Ceiling Joists-Rafters

In need of some help on ceiling joists and rafters. I inspected a house where the garage ceiling joists (2x6x24’) were perpendicular to the rafters. There is no supporting post or wall. There were no collar ties and 2 rafter ties. There were 2 center vertical supports between the ridge beam to the 2 rafter ties. The vertical supports are splitting. I recommended evaluation and repair by a general contractor. I got called out for a reinspection and the last 2 pics are the repairs. They installed collar ties, did not install rafter ties, and put in new vertical posts, attached with metal clips to the ridge beam and boards nailed flat on top of ceiling joists. It appears to me as if they are supporting the ceiling with the ridge beam. On the inspection, I recommended a general contractor again. Now they want me to talk to the person who did the repairs and explain what is needed. We have no local building inspector. Opinions on these photos are appreciated.

Refer to a structural engineer (SE). That is a structural mess. If the contractor needs guidance on repairs, the contractor is not qualified to make the necessary repairs! These are the crap jobs that will drag your arse into a courtroom. Stay the hell out of it!!!

Your pictures are somewhat confusing, but if they are going to install collar ties, they should be at every other rafter.
And just to clarify, that is a ridge board, and not a ridge beam.
Also one picture seems to show framing on edge perpendicular to the ceiling joist. What was that.
And those vertical 2x’s are totally useless.
Rafter ties in this type of framing has to be established by using framing at right angles to the ceiling joist at the perimeter. Similar to this.

This is an old detail, but gives you an idea how it is accomplished.
Recommend a qualified licensed Building Contractor that knows what he is doing.
Since this is a garage, it can’t be that difficult to figure out.

Agree, but seems to me someone was attempting to build a storage platform so as not to affect the 2x4 (no load carrying) ceiling joists it was resting upon, but kinda hard to tell for sure without being there.

Did you forget to specify a “competent” contractor? :wink:

Be careful not to get drawn into engineering/designing the solution. The contractor they hired is obviously not competent to do so. You talking to the incompetent contractor leaves you to assess what they did and instruct them what they need to do. Time to call in an engineer.

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Looks like that was done by Harry’s friend anyways. All that is require for a measly garage framing is a Qualified Builder.
He opened himself out for liability by going back. Should have walked away after recommending repairs by a contractor if he is not a builder himself.


Thanks, Marcel,
I agree, it looks like it was done by Harry’s friend several times over the years. The entire attic structure over the garage is messed up. The age of the boards suggested it was repaired several times over a period of years.
As for going back, I was asked by the client to do a re-inspection. I made the same recommendation as the first time, “contact a qualified general contractor for evaluation and repair.” Should I stay away from re-inspections?
Ridge board, I have that clear now, board not beam. The pic from 2003 IRC is helpful. The lookout board is there and is attached to the first ceiling joist. There is no metal strap. Framing on edge perpendicular and the 2x2’s, I have no idea what they are for. There are boards nailed flat and on edge everywhere, randomly. Maybe they were used instead of the metal strap shown in the picture. The entire attic floor and ridge board have been modified/supported repeatedly.

Thanks, Chuck, I know not to design a solution. I wish my first recommendation was “contact a licensed engineer” instead of a “qualified general contractor.” The seller apparently hired a contractor, who as Jeffrey said, if he needs my guidance, he is not qualified.

Thanks, Jeffrey, Someone has been attempting to repair or build something up here more than once. The problem I think is they have been ignoring the fact that there are 2x6 ceiling joists spanning 24 feet unsupported from below. I agree the whole thing is a structural mess.

I have inspected it twice, both times I have said, in short, “It’s a mess, recommend hiring a qualified general contractor to evaluate and repair.” At this point I’m pretty sure it’s the realtor is wanting me to go a third time and advise the contractor what to do.

My client, the buyer, is an engineer (mechanical, not structural). I’m pretty sure he understands the need for an engineer and why I am not making engineering/structural or architectural recommendations. The realtor is trying to push this one through.

The circled joist stops, right at the perpendicular ceiling joist. It does not connect the rafters at the bottom. It is approximately 2 feet long. The perpendicular joist does not rest on it.
The perpendicular ceiling joists are 2x6s 24 feet long, with no supporting beam and post underneath them. The drywall is cracked and sagging all over the garage. Am I still missing something here.

I think those are simply to support the soffits. Unless they put the joists under the sheetrock ceiling, those 2x6s are the joists.

Sounds like somebody made an “open” floorplan. I had one of them a few years back that featured some “innovate” framing.

Yes, those short boards at the soffit are in Marcels 2003 IRC photo as “lookouts”. The ceiling joists are 2x6x24.

Can’t recommend a fix with a few pictures and you don’t need an engineer to build or repair a roof on a garage. Looks like this one, as much as it looks like it has gone through the test of time, just needs the right qualified builder to repair.

Thanks, Marcel,
The pics certainly don’t tell the whole story and I know you cant recommend a fix. I have recommended a qualified general contractor to evaluate and repair twice. I am staying out of it at this point. I feel the realtor backing me into a corner, telling them what I will ok. Not happening.

This is an attached garage. The same rafters are over the home, with rafter ties, collar ties, and a king post resting on a supporting wall. For my own understanding, I was baffled by the fact that in the garage they had no rafter or collar ties, and turned the ceiling joist perpendicular, spanning 24 feet with no support. Thanks for your help.

Good for you, Joseph. Don’t let them agents push you around. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Thanks Larry,

FYI, town of 2300 people. I have lived here 42 years.

The realtor involved is the past 2 term mayor and sells the most homes per month in this county. The son of the seller is the top mortgage banker in town who refers me to buyers because he knows I do a good job. Sticky situation, but I am working for the client who paid me for this inspection. I inspected, reported, and recommended accordingly. It will all work out.

Here’s the thing about the mysterious HI “Test of Time” horseshit…


Do not EVER quote or say that ANYWHERE in a report, or at ANYTIME to your client or agent!!!

Unless, of course, you like court!!


Yes, eventually, everything does.
It’s a matter of knowing why that helps.

My point is, the ‘Test-of-Time’ is a misnomer! Anything can fail at anytime for any reason, be it 5 years or 50! (Kinda like being taken to court).