Rafter support

I’m getting some mixed opinions on this rafter support. It is loose and my thoughts are that it should be secured. A contractor has come in and told the agent that it doesn’t. Opinions?

shifted rafter support 5 (Small).jpg

shifted rafter support 5 (Small).jpg

shifted rafter support 2 (Small).jpg

shifted rafter support 5 (Small).jpg

shifted rafter support 1 (Small).jpg

shifted rafter support 3 (Small).jpg

shifted rafter support 4 (Small).jpg

Is there a matching one on the other side?

The knee wall needs to be evaluated by a master carpenter.
I think its over spanned and the knee wall was installed as a last minute effort to stiffen the rafter system.
Just my opinion.
I well wait for others.

Honestly, judging by the pics posted (which doesn’t tell me enough info) that board serves no structural purpose. I suspect it was used to support and position the built on-site rafters until the roof sheathing was applied. JMHO.

What Jeff said. Looks temporary to me.

Sometimes when you have a small framing crew you use techniques which allow you to support or hold framing members until you are ready to fasten the other end; often the support you simply leave in place. It looks like a low pitch roof with a small rafter span…probably less than 14 ft. I see no issue based upon the limited view of your pictures.


Plus…the collar ties help break the span a bit by resisting horizontal movement if a rafter tends to sag.

*Lets be hypothetical here.
Lets say the KNEE-WALLL LOOKING THINGY was put the to aid the crew in building the rafters.
The homes built now carrying live load and ( or dead )
Some heavy loads have moved that knee-wall looking thingy… Hmmmmm.
Looks like the system was not functioning and there is a problem that needs now evaluation.
Collar ties to stop spreading and the rafters are not over 24" OC.
Yes need more photos, but I really think a load it being placed on that deck and movement is evident.
Suspect. Roof Rafter deficiency.
**Recommend a engineer evaluate the roofing system.
*Not saying to put it in a report.
PS love to see more photos

Probably, it’s a semi-detached house

I agree that it may have been a temporary support and one contractor has said that that’s what it is. Another wants $1500 to fix it as he considered it a structural support. My concerns were what had caused it to be loose enough to move it with two fingers. Conceivably, it could fall right off the purlines at either end. I wish I had taken more pics but I thought I had enough for “evidence” of loose rafter support.

That in and of itself indicates that it was intended as temporary. Someone just forgot to pull it out before the siding went on.

Tip: most inspectors do great with the close-up of defects, but an overview shot is needed in most cases to get a view of the bigger picture. Remember, a home works as a system, not just an individual component.

I am just indicating as a home inspector your fiduciary responsibility is to the client.
If you do not know then protect them ( AND YOURSELF.)
It is evident everyone says more photos are needed.
All answering this thread have not been on site and rschade has come asking questions not being able to answer it himself.
To cover himself and the clients interest and not worry about being the ( deal killer ) an engineer or master Carpenter would evaluate a problem ( if there are any.)
Look at BC and the largest settlement agents a home inspector. I forget the association name off hand ( not ) but; It dealt with the exact same question we are discussing on this thread.
Rafters and roofing system. More the cost of repairing the system.
Home inspection is a profesional game to me.
Like playing bridge, when in doubt play your trump card. The engineer.
Thats just my take on it.

2 contractors with different opinions.
WOW that is as scarce as hens teeth.
You have just answered your own questions.
A expert is needed.
Contractors are generalists. ( my opinion )
They mostly sub( meaning they hire crews to work with them, and build new and rarely do repairs.( again my opinion ).
When one answers you they will charge xxx to fix the job there are not at ARMS LENGTH to the problem at hand.
Find an engineer and professionals that will aid you along your route of being a HI.
I am doing so now. I will not seek the opinion of GC.
I want a specific trades man that have done repair work. Problem solvers.
Best of luck. I have spent to much time here.


Not exactly! It was a poor call in which there was rot of floor joists evident and settlement of a foundation. The inspector (architecturally trained) gave an estimate of costs of repairs rather than calling for further evaluation!!

In this case, the HI has not claimed to see any other defect/s or problems (sagging /uneven roof, buckled shingles, cracked rafters) associated with this apparently “temporary support”. Therefore, it may be an overcall to refer out to a PE. We can carry codes tables and measuring tapes with us to determine that the attic framing here met the codes.

The more HI’s have to refer out to others for evaluation and not just estimates for repairs/upgrades, the more folks will wonder if we are really properly trained for this job!


From your first picture I see in the background several rafters have an individual vertical support attached. I appears there is a partition wall under those vertical supports up to the point where this beam starts. It indicates to me the room under this beam is an open area with no partition walls to brace to so this beam was installed to span this open area. Assuming the rafter spans and/or the roof loads require these rafters to have an intermediate support the problem is in the poor method of securing the rafters to the beam. In the picture below their method of attachment will cause the beam to rotate and pull out the nails as shown in your picture. The proper method of attachment would be to bevel the edge of the beam so full contact with the rafter can be made and add a 2x4 to prevent rotation.

Good info, Randy. I agree.

The HI did not mention anything you are stating Brian.
Do not jump the gun because of a few photos that are not well exampled and the lack of understanding by the HI.
My point exactly. Not enough experience.
His fiduciary responsibility is to the client.
Pass it on and next.

They will learn and so will you.
If the word was perfect Mr. MacNiech. we would have no need for you on the message board.:slight_smile:

1 That is your clam sir. You have not been introduced to all the evidence and yet you are ready to clam something unknown.

Right Brain!!!

2 . We are not code inspectors. You keep trying to write your own rules here.

3 Brian he has not claimed any such thing. He has come here asking for help. I see no mention of, sagging /uneven roof, buckled shingles, cracked rafters.

I will look again. I may be mistaken.
I see 5 photos and all one side of the rafter element in question, be it temporary or not. Be it a knee wall or not.
What I do see is an element in the roofing structure that has moved from its original setting. WHY is the question whether it be temporary or not. ( again to me. I want to know and go a bit further.)
Why is another factor.
A hypothesis by a professional has to be made in my opinion.
Not speculation from 5 photos.
They do not explain the element properly.
By doing a random call out on the MB is doing the client and the HI an injustice.
My opinion.

Brian, does that CAHPI inspector ring a bell here.
That one in BC that was taught all your requirements. Or the stiffer and more exacting requirements you want HI to strive for.

Teach them all you want Brian. They will forget without practice and not learn properly without examples like the one here.
That roofing question is not an easy question to answer for any home inspector.
Builders will be able to digest it better but if not you will spend a good hour plus on that one element.
Your first year is lost trying to sell your name and you are working another job at the same time unless you are rich…
Leaves little time to get a handle on the education you are forgetting daily… Right Brian?
InterNACHI makes the requirement that all members educate yearly.


Dude, you need to chill out! I swear some day you’re gonna have a heart attack right in front of us on the MB!

The OP asked for “opinions”, and offered minimal info with the pics, therefore, he wants opinions based upon minimal information.

That is what Brian (who was correcting your statement), myself and others offered, our opinions.

BTW… This is one of a few occassions that I agree with Brian, and I’m not expecting that to have any effect on your opinion.

Just sayin’!

Either that is a temporary brace that needs to be removed (because it might be transferring load to elements not intended to carry those loads over the long term) or it’s a permanent support that needs to be repaired. Someone knowledgeable with residential structural framing and load paths needs to make that call.

JMO & 2-Nickels … :wink:

Thank you for all your responses and opinions. They were all informative! I always appreciate the time that everyone takes to help each other out. I recommended a “qualified contractor” should address the rafter support. How the client or seller proceed is up to them and at the end of the day, I’ve addressed an anomaly and offered a solution. If it’s a structural support, it’s loose. If it’s a temporary support, it’s still loose. However, I’ve learned that I should take better photos although I really don’t crawl around in attics.:wink: