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Old 04-13-2012, 09:09 AM   #1
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Notching Roof Rafters to Headers


We are changing our flat roofs to peaked ones. The new roof will start at the back of the house go up to a peak and then down to rest on the entrance header to the kitchen.

I noticed that the "lumber" (don't know whether to call them joists or rafters) comes down from the peak and they had to notch it. The first two are pretty close, but the others have progressively larger gaps. This does not seem logical to me because of the weight they have to bear. I think an important oversite and need an experts advice before I pay them the next payment. I really think they measured them all at the same time and not individually; therefore the gaps. I pointed this out and they said that they would fix it.

I trusted them up to this point, but I feel they are taking short cuts. They were warned several times that the house was built in 1948 and there are areas that are not square.

Other than taking them off and putting new ones up, what type of fixes are there or should they be taken off. I have attached 3 photos.
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Notching Roof Rafters to Headers-connectingjoistgaps-small.jpg   Notching Roof Rafters to Headers-connectingjoistgap-area03813.jpg   Notching Roof Rafters to Headers-roofline-kitchen-small03774.jpg  


Last edited by dabelms; 04-13-2012 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:16 AM   #2
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Notching Roof Rafters to Headers


You may well be correct that they cut all the rafters at the same time, without specifically measuring for the correct notch location for each specific rafter. Regardless, the gap will presumably not be visible once the ceiling goes on. Is your concern that you have lost confidence in the framers, or do you believe there is a structural problem with the gaps, or is your concern that if the framers do not measure precisely in this instance, they may not measure precisely elsewhere? In this instance, I do not see any structural significance to the gap, the notch is well within normal tolerance for a rafter over a top plate, but perhaps some of the framers on this site have opinions as to the expertise demonstrated by the notching technique.

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Old 04-13-2012, 10:30 AM   #3
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Notching Roof Rafters to Headers


My main concern was the structual intregrity of having these beams where it would cause problems. I did not know there was a tolerance. You have put my mind at ease, because what will go wrong will, with us.

There was a 2 bedroom addition to the house when we bought it and many years later when I stepped into the back hall I noticed the bedroom door and floor was slanted down. Turns out the pevious owner (did the work themselves) did not attach the new part to the original house correctly and it was in danger of coming apart. We had to get a structual engineer and reinforce it. So when I saw this, I got worried.

We are trying to make our home maintenance free for our senior years. and when the flat rubber roofs were leaking, this was the only viable solution. It took us 2 years from architect to construction to get this project going with many pitfalls along the way, so I am even more cautious after this incident and take pictures of everything while trying to keep out of their way.

I really appreciate your replying to me so quickly. Thank you again for providing this very valuable service
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:17 PM   #4
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Notching Roof Rafters to Headers


It will be fine. The structural element is the on top of the not in front of it.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:30 PM   #5
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Notching Roof Rafters to Headers


Has anyone pulled a string to see if the wall is straight?
In my area we have to install these when attaching rafters to the top plates.
http://www.strongtie.com/ftp/catalog...09.pdf#page=21
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:45 PM   #6
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Notching Roof Rafters to Headers


Those gaps will probably cause you no problem. You can ask them to cut some wood to fill the gaps and put a couple nails in it. As long as tha rafters are nailed to the top plate of the wall, and the wall is somehow tied into the rest of the structure, you will be OK. This is just one of the things you run into when remodeling older structures. I hope they intend to use the exterior sheathing to tie the new wall to the old wall also. That will help stiffen the new construction.
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:55 PM   #7
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Notching Roof Rafters to Headers


I agree though that it's sloppy and I get why you are concerned. Just calmly discuss it with your GC and see where it goes. Sometimes just knowing that the work is being examined is enough. If not though, you can run it past the inspector when your framing is inspected. This job has permits right?
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joed View Post
It will be fine. The structural element is the on top of the not in front of it.
Thank you Joed. I am learning so much from this project. The architect made so many errors, I actually learned how to read the plans. It took them from April to August to give me a good set, but when it was done, it took only 3 days to get township approval.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:14 PM   #9
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Notching Roof Rafters to Headers


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Has anyone pulled a string to see if the wall is straight?
In my area we have to install these when attaching rafters to the top plates.
http://www.strongtie.com/ftp/catalog...09.pdf#page=21
No, they did not pull a string, but after my polite inquiry, they put sheathing on the front and did some other things. I don't think they know about the tolerances. Thank you for the link, I really appreciate it and will hand it to them and see what happens.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:28 PM   #10
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Notching Roof Rafters to Headers


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Originally Posted by Evstarr View Post
I agree though that it's sloppy and I get why you are concerned. Just calmly discuss it with your GC and see where it goes. Sometimes just knowing that the work is being examined is enough. If not though, you can run it past the inspector when your framing is inspected. This job has permits right?
Yes, it has permits. I have to call the township to see when they are suppose to come out, because it is suspicious. My logic is that they should have had the inspector come out when the framing was finished and before the sheathing and tyvex went on. Now he'll have to use a flashlight and crawl in through the dormer.

Knowing I am looking at the work won't help. They know what happened when I fired the consultant and you should hear the excuses. I am keeping it pleasant so far but it is getting harder. Thank you for taking the time out to help.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:30 PM   #11
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Notching Roof Rafters to Headers


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Those gaps will probably cause you no problem. You can ask them to cut some wood to fill the gaps and put a couple nails in it. As long as tha rafters are nailed to the top plate of the wall, and the wall is somehow tied into the rest of the structure, you will be OK. This is just one of the things you run into when remodeling older structures. I hope they intend to use the exterior sheathing to tie the new wall to the old wall also. That will help stiffen the new construction.
Thank you. They did.
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:01 PM   #12
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Notching Roof Rafters to Headers


the gap that your worried about isnt important, you mentioned that they are framing off of the existing which isn't square.. that gap is simply showing it..

the cut you are looking at is called a birdsmouth. the vertical cut of it is known as the "heel" where it laps down over the plate.. all that gap is telling me is that the horizontal distance from the plate to where the ridge is has gotten smaller do to the building being out of square. the heel cut isn't structural. the only cut that has to be on is the "seat cut" where the rafter sits down on top of the top plate.. if this varies the roof wont be flat meaning the sheathing will be wavy in turn showing up in the shingles
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:54 PM   #13
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Notching Roof Rafters to Headers


The heel material- above the seat (level) cut from the plumb cut (vertical) toward the inside, wants to be sitting on the wall- not inside the wall at all; pp. 38- http://books.google.com/books?id=iwS...rafter&f=false

The air space shows the rafter tails were all cut the same on the ground- as said, laid-out from the tail (fascia) end as some only span to the dormer. The gap tells me the tails are not equal distance from the building line (new wall above). You won't see the difference from below unless using some (perpendicular lined) soffit material that will accent the framing discrepancy. The fly rafter (gable) has a sag in the middle when sighted end-to-end (peak to ridge), but most people won't see it.
The dormer window sill appears very close to the roof below for any kind of trim there. Holding a straight-edge in front of the computer picture- the rater tail plumb-cut (length) appears an inch higher than the tripled rafter on the dormer side, they can re-cut them equal-if they care.
The right side fascia board of the dormer appears the gable end is too short creating a "bow" to it from end-to-end. (Could be optical, my eyes aren't what they used to be).That would explain the gable fly center dip--- really it may be the tail (fascia) end is too high.
Either the upper, (installed) sub-fascia matches the siding below is out of level---- or - the left side siding is out of level. The latter, I think, because the rafter tails match the right side siding level line also. None is of any concern other than the window sill.

Gary

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