Cutting engineered floor trusses

These engineered trusses have been cut on both ends, covering a 30 foot span. It appears they were cut because the support wall was too high, or the builder didn’t account for the added height above when building the house. The house was built in 2009. It would seem they need to sit on the block support wall. This design and the way they were cut make it look like they are “floating”, and hanging from the top 2x4.

I saw similar pics in a different thread here somewhere, and the poster was informed this is normal, and the trusses are designed that way. I can’t wrap my head around these trusses not being support underneath.

Any thoughts before I tell them to panic and get a structural engineer? :-k



Open web trusses can be designed to be supported by the top chord only. Some times you will see joist hangers.

Engineered Trusses can not be field modified unless reviewed by a PE for the intended altered application…
Refer and defer accordingly…

Your photo shows a suspended truss…
are you certain that the install was deficient?

Those look similar to what I’ve installed before…okay from what I can see.

Those are not cut but designed that way. It’s called a top hung floor truss. Not used as much in homes as they are in commercial work. I see 0 issue with these.

Joist can be either top or bottom bearing. I have only seen top bearing in open web steel joist but it may be ok if you have read about them doing this. Any sagging or cracks?

Yep. Top bearing truss. No issue here…

Thank you guys, it’s truly awesome to get so many great responses from knowledgeable people. I never dreamed they could be designed this way. I still can’t wrap my head around it-thinking I was somewhat knowledgeable in building science and techniques. It seemed to me the webbing and bottom cord are not supporting anything-just suspended.

Client complained of several doors binding or not staying closed, some cracks in the basement block walls, windows won’t close and lock. Their main concern was how rapidly these instances occurred-all within the last 45 days or so. The floors are so far out of level that my bubble on my 4 ft level is not even visible.

This is a higher end, 7200 sq ft home, 1/2 million dollar home. It is very close to the Interstate, not even 25 yards. They said the last wind storm they could feel the house “swaying”, and were afraid it was going to fall off the foundation.

They called me because they are lease/purchase, and they want out of the lease. The client’s brother is a builder in a different state,(Michigan) and he expressed concern over these trusses.

There are many factors that could contribute to the unevenness of the flooring or structure. Just because they used “engineered trusses,” doesn’t necessarily mean they were properly installed.

The most common deficiency that I’ve come across is the contractor placing them too far apart - example; 16" o.c. instead of 12" o.c… Without seeing the plans, there’s no way to know if they are spaced properly, but a contractor can save a ton of money over time if this goes undetected.

Jeff, they are 24" o.c. As I stated above, the client was concerned about the “sudden settling”. All the doors and windows binded, and floor became unlevel in a matter of 30 days. We had a very rare, mild “tremor” here, I think it was in early November. Homes in WV are not built to Calif. Earthquake standards, maybe that had something to do with it. I don’t want to get off topic, though. My concern was the trusses, and you and the others have let me know I shouldn’t cry “the sky’s a falling” unless I know the real facts. Lesson learned, now I need to wipe the egg off my face and write their report.

Thanks again

yessir. Floor are 1 inch out of level in 4 feet. Windows and doors bind, wont’s shut or lock, but there is minimal cracking (block wall in basement)

There is obvious movement in the floor, walls and foundation. Start at the bottom and work your way up. Just because the outside walls are not cracked does not mean there is no structual issue. I have never seen joists at 24" centers. 19.2" centers yes. I would have them call in a structual engineer at this point as this goes way beyond our capabilities as a home inspector. It may sound like I am dodgeing a bullet here but I assure you that is not the case. We are generalist in nature. We are there to point out the issues and offer recommendations upon a visual inspection. those recommendations should not be how to fix it but who to call or what trades to bring in. If you go beyond this you may end up in court. JMO

Almost this exact wording is in my report. I told them on the phone, before the inspection, after the inspection, and in the report, they should get a structural engineer’s recommendations. Mine were observations by a “trained generalist”, and they shouldn’t act on anything before consulting an engineer. It’s a lot of CYA, but I don’t have time or money to go to court.

Thanks so much for your input, all you guys are terrific!

24" o.c. floor trusses are very common.


The follow links will give you plenty of truss information:

Looks pretty normal but if you see teeth marks/ holes in any of the top or bottom chords then it is possible some mods have been done. Normally on a top chord bearing truss ( cant see in the pics) the top chords will be multi plys, 2 or possibly 3 stacked over the bearing. If it is a single, that should raise a red flag.

No around here Michael. I have never installed them that wide apart. What are they using for sheathing? we use 3/4 on 19.2" centers and you can feel it sometimes. Just curious is all.:slight_smile:

3/4" T&G

Yes you can feel it in some but they are rated for that spacing.

BTW - I built one in 1979… 18" truss. 24 O.C.

Thank you Randy! awesome!