Residential Structural Design for Home Inspectors

This thread is dedicated exclusively for those students currently enrolled in the InterNACHI “Residential Structural Design for Home Inspectors” course located at

Students are free to pose questions and comments here and join in the conversation with other students. The thread will be monitored by the course instructor.

Contact: Director of Education, Ben Gromicko

Thank you.

looking for to the class.

Looking forward to the Structural Class.

Truss cut for installation of skylight. However, suspect repairs were approved by structural engineer? Still recommended truss repair be checked by structural engineer. Agree? Comments.

Attached is an example of an overframe dormer. A 2 X 8 plate is laid on the already sheathed truss roof. 2 X 6 stock is utilized as rafters with a 2 x 4 end rafter. The dormer appears to be non-functional, non-assessable, and decorative in nature. Also, note the Advantec Zip system roof sheathing.

Client Name: Bob Jones
Inspected Property Address: 1234 Anywhere, USA
Date and Time of the Inspection: 14 Feb 15 at 2:00 p.m.
Weather Conditions: Snowing. Air Temperature 5 degrees Fahrenheit

The home was built in 1987, and consists of a single family residential dwelling; raised ranch. Approximately 25’ X 40’ with a full basement with egress means via a Bulkhead Door. No people where present during the duration of the inspection.
Inspection Completed by:
Mountain View Inspections
Guy Pilla
(603) 986-3039
186 Mountain View Road
Fryeburg, ME 04037
Basement, Foundation, Crawlspace, & Structure Inspection:
I inspected the foundation.
I inspected the basement.
I inspected the structural components that were visible or assessable by non-intrusive methods.
The type of foundation can be described as a poured concrete with a full basement. And can be assessed from both the interior and exterior. The home is conventionally platform framed (2X4; 16 inches on center) with a truss roof (24 inches on center). The twelve foot 2X10 floor joists sit on top of a 4 ply 2 X 12 built-up girder that is supported by lally columns. The sub-floor consists of ½ plywood and a finished floor of 1 X 8 tongue and groove pine laid perpendicular to the floor joists. The interiors walls and ceiling are covered by ½ sheet rock. The exterior walls are cladded with standard double-four boxed vinyl siding with white aluminum on the fascia and rakes. It has a closed ventilated soffit (12inches) and a ventilated ridge. The roof sheathing consists of ½ 4X8 sheet of plywood with H-clips. The roofing material consists of 3 tab asphalt strip shingles.
I observed the following material and functional defects:
I saw a number cutting and notching of the floor joists in the top and bottom cord. There appears to be no indication of structural failure. It is recommended that the framing be inspected by a contractor to determine if any action is needed. See attached documentation.
I saw evidence of active water penetration by stain marks and large cotton towels on the basement slab floor. I observed two cracks in the foundation that run from the top of the foundation to the basement slab. The cracks have been attempted to be repaired by what appears to be Hydraulic cement. It does not look like the cracks are active in that there appears to be no increase in separation. I could not determine to what extent that the water intrudes. See attached documentation.
I saw evidence of improper installation of joist hangers. With several hangers missing fasteners and at least one hanger with improperly sized fasteners. It is recommended that a Contractor be hired to correct this matter. See attached documentation.
Cosmetic Defects:
The vinyl window grille trim located on the rear-entry door is broken.
The vinyl ventilated soffits are not level or perpendicular with the exterior wall.
Several pieces of the vinyl siding have small cracks as if it were hit by something, including one corner board.
It is recommended that an additional layer of insulation be installed in the attic space perpendicular to the bottom cord of the trusses to prevent/reduce thermal bridging.

This report format was adapted from the InterNACHI Home Inspection Report Checklist.

As a requirement to finish this course, I read H-Clips for Inspectors and Collar Ties vs. Rafter Ties.

Comments on H-Clips: Might save on material but not on installation labor.

Comments on Collar Ties vs. Rafter Ties:

The following statement is taken from the article:

The bottom chord of a truss should not be attached to an interior wall partition. Attaching the bottom chord of a truss to an inside wall can cause the web members designed for tension to become compression members. When the bottom chord is nailed to a top plate of an interior wall, a home inspector might observe cracking interior finishes at the corner of the finished wall and ceiling.

So you just float the interior partition floats. At the risk of getting egg on my face, I have never heard of or seen any such practices in my last 14 years of building. In most cases I been a party to the top plates have been mechanically fastened that run perpendicular to the bottom chords and the top plates for partitions that are running parallel are nailed into blocking that was in between the bottom chords of the two adjacent trusses.

Any thoughts or guidance?

Good evening all,
I am posting a picture recently taken of a front porch in Salinas, California. The main problem I found here is the rotted decking at the outside of the porch uncovered or protected by the porch roof. The major problem is the decking used is tungue and groove and allow no water to pass through and off the deck so it just sits and rots and all structure below was rotted as a result of this mistake or misfortune.

I just read the artical on " A caution on using XRF alone for using the identification of problem drywall."
I have never heard of this problem and don’t know exactly how to use XRF. It appears that Chineese drywall may be a “problem drywall”. Am I correct in this? If so, aren’t these “problem drywall” products tested or inspected before they get to the consumer. The artical does not seem to put “alerts” into place at this time or am I not paying attention. Is this an old problem like lead in paint or asbestos? Is this something a specialty inspection may be required? Older homes?
Just not sure where to go with this info.
Gary Ambrosia

I just read the article on “Bump Keys”
I’m not a burglar so I have never heard of them. It is so easy to use. I will be glad to inform my family, friend and clients about better locks and security.

attached is the inspection report per the requirement of the course

Inspection Report:

Client name: Crissy McFadden

Inspected property address: 1114 Piedmont Ave

Date and time of the inspection: 02/18/15 12:45 PM

Weather conditions: Partly cloudy

Approximate outdoor air temperature: 66

People present at the time of the inspection: Inspector Gary Ambrosia

Estimated year built: 1966

Type of structure inspected: Single story single family dwelling

Company name: Ambrosia Inspection Services

Inspector name: Gary Ambrosia

Company phone: 831-402-2398

Company email:

Company address: 1114 Piedmont Ave., Pacific Grove, CA 93950


The type of foundation can be described as:
x crawlspace
concrete block
poured concrete


The location of the access to the under-*‐floor space is foundation wall access door.


x I saw evidence of wood in contact with or near soil. Correction is needed.

       I saw evidence of active water penetration. Correction is needed.

x I saw evidence of possible foundation movement, such as sheetrock cracks, brick cracks, out-‐of-‐square door frames, and unlevel floors. Correction is needed.

       I saw evidence of cutting, notching and boring of framing members that may, in my opinion, present a structural or safety concern. Correction is needed.

       I saw evidence of a material defect. Correction is needed.

       I saw evidence of a functional defect. Correction is needed.

       I saw evidence of a cosmetic defect.




Hello Everyone,
I just wanted to share a picture of some structural log rafters in a home that I built using post and beam type construction.

                                                                               Thank you


I did read two articles in the Library, pertaining to indoor air quality.

The first: Central Humidifiers. We have one installed in our home, and although we have known that adjustments do need to be made by us regularly as far as amount of humidity is needed, further inspection and perhaps annual part replacement may be needed for our model.

The second: Homeowner Maintenance: Changing the HVAC Filter. As a person with allergies, and one that does replace our HVAC filters in all of homes on a monthly basis, it is a relief to know that we are not replacing the filters more than recommended.

The articles, and this course, have given me great information not only for myself, also clients present and future.

i’m guessing like many other Internachi courses this one will be very informative

Just read the article about home inspection tools and the article about inspecting dryer vents. Good articles to read.

Hello, This is a picture of some structural framing on a log home we built a few years ago.

Misplaced H clip

Just read - IR Cameras Inspecting for Moisture Intrusion, IR Cameras Inspecting for Air Leaks, and Moistue Intrusion. All great reads.

The two articles I chose to read were : 10 ways to save energy in your home and mostiure intrusion.

In the first article it amazes me to find some of methods that don’t cost anything when saving energy. Such as closing curtains over windows at night or making sure your fridge\freezer is away from heated applicences like dishwashers and stoves. These are common sense ideas that I feel most homeowner’s would overlook.

The second article shows many different ways moisture intrusion can harm your house and your health. Being a home inspector means knowing of the many factors when it comes to moisture intrusion and the damages it can cause. Helping our clients pinpoint the problem will make the control of the mostiure a little easier to understand.

Read “bed bugs”, “bat infestation”, and “bat houses” I recommend checking out “bat houses” they look really good. :wink: also recommend owning one or two.