Opinions on framing design

I had a interesting disscussion with the selller on how his attic was framed, and he said it was fine. Of cours he was “a builder” and seemed to know all things great and beyond. I thought it looked as if it needed more support.

The rafter ends only had around 2 inches at best on the bottom and front of the wall. Only toe nails held them in place in the area. This section did have a gable end resing on top. This was the wall between the garage and living space. What are your opinions, and ask questions if needed

I would have to see the whole house for a better answer but at the minimum it looks to be substandard. Probably not going to fail anytime soon but you have to factor in some typical wind and snow regardless of the code region. At least its easy to access for additional framing/bracing.

Unless the seller was my client, I would not discuss any defect with him.

If you suspect that a wall might be unstable you should refer your client to a structural engineer to evaluate and provide a report on it with his seal and letterhead.

2 inches of _____

How many toenails and what size nails?

What are the rafters bearing on?

I think generally speaking, when a seller tells you something you can check it out if it seems important, but not put a whole lot of faith in what they say.

This is not an ethic question im its a framing question. If I recommended an engineer for this type of stuff I would not stay in business very long.

Inches of actual rafter being used to support the load.

8 penny and there is no way you could cram 3 in the small area, they were only toe nailed

The rafters are being on a structural wall between the garage and living space, and they rest on a 2x4 and then an additional 2x4 was used as a top plate for outward forces.

Likewise, if your reports are based upon a combination of what the seller tells you and your own engineering conclusions made as a matter for record, you won’t be in business very long either.:wink:

If you have a set of the original plans to compare your observations to and find that they were not followed and no written approval for the changes are included with the plans, it is appropriate to advise your client that unapproved modifications were made to an engineer’s design. Otherwise, unless you are an engineer and are providing a professional opinion as the integrity of the structure, you are outside the scope of a home inspection as well as your level of expertise. This is particularly true when an AHJ has already inspected and approved the framing as the house was being built.

My comments noted just this. Evaluation by framer and obtaining plans for reference.

My post was for my own curiosities, and while I am aware of all the unknowns, I figured someone with good framing experience should be able to look and give their opinons.

Sean - I would have to call it out.

I wouldn’t refer to the plans or anything of the sort. I would say that the craftsmanship is not of typical practice. The exposed supporting load bearing wall is an unorthodox installation and to ensure the intended structural integrity is present we recommend calling a structual engineer for further evalaution and to determine the exact cost to cure, if any.

I did what was needed. The seller was a real prize. One of these guys tht was a builder so he thought he knoew everything. Its for them to decided, but I would want it fixed if it was my house.

Once you start getting into custom homes or over 3000 sf, things start getting creative. Its hard to follow all the odd designs.

I might have suggested nailing a board across the top of the rafters or adding blocking in between them to keep them from twisting

If it is resting on a 2x4 wall then two toe 16d nails need to be on each side of the rafter and each rafter end should have had at least a 3 inch flat cut at the bottom, so the rafter fits flat on top of the wall. I seldom see the two toe nails, let alone the flat cut bottom. Here in Missouri, builders stick only about half or less as many nails as needed. If you ever drive down a neighborhood and see complete roofs sitting in yards or just foundations with only the sill plate still attached, some Missouri Builders built those houses.


A bit difficult to tell from the pictures, but a couple of observations:
minimum bearing for a conventional rafter is 1-1/2" on a wood framed bearing wall and 3" on masonry or concrete. So the 2" is fine.
Minimum nailing to the top plate is (2) 16d common nails so the 8d are suspect.
Can not tell from the picture which way the ceiling joists are running I’m assuming they are not running parallel judging by the seat cut on the rafters on the bearing wall. If that is the case the rafters would be required too have 2"x4" rafter ties or a wall or girder at the ridge.
In both cases the rafters are required too have collar ties or ridge straps.

2x4 should have been nailed directly above the garage wall top plate with 16d, and the rafters should have been notched to rest on it. That way you resist lateral loads and have full bearing on the 2x4 and you have enough room at the bottom (level) cut of the rafter to get 2- 16d toenails in one side and one in the other. Poor quality framing. 8d nails are a defective installation in this situation. I’d call for correction by a qualified contractor for the fasteners at least.

My opinion as well, and I did refer it on. Thanks

Simply call for a SE and be done with it otherwise your getting / giving useless opinions.

I was recently told by an engineer that if you use four spikes into a 2x4, you do not need ties. Cutting a birds mouth like Kent suggests and diving the nail four spike at the birds mouth, might be a better way. The reality is; is the contractor going to take the time to cut the birds mouth? I have never see any expect on exterior walls and those on very few homes. Now if you live in areas of huricanes then I would image huricane ties are needed.

Bingo… seat cut and blocking. We do that where stringers drop on concrete, cut a profile of 2x4/6 out of the base of stringers and a PT plate has been applied/tapcon’d/ bolted to concrete/foundation depending on setup. Similar application, just on top of gar wall.