Acceptable roof rafter repairs

I have a new construction pre-closing inspection scheduled for Monday.My client told me the builder made an opening in the roof after she told them she did not want the skylight in the kitchen. She said the next time she drove by the home, the opening was closed. My question is… What is the acceptable method of rafter repair and what is the publication that defines it?This is “stick” construction not manufactured truss. Thanks. Oh by the way, this is another client that found me from the NACHI site.

What makes you assume the rafters were cut?

I won’t know until I do the inspection. Maybe my question should have been…what is the proper way to to close the skylight opening and is additional support of the area required? Thanks


The old skylight hole must be covered with decking material. It must be the same kind of decking that is on the rest of the roof. My guess is that
it’s probably 1/2" CDX plywood (CDX= Rated for exterior use). All professional roofing organizations recommend that the plywood be replaced in whole sheets only. What I mean is… don’t just cut a piece to fit, you need to replace the entire sheet. It has to do with maintaining the structural integrity of the roof. Then the roofing material can be re-installed over this area.

As to the trusses being upgraded for this skylight area, I would recommend that your client obtain a structural engineer’s signed paperwork stating that
the area in question was repaired or upgraded to his/her specs.
Trusses can not be retrofitted without a PE authorization.

This is “stick” construction not manutactured truss system. Is bracing needed from skylight opening frame to ceiling joists???

If you find sistering of the rafters, that’ll be fine.

It may be easier than you’re thinking…

Many skylights are made to fit between framing so that framing doesn’t need to be cut. If they remove the skylight they may just infill the hole with nailers and sheath it shut with osb.

If a larger skylight was installed usually the outside rafters are doubled and the cut rafter is hung on headers spanning the opening between the doubled rafters top and bottom. Then the opening is filled with regular framing to the size needed. When you get in the attic you may see what I describe with additional framing to close up the hole and sheath it shut with osb.

This might help to see what you should be looking for.

Marcel:) :slight_smile:

It doesn’t appear that the link shows doubling the outside rafters to take the additional load of the cut rafters via the headers. Granted, it may not be much extra weight on a steeper pitch but that’s how I learned to do it. :wink:

I agree with Larry on this one. All the openings should be infilled to the appropriate spacings and sheathed over. I don’t think that replacement of the whole sheet of sheathing is required if you infill with framing.

Well, I guess I have answered my own doubt and curiosity about posting references to Links that are led to believe are the proper way of doing things.

I too have been shown and brought up to double rafters anytime that an opening is created that will interupt a rafter or truss.

Moral of the story here is that you can not always believe who provides the details for a product that is being sold.

Not a problem I see in remodeling jobs due the small opening that is created, but in new construction would reccomend double the rafters.
In homes with engineered trusses, you would have to confine the skylight within the parameters of the two spacing. Conventional framing you could interupt the spacing and increase the support load by other means.

Good pick up Guys.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Got a call today. Sorry but I have to cancel inspection. Builder pointed out to buyer that second party inspection (non municipality) are not permitted as per contract that buyer had signed.Builder must have had too many home inspectors finding flaws in workmanship and had attorneys incorporate" no second party inspection" clauses incorporated into contracts.However I will be doing inspection prior to expiration of 1 year new construction warranty.

In Ontario there would need to be,** minimum,** double rafters and double headers if you have to cut a rafter to accommodate the skylight width. I have seen a few hacked in skylights installed by fly by night contractors where this is not done.

Let us not forget the fine print.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile: DISCLAIMER: Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of the information in this document. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor Aubuchon Hardware can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

This is all we get up here. Very few builders will allow an independent inspector on site until the buyer signs off on the PDI. Then the buyer gets 30 days to submit a deficiency report. I am doing more and more PDI’s after the fact than before.