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Old 07-29-2011, 02:27 PM   #1
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Broken Truss - Can I Fix It Myself?


I've read a couple of posts involving broken trusses and it sounds like they can be safely repaired. My situation may be a little different, in that the Top Chord and a Web member are both fractured where they join at the Truss Plate (picture attached).

I thought I may be able to sandwich the broken members between like size boards, securing them with construction adhesive and bolts or lag screws. My main concern is the Truss Plate.
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Old 07-29-2011, 02:45 PM   #2
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Broken Truss - Can I Fix It Myself?


I had an engineer spec out a repair like this before, I replaced the web and he had me sandwich and bolt the chord (bottom in my case).

How did this happen?

Andy.

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Old 07-29-2011, 02:52 PM   #3
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Broken Truss - Can I Fix It Myself?


I am in the process of buying this house - short sale. It is only 5 years old. I hired a home inspection company and this was discovered by them.
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Old 07-29-2011, 03:28 PM   #4
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Broken Truss - Can I Fix It Myself?


If you do this yourself and you sell the home later on, this will come back to haunt you. Negotiate the cost of getting an Engineer's fix in the house price.
You will have a paper trail that the fix was correct when the next inspector looks at it.
It could have come from a number of things. Like the delivery truck driver dumping them to the crane operator getting his sling/ball stuck in there.
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Old 07-29-2011, 04:14 PM   #5
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Broken Truss - Can I Fix It Myself?


I agree with previous post. Fixing trusses is a PITA, because hardly anyone in the DIY space has an air gun capable of installing the nail plate correctly. You don't just hammer the plate in, it requires a special machine. Simplest way to fix that truss is to remove it completely, and install another one. Get it negotiated either for the seller to do it, or give you an adequate credit so you can have it done.
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Old 07-29-2011, 05:23 PM   #6
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Broken Truss - Can I Fix It Myself?


Remove it completely? Are you kidding me? We have repaired trusses dozens of times. I do agree that you need an engineer to spec out the repair. scabbing 2x4's on both sides will never be the solution. Usually the repair involves a wide piece of plywood glued and nailed to both sides.
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Old 07-29-2011, 05:53 PM   #7
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Ahhh, the advantage of a short sale = $$, the disadvantage - the house is "as is'. does anybody have an idea of the cost to have an engineered fix: $200, $400, $600?

I sent the same question to a friend of mine that builds homes for a living. He suggested fixing it by taking "2 pieces of 1/2" plywood wide enough to cover all areas[ 18' x ?] glued and screwed to make a sandwich should work. Take out any sag first." I'll be the first one to admit he often goes by the "good enough" rule.
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Old 07-29-2011, 05:59 PM   #8
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Broken Truss - Can I Fix It Myself?


As I mentioned before, I have repaired dozens of these. Each one is different from the other. I bet if you took all the measurements and a few pictures, a local engineer would do it for $300.
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Old 07-29-2011, 06:19 PM   #9
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Broken Truss - Can I Fix It Myself?


I checked a local engineering co's website and spotted this picture under their "repair" section.
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Old 07-29-2011, 06:26 PM   #10
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Only problem is, that is not your truss. it may seem similar, but different trusses, different loads, different repairs. Sounds like you are convinced to go this alone. Good luck with that. Even with my 25 years of experience, I refuse to just wing it!
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Old 07-30-2011, 11:17 AM   #11
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You may look at who built the house and try to get them to help you being you said the house is only 5 years old, this could fall under the 10 year structual warrrenty period. If the builder is still in business I bet they would help. If not the truss will have a stamp on it from the manufacturer, usually on the bottom cord, hopefully they are still in business if not it will have the srtuctual information for the truss and you will be able to get a truss fix for the truss. Easy fix but if you don't get it fixed properly how are you going to sell the house later?
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Old 07-30-2011, 12:09 PM   #12
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I'd suggest hiring an engineer to evaluate the problem. There's no reason why you can't do the repair, if any. I can't say what an engineer would charge in your area but around here it'd cost about $350.00. You'll need to keep the paperwork from him as part of your deed. When you go to sell the property most likely the buyer will also hire an inspector who is going to find the obvious repair. That paperwork makes the issue go way quick. Look at it as cheap insurance.

I'd also suggest calling the builder. I doubt you'll get any where with it but you don't know if you don't try. As a secondary home owner, the builder is not going to extend much in the way of services. Builders that occasionally buy back homes move them to secondary owners so they can get out of the warranties. In a lot of states, the warranties do not transfer.
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Old 07-30-2011, 12:22 PM   #13
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Great idea! I'll check with the builder about the 10 year structural guarantee, as they are still in business and building homes in the same subdivision. Failing that, I've already contacted a truss engineering firm.
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Old 07-30-2011, 02:28 PM   #14
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As long as you get the right engineer, repairing a truss is a no-brainer. It's not that hard of a calculation, but there is a lot of judgement involved. And it's not that hard of a repair to accomplish in the field. Even reinforcing a truss for a higher load can be accomplished, as long as your engineer knows what he or she is doing.

And I agree that pressing on new plates in the field is a tough nut to crack if you don't know what you're doing or don't have the tool. There are easier ways to skin this cat using APA rated structural plywood.
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Old 07-30-2011, 05:22 PM   #15
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Broken Truss - Can I Fix It Myself?


I'd apply a plywood gusset on both sides of the framing members and leave it at that.

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