Would you write this up?

See anything wrong?

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Yeah, that one will need to be written up.

“Scrap carpet is a trip hazard. Recommend repair by a competent person.” Like that?

It took me a minute but then I realized that they would need to cut the bottom cord on all of those trusses to install the pull down stairs.

You win. I nearly missed it myself when I was in the attic. Only caught it as I was getting ready to exit.

Here’s a better view.

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And here’s the detached garage.

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Yes Joe I noticed the chords being modified, but with a different view it looks like who ever did it, did a great job in framing it out.
I personally dont see one chord as a major deal. Especially seeing they are spliced anyway.

I would make note of it to CYA but I would not have any concerns myself.


That is two different pull down stairs. It appears that they cut 3 or 4 trusses.

OK now I see. In that case it would be several and then that wouldn’t jive

Are you an engineer? If not, you should be referring it to one, as they are the only ones competent to make that judgment.

Once again Joe you want to throw the engineer card out there.

The one with 3 or 4 trusses cut, sure I could see it being an issue.

The one with one chord cut??? If that was conventianal framing would it be an issue? I think calling a structural engineer for one cut truss is both foolish and ignorant. (this is a general statement and not directed to you specifically)

Those trusses are spliced in the center anyway. I think calling for an engineer is a waste of your clients money and it shows ignorance in many cases. Its one truss in a garage, come on!

Whats the engineer going to say, fix it? I would think consulting the truss manufacturers would be a more logical answer then a general structural engineer.

I didn’t make it up. When your client sells and the next home inspector refers it to an engineer, I expect your client may be a little upset with you for taking it so lightly.

“2006 & 2009 IRC R502.11.3
Alterations to trusses. Truss members and components
shall not be cut, notched, spliced or otherwise altered in
any way without the approval of a registered design professional.

Alterations resulting in the addition of load (e.g., HVAC
equipment,water heater, etc.), that exceed the design load for the
truss, shall not be permitted without verification that the truss is
capable of supporting the additional loading.”

I didn’t say I wouldn’t write it up, and I know and would also tell the client that they are not supposed to be cut. But you know as well as I do if a repair was to be made by an engineer, it would be done in some manner of this nature. No one is going to replace the whole truss.

I want you to answer my question… If that was a coventional framing, would you write it up??

The house stairs, yes. The header joist was > 4 feet and should be doubled.

The garage stairs, no.

But you miss the point. standard joists are not engineered members. A truss is engineered to distribute a load in a certain manner. You cannot cut it without consideration of how the load carrying capability is affected. Only an engineer can perform that calculation.

At a minimum, an engineer would consider the amount and type of fasteners used in the splicing. You are not capable of that. Sad, but true.

The bottom line is that an engineer must bless it because the code says so. If you fail to make that a significant issue in your report, you are going to get your client in hot water when they are on the selling end.

I called out one cut truss and recommended the item be evaluated and repairs recommended by a SE. He issued a 3 page report that specified:

  1. The current measurements including the specific dimensions of the length of the chord, the cut measurement points, size and number of fasteners and the current repair.

  2. He then called out the fix that gave specific dimensions of the two boards required for repairing the structural defect, the required position of those boards as well as the size of nails and a specific nailing pattern by dimension.

It was no easy fix, and when I was called back at an additional fee to determine if the builder had repaired according to the SE diagram and instructions, I found they hadn’t. The boards they used were the wrong length, the nails were the wrong size and they were not in the required positions. I reported the findings, the builder whined and complained and then made the repairs that I had to inspect once again at an additional fee.

This was one chord in the middle of the roofing field. The truss companies around here do not have engineers on staff. They have design programs and known measurements that have been approved by engineers or they manufacture them to an architects specific measurements. To say that Joe Blow working the machines at the truss factory is more than capable to ascertain the required fix, would the the only foolish and ignorant thing.

It is not my place to say it’s not a big deal. It is to observe and report with the proper language and let the client decide.

I called out one cut truss today also. Trusses are engineered specifically for an aplication. One cut truss could be a risk. Completely agree with calling out a SE on one cut truss.

Where did Sean go? Come back Sean! :wink:

Nothing a good Contractor can’t fix Joe.:mrgreen:

I would note it in my reports, but recommend a Contractor experienced in truss repairs to repair properly.

I have repaired many trussess on Commercial Jobs with the direction of the engineer. It is all about CYA, the contractor, architect don’t want the liability, so the engineer excepts it with a price tag.

For residential such as this, hell, it was probably approved like that when built.


If a bearing wall is available for each segment of the bottom chord, that was cut, each segment can usually be supported on a wall.

However, some reinforcement of the truss may be required, such as installing a new 2x4 or 2x6 against the bottom chord.
New web members may also be required, with adequate connections made with plywood gussets and either nails or wood screws and construction adhesive. :slight_smile:


Joe, I never said I would not write it up, and I am fully aware that any truss is an engineered. Cutting one would by all standards warrent the repair engineered.

My point is that if your personally (Joe) were buying this house, and 1 truss was cut in a garage, would you spend $400 buck of your own money to have it evaluated and have an engineered repair made?

If you say yes your full of crap. If you have enough building knowledge (or any good framer for that matter) then you should be able to make the repair that should suffice. I have never seen a garage roof fail from one cut truss that has been repaired. If you have then send me some pictures and I will shut up. If that were my home and they wanted to walk because of this then I would tell them to go pack sand. I also understand that all buyers don’t comprehend this, and telling them they need a stuctural engineer is going to scare anyone… Letting them know the resoning behind the call and then expaining to them that the roof will not fall down is a better way to do business.

For the record. I am fully aware that i should recommend a SE to evaluate!!!

But in past situations the buyers don’t seem to be concerned especially when there are interior walls that help with load. Every situation is different and every buyer and seller are different.

3 and 4 cut trusses then you could have an issue.