Unsafe for 20 years yet still standing.

When I started learning to build homes back in 78 I had the pleasure to meet some very knowledgeable (and practical) carpenters and builders. While none of them were PE’s by any means they always knew how to account and distribute loads / forces exerted upon a home, especially roof loads.

Working with such people over the years, gleaning as much as possible, has given me a level head about what works (even outside the calculations) and what doesn’t.

One can easily cruise through this section of the forum and find inspectors getting all excited about purlins not in place, missing collar ties, etc…that’s not to say that those things are not important, they are, however I also believe that while things may not be be anywhere close to code…in many cases the structure is still standing after 50 years.

Recently while doing an insurance job with another GC & HI I have known for almost 20 years we came across a a “suspended roof / ceiling”.
The ceiling / roof has been like this for at least 20 years…yet it never fell in on the homeowner.

Look at the pictures and see how many things you find unacceptable today.

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…please little nails… please stay strong. :stuck_out_tongue:

Everything has its beginning and its end–that is its “lifespan”. No one knows how long anything will last, but it will eventually come to an end.

Hold your hands apart–about 3 feet. The right hand represents the “beginning” and the left hand represents the "end. That is the lifespan of any project.

Now slowly move the right hand toward the left–when the hands come together you have represented the end of the lifespan.

Now where, exactly are your hands–how far apart are they–in relation to the construction in your pictures?

I realize that this construction has held up without failing all this time…

but tomorrow is another day…

As long as the building envelope has not lost its integrity then a timber frame home should easily hit 100 plus years.

I believe the oldest wood framed home in America is the Fairbanks home in Ma (early 1600’s), yet in Switzerland they have a home that goes back to 1176, albeit in a bad state of deterioration.
I think the oldest masonry home would be the Traquair House in Scotland, which dates back to at least 1107, probably earlier.

William pretty much nailed it (no pun intended), it is amazing how much holding power a nail has when properly placed, around 200 pounds plus depending on the diameter of the nail, wood species and moisture content.

I remember about 25 years ago working on a fire rehab in Cincinnati where I was trying to pull what appeared to be a 20d from a home that was at least 50 years old…I had a brand new Vaugn 28 oz. wooden handle hammer… I ended up breaking my nose (and the wooden handle) getting that darn nail out…with blood dripping down my face I went back to my trusty Estwing and finally managed to get it.
I have never picked up a wooden hammer since. (laugh)

Anyone who’s ever had to demo a house can attest to how much one little nail in an inaccessible place will hold. Sometimes… a lot.

Impact loads or sudden peak loading like from winds gusts will sometimes be what breaks things loose if the fastening method is borderline.

Interestingly on this one, I am working with the claims adjuster to get more money to correct these many deficiencies even though they were not part of the initiated claim.
The adjuster informed me that many insurance policies allow for such conditions.

What is really a greater concern is the electrical service panel in the crawlspace where there was standing water at the time. The washer hose burst sending at least 2000 gallons through the home and into the crawlspace…the service panel is still wet inside.

The neighbor opened the crawlspace door where upon there was 2 ft of standing water in same…fortunately he did not try to shut off the power.

You can rest assure that I am documenting every conversation I have with the claims adjuster for my records…hopefully he can get the Insurance Company to come off the hip with more money…which may be challenging considering I had just replaced this same clients roof about 4 weeks ago because of hail damage.

The insurance company definitely did not make any money her this ladies premiums.