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Homemade Attic Trusses


randynavarro
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In old houses (40s and earlier) I frequently see 2x4 rafters and other strange framing. If it looks original and is performing, I simply report what I see and state it doesn't meet current standards, but has withstood the test of time. I'm not about to recommend an engineer or repairs on something that has been working for over 60 years.

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Originally posted by Paul MacLean

In old houses (40s and earlier) I frequently see 2x4 rafters and other strange framing. If it looks original and is performing, I simply report what I see and state it doesn't meet current standards, but has withstood the test of time. I'm not about to recommend an engineer or repairs on something that has been working for over 60 years.

Agreed, I see old houses here all the time with the roofs framed with 24ft. long 2 by 4's on 24-inch centers that were framed up in the very early 1900's.

Most are sagging several inches at mid-span - either from old age or the accumulated weight of several layers of roofing. That type of construction probably includes about 80% of the housing stock in the city of Seattle, so I don't call them until I find one or more rafters fractured, which is pretty rare.

That's another subject though. I was just looking at the slots in those diagonal braces and it looked to me like one could probably unbolt that shorter strut on the outboard side, loosen that big clamping nut and then shorten that diagonal brace to partially collaps the roof.

Maybe I'm just not seeing enough of these. A wider establishing shot would have helped to understand it better.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I certainly didn't call this out as a defect. I thought it was a fun discovery and anyway, who am I to say its bad and / or needs further evalution when its been working for 60 + years.

Just hadn't come across anything like it.

Mike, your idea of a collapsible configuration might work, but I certainly couldn't see how. There was too much nailing and 'permanent' type members to be collapsible. It was bolted to a poured concrete foundation in the traditional manner. Also, those photos are pretty much the widest I have. I just stood in the scuttle hatch with my head poking through and my camera was on the widest angle(I think its the equivalent of 35mm or so).

Anyway, just thought they were cool. A lot of work went into for not much benefit. I could easily see an old-time Boeing engineer that just had too much time on his hands and engineered his own roof system.

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Originally posted by hausdok

Tsk, Tsk

Well I guess I must clarify for sake of my reputation. . .

This was an REO property (Real Estate Owned) that is in foreclosure. The place was thrashed - you know, all the cabinets ripped out of the kitchen, flora and fauna growing out of the one bathroom etc. etc.. I perform a handful of these walk thru-type inspections for an investment company every year. They will be gutting the place and re-furbishing and flipping. They just call me in to give 'em a rough verbal report of the more 'major' components they may have overlooked. No written reports, no paperwork, just giving 'em my two cents (for a small fee [:D]). Therefore, I just do basic visual stuff. I do suit up and perform a good crawl space inspection however.

So there. Thus the reason for only the quick peek in the attic.

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