Wall cracking / roof rafter pulls

Looked at a home yesterday built in 2001, slab on grade. Rectangular shaped slab, 1400 s/f. Gable roof. Brick veneer exterior extended thru the gable on both ends.

On both gable ends, there was stairstep cracking of the brick veneer from the soffit near the front of home, back and down toward the mid point of the home. One crack went to a framed window, the other to foundation level.

All 4 corners of foundation had corner cracks.

Two of the corners, the foundation corner crack also extended up into the first 3 rows of brick.

Soil level was low around home. Bottom edge of slab showed in various places where form board ended. Water could run under when rainy.

Many of doorways on interior showed cracking at the upper corners.

In the attic, the rafters had gapped at the ridge. 2x6 ridge, 2x6 roof rafter, OSB decking, shingle roof

I didn’t see any other cracking on the foundation (other than the corners).

It seemed to me that the front of the house had movement down, the back was stable, and the cracking showed it pulling apart near the front on the side walls. ??

The real question here - would it have caused the rafters to gap from the ridge, or consider that poor carpenter- work?

Thanks for all opinions,






Hi Linda,

my gut feeling is that the roof framing is spreading pushing out the exterior walls, I think I would be defering that to a structural engineer for further evaluation, I sure don’t like the look of that attic framing.




The attic framing wasn’t great. 2x6 roof rafters, ceiling joists; 2x4 purlins and supports. The 2x4 ridge support was different, too.

The purlin braces toward the front of home - angle was wrong.

The rear rafters had purlin for part of the length, rafter braces only for the rest.

Thank you,



Hi Linda,

With just those pics I’d guess settlement issues in the foundation but I could be wrong. But clearly some issue and just as clearly it’s engineer time. The gables generally don’t experience tremendous spread even if the roof is inadequately built. I have been known to use a level to see if the walls are being pushed out of plumb. If they are pushing you should also likely see evidence of a sagging ridge.

The way they have it braced, I would rule out the framing as an issue…you would see it on the exterior walls where the rafters are tied, not necessarily the gable.

The purlins are wrong however they may be adequate as it appears the spans are not that great. I think the rafter lengths were simply cut short by 3/16 or less.

It looks like they have thermoply (or foiled stryrofoam board) at the gable of which
may not have brick ties on same.

It looks like you also have an open junction box in the attic.

Well, I refered to a structural engineer and am curious what his thoughts will be.

The front of house faced north, and all drywall cracking over doors was from walls positioned north / south. Exterior brick cracked walls were N/S.

Thanks for all the thoughts.