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cut truss


John Dirks Jr
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Hi John--

How often it's found isn't the issue. Improper truss mods aren't uncommon. In fact, dumb things are done every day somewhere in the country.

As you know, what you have pictured is wrong. Every member of an engineered truss is designed to function under either tension or compression. They have a job to do and they can't do that job if they aren't there. You've got at least 3 web sections that have been altered, if not completely removed. NO modifications should be made in the field. There are stairs designed to fit between the trusses; there is no reason to cut trusses to install a stair designed for a stick-framed home. Even if no horrible effects have resulted yet, you should call for an engineer's review. Go by his recommendations.

My experience says that he'll say (effectively) to rebuild the truss exactly as originally designed and replace the stair with a narrower one designed to fit between the trusses.

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Originally posted by Bain

All the time. You need to tell your client to have it reinforced, but in real time, it probably won't cause any problems. Unless, of course, the lower chord was damaged along with the web member. I can't be sure from the photo.

The lower chord for the cut truss would have run right through the hole there. I would say it is compromised. I wrote it up. I was just wondering how often it happens.

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Ditto to what you guys said. Any mods to trusses should be approved by the manufacturer or structural engineer.

Was that pulldown ladder in a garage or somewhere else in the home? Pulldown ladders with wooden covers don't belong in garages (attached) due to fire wall reasons.

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