Overnotched Rafter

Since I could not load my 769KB image since the limit is 100KB, please visualize a 2"x12" gable rafter overnotched at least 2/3 of the way through where the toe of the rafter extends like a 2"x4" to form the eave. Basically, about 3.5" resting on top plate of wall and a wide-open, nuttin’ but air kind of notch. House is 8 years old so no corrections to be made now. How would you write up the repair? Scab on board extending to end and then up to 2’ above notch? Thanks.

Recommend repair or correction by experienced, licensed general contractor.

Don’t engineer the repair. I know how it is, I want to do that all the time and have to remind myself not to for legal reasons.

2X12 rafter overnotched at whatever location. Recommend repairs by licensed framing contractor. Then off to the next inspection.

Thanks for simplifying the answer. Like you Bruce, I am inclined to give a remedy. This reduces the likelihood of having to stop and answer questions about found defects after the inspection. I appreciate the reply from you fellow members. I see that a non-member on the next thread got alot more responses for his question about basements. I kind of resent that since this board should enable an inspector to receive help from other inspectors. I won’t hesitate to jump in to assist you next time.


Sounds like you need Microsoft Powertoys Image Resizer.

When you have high speed, large pictures aren’t a problem, but for the dial up guys it takes forever to download them, especially frustrating if the pictures are put into the post instead of posted as an external link.

Here’s some help for you about large pictures. It also uses up less of your hard disk space.

I resize 100 or so pictures from an inspection in about a minute. I resize Message Board Pictures to the 640x480 size or about 50 K.

The instructions below say it better than I can.

Click Here for some instructions on how it works.

Click Here and look for the 11th download on the right side - Imageresizer.exe.

Short & sweet,

I open windows explorer,
find the folder with the pictures I want to resize,
select (or highlight) all the pictures I want resized (one or a hundred),
right click,
select “Resize Image” off the pop up menu,
choose picture size I want,
Click “Advanced” tab and select to resize originals,
Hit enter

Seconds later all the pictures are resized to the size I selected.

You can fit fourteen of the resized pictures in the same space your one 789 KB picture would take.

And the quality is acceptable for the message board.

for example. Fungus Amungus

Good luck, please keep sharing.

Thanks Erby. I’ll check it out. Was there a change between this board and the old board regarding posting photos? I did not get the chance to post as an external link. I’m using the same 5.0 megapixel camera I was using before, except now I can’t post a pic. I’ll try to get up to speed. Right now I’m still trying to figure out where the bubble in my new level is supposed to be positioned. :wink:

Erby’s right, Hank. Go grab the Powertoy for free. Almost as good as sliced bread, once you’ve worked with it, regardless of what size the images are when they slide out of your camera. You’ll wonder how you got along without it.


I will forever be indebted to Erby for pointing me to the Power Toys resizer. Best piece of free software I’ve ever used.

There was a change between the old board and the new one regarding posting photos. Too many people were posting 1 MB photos and using up server storage space. 1 MB photos simply aren’t necessary. I don’t even take those types of pictures at the site. I set my cameras for 1.0 megapixels and get extremely clear pictures on every camera I’ve used, regardless of manufacturer. Even then, though, the pictures are 250 KB or so. With Resizer, I get them down to 25 KB without losing any clarity.

Now if your intent is to print a photo at photo quality, or an 8½x11 pictures, then you’ll probably still need that 5.0 megapixel setting. Otherwise, it’s just not necessary for the 2x3 pictures that we use here and in our reports.

I use IrfanView, it’s a free software also. It will let me resize, resample, change the format (jpg, mpg, tif, etc.), reduce the # of colors used and many other things.

I use a Sony DVD403 camcorder/camera. It saves stills on DVD in jpg format that play back on your home DVD player as a slideshow. 3.0 mega-pixel stills with no grainieness on my 32" TV. I don’t see any reason for anything better than that. They look as good as any 35mm photo or even 2¼" format film photo I have ever seen and my father was a pro. photographer. He descovered one of the Ms. Clairol (spelling) girls in the mid '70’s. She never even placed in a city beauty contest but my parrents thought she should have won. (None of the winners ever made it big.) Durring the creation of her portfolio (we did it for free, we get the rights to the photos) is when I started to learn to be a lighting expert. From that point on I was in charge of setting up lighting for everything we did, indoors or out.

I don’t know what came over me? I couldn’t stop myself. I blaim Russel, and not having any margrita mix in my bar.


I blaim the teenagers in my house.:roll:

Penn Inspection 002 (Small).jpg

Erby, I downloaded the previously oversized pic and resized it to a small 33.3 KB image. I don’t suppose you can see it yet?

Glad to see you figured out how to resize

was that the only big notch or where all of them that way ?

Yes Kevin, all of the rafters for the bonus room over the garage were framed that way. It is more common to see 2"x6" rafters. My guess is that the rafters were oversized in order to be notched to form the eave as well as give a little more clearance for air circulation in the attic.

I don’t see the problem with that rafter cut.

It would be no different (except minus the tail) than a cut for a building with no overhang. Not that I advocate no overhangs.

The 3 1/2" tail is enough to support what appears to be a small (12"?) overhang and the seat cut does not appear overnotched, IMHO.

There are times when someone wants to match an existing fascia/overhang size but also wants to have a rafter cavity that will take more insulation.

Coming from a framing background, I would not be happy if my framers did the job like that, but as to it being a problem from a structural perspective, I don’t think it is.
It may be amateur, but the fascia appear to be properly supported, and that would be my only concern.

Thanks Larry. So, should I forget about the 25% notch limit when you have an oversized rafter with a standard 2"x4" section used only as the tail? And finally no problem with the heel resting on the top plate?

The 25% notch limits that you are concerned about is intended to address notching or boaring within the span of the member. In this case, your concern seems to be how the rafter tail and birds mouth were cut. I see no problem with the way these were cut. There appears to be full 3 1/2" engagment between the heel (bearing point) and the top plate. As far as the unusual cut is concerned, It seems more likely that it was diliberate, rather than the result of a hack. I wonder if they were planning something different regarding the overhangs and changed course midway. Maybe it was a venitlation consideration. Is the ceiling framed to be vaulted? Perhaps this was done to create a continuos void, rather than using continuos soffit vent. Eitherway- its fine the way it is. I’m glad you got a picture posted in time.

Hank, the 25% limit is for the rafter section from the bearing point (in your pic it is the 31/2” top plate) to the ridge. The rafter has not been reduced in that span. It was reduced for the tail only. And the reduction of the tail portion seems adequate to support a 12” overhang.

It appears they may have built the soffit box to the wall while it was laying on the deck and dropped the rafters in after the wall with soffit was raised. We used to build the complete wall on the deck before raising it. (siding, windows, soffit, 8’ porch overhang, soffit vent, fascia, freeze board, caulk, etc.) This saved a lot of ladder and pick time. After the walls were up we just had to tie in the corners.

The only thing I may consider for your photo is some blocking to prevent racking.

Hope this helps.


Sorry about the font sizes. I don’t know what happened when I copied and pasted from word.

Thanks for the replies fellas.

As a closing thought, I referenced the 2003 IRC Secton R802.7.1 Sawn Lumber where it reads: “Notches at the ends of the member shall not exceed one-fourth the depth of the member.” Rafters are clearly over 25% notched at the ends. While I see that it may not be a problem with the full 3 1/2" resting on the top plate, I did previously write it up as overnotched and recommended further eval. & repairs by a licensed contractor.

Okay Larry, your post came after my last reply. What you sad makes perfect sense. Hey, the cut where the bearing is fine and the tail is not of concern. I will reassure the client that this is not a major issue, but a little blocking would not hurt either! :slight_smile: