Cut rafter, need advise...see pics

Home was built in 1985, seller cut a hole in the garage wall common to the house. He was making another Attic access. In the process he cut one of
the rafters. How should this be written up? Is this a serious structural issue
that should written up in red?


Just frame it up like a dormer. See attached picture.


How does all this effect what was the fire wall?

They did have separation in the original design for a reason I’m sure.

Hi David
I would suspect when cutting a rafter you are taking away some of the structural integrity of the roofing structure. I would call it out and recommend further evaluation by a qualified professional.
Also the firewall in garage that separates the garage from living space is compromised with large sections of drywall missing. A garage firewall should consist of 5/8 inch type X drywall. The intent of the firewall between the attached garage and the living space is intended to slow the spread of fire from the garage to the living space. This is a safety issue and the firewall integrity needs to be restored.

What Randy said. Nothings going to collapse, but take a half hour to make it right.
Not serious:

“A roof rafter was cut through without providing alternative structural support to make up for the loss of structural support. Although this is not a serious structural issue, it is improper and the Inspector recommends correction be made by a qualified contractor.”

As per Bob and Gary, recommend that a hatch be installed using 5/8" type X drywall.

Thanks for this verbiage…

Thanks Gary…definitely going to tell the client to get the firewall integrity back…

Thanks for the picture…

Codes or their enforcement must be a little diff in CA. We never see above-ceiling garage to house firewall like that in Port St, Lucie or Sebastian, FL.

Thankyou Pete, agreed here

Randy, how in the world does the image of a dormer frame apply here?
He’s got an opening in the vetical frame of an attic area w/ a cut rafter. The cut rafter end does need support. But let’s not frame a dormer for it :roll:
And yes Kenton it is structural

I see a bunch of issues here that should be addressed.

What exactly is the firewall, the ceiling, or attic compartments?

Wires in walkway access.

Disrupted insulation

Missing header for rafter support

lack of sill plate for rafter overlay support

Missing door closer if a compartment separation

Improper walkway access

Damaged or improper ventilation duct wrap and installation

And that is only what I see from a small picture.


Good detail Marcel.
Hope I never need to sell a house you inspect.:slight_smile:


The load transfer concept of dormer framing is what I was referring to. He wanted to know what to do… the answer is transfer the load of the cut rafter through a double header to the adjacent rafters. That’s the best advice I could give him based on his photos.

Sorry guys but when it comes right down to it, he should be referring it to a SE for further evaluation and designed repair.

He is located in California, the land of litigation, where the home inspection report can be relied on by someone other than his client for years to come. State there is a defect, approximate location and refer it out to someone who can legally write a designed repair. CYA.

Im going to write up that above the ground ceiling…its definitely un-permited construction.

Thanks Marcel…

Thanks everyone…