The seller maintains that "that's how the house was built and its fine" but our instructor had to do a triple take because he'd never seen anything done this poorly. All of the vertical 2x8's had been cut in half and "patched" with 6x6 plywood squares held in place with galvanized roofing nails and staples - as you can see, many of these patches have fallen off. As you can see in the pictures below, the roof has also shifted. Anyone's thoughts/advice would be appreciated. We are trying to get the seller to take care of this before we settle the deal, but they insist 'nothing's wrong' - hence my conundrum. Is this as unusual as I think it is? Thank you so much for your input!

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bizzarre roof construction found during inspection

    Trevor,

    Have a Structural Engineer write a Remedy and get an estimate for the proper repairs.
    * then be prepared to walk away and find another house.
    .

    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.

  3. #3
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bizzarre roof construction found during inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Hunter View Post

    As you can see in the pictures below......
    Unfortunately I can't tell anything from the pictures other than the bracing has been cut and is unorthodox for a site built roof.

    If you are serious about buying the house then do as Billy said, get a PE and cost of repairs, at least then you know where you stand.

    Then it becomes a case of are you willing to invest the extra money in the house if the seller will not make the repairs or give you a price reduction to cover the cost.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Bizzarre roof construction found during inspection

    What they said........
    By the way, was this a modular home?


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Bizzarre roof construction found during inspection

    As Jack pointed out, that has all the earmarks (hammer marks) of a modular home. All the cuts are at an identical height, not just a bunch of random scabbed together sections. The roof was likely dropped into place with a crane. Those patches were stapled on at the factory, and the lower ends were nailed on site. That's just a guess, but seems likely.

    OK, so the house is a modular and the seller should know that it is, and he should have disclosed this to you. Also, your inspector needs to learn to recognize them.

    Having said that, there's no reason to shy away from a modular home, provided it has been put together correctly. Find out where it was originally built and get the instruction manual from the manufacturer. Pay attention also to the seams in the floors, walls and ceilings.Two half sections are usually put together on a permanent foundation and then roofs are sometimes added if they are tall sections. Good luck with it.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 03-29-2011 at 08:41 PM.
    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Bizzarre roof construction found during inspection

    Forcing a seller to repair something they think isn't broken doesn't usually result in a good outcome.... whether it's broken or not, get impartial opinions, advice and contractors.


  7. #7

    Default Re: Bizzarre roof construction found during inspection

    This is very simple, as one of the early replies stated, you need to consult and engineer.
    One purpose of consulting and engineer would be this; if you ever intend to resell the home you will need the report along with the paperwork for any required repairs or you will likely experience difficulty selling.
    Second if you intend to actually live in the home you will need to consult said engineer to ensure that the homes roof will function as intended.
    Lastly having an engineer’s report will affect what you pay for the home should you decide to go ahead and purchase it.
    Home inspectors may have opinions as to how to correct the issues but why they may be qualified to give the advice, the advice will not be recognized later and you will be liable for the results.
    Good Luck

    Jeff Zehnder - Home Inspector, Raleigh, NC
    http://www.jjeffzehnder.com/
    http://carolinahomeinspections.com/

  8. #8
    Trevor Hunter's Avatar
    Trevor Hunter Guest

    Default Re: Bizzarre roof construction found during inspection

    Jack hit the nail on the head (pun intended).

    The seller just followed up with "this is a modular home". An engineer in our area said that for modular homes built in Loudoun County (Va) during the 80's this is common and nothing to worry about. It just looks off to me. I'm having the engineer come to the house tomorrow and inspect it just to be safe. I've been trying to find some resources for modular home roofing construction but haven't had much luck. So, with it being established that this is a modular home, is it less of a problem? I can easily replace the patches/sister the beams together on my own - I, and the inspector, were just worried the roof would blow off. Thanks for all your input guys.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Bizzarre roof construction found during inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Hunter View Post

    . I've been trying to find some resources for modular home roofing construction but haven't had much luck. .
    .
    ....
    .
    http://www.claytonhomes.com/display/...etupManual.pdf
    .

    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.

  10. #10
    Trevor Hunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bizzarre roof construction found during inspection

    Had a structural engineer and go out and take a look. He confirmed what we said (and what you all had said as well) : modular home, original setup was done for speed & convenience over long-term stability and that the roof had shifted (and if left untreated the whole integrity of the system could fail). Now the fun part is just getting the seller to agree to pay the 2500 for the bracing system the engineer drew up. Is this type of issue common in 20+ year old modulars?


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Bizzarre roof construction found during inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Hunter View Post
    .
    . Now the fun part is just getting the seller to agree to pay the 2500 for the bracing system the engineer drew up. Is this type of issue common in 20+ year old modulars?
    .
    Nope.
    .

    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: Bizzarre roof construction found during inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Hunter View Post
    Had a structural engineer and go out and take a look. He confirmed what we said
    pay the 2500 for the bracing system the engineer drew up. Is this type of issue common in 20+ year old modulars?
    Thanks for the update.
    I was picturing plywood gussets and nails. What does the bracing consist of, and how will the additional lumber be brought up into the attic?

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  13. #13
    Trevor Hunter's Avatar
    Trevor Hunter Guest

    Default Re: Bizzarre roof construction found during inspection

    The current gussets are 6x6 plywood squares which, because of minor shifts in the roof, have fallen off in about a half dozen places (so there's nothing holding the vertical rafters on those) In a nutshell, there are three retrofits which need to be made to "brace" it up:

    1) Attaching a 4' 2x4 to the ceiling joist which engages 2' of each truss straddling the existing 2x4" stud bearing wall. This is on one side only.

    2) Attaching a 2' 2x4 to the existing 2x4 stud on one side only.

    Check the drawing below to see whats going to be done:

    The lumber might be able to fit up on its own - 6.5 ft height, but valid question.
    Also, the roof ridges need to be braced as well with inverted "v" gossets because the way they sit now is awkward and being held up by 2x2's held in place with finishing nails.

    Last edited by Trevor Hunter; 04-02-2011 at 08:16 PM. Reason: stupidity

  14. #14
    Trevor Hunter's Avatar
    Trevor Hunter Guest

    Default Re: Bizzarre roof construction found during inspection

    Here's the drawing.

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