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Ben74 04-05-2012 11:47 AM

Wavy and Uneven Roof
4 Attachment(s)
Hi everyone,

I found this site and hope someone can help. My wife and I are almost ready to close on a lakefront cabin that was built in 2004. We had a home inspection a few days ago and the inspector has some concerns about the roof. Here are a couple of comments from the inspector's report:
Eves are sagging, structure appears inadequate. Most notable at roof eves near gable ends of the roof, Technical inspection recommended.

I've attached a few pictures taken by the inspector. We've had two conflicting opinions on the problem. A general contractor/builder looked at it and just didn't know how significant the problem is without taking a lot of time taking things apart to get a better look. A truss specialist (engineer maybe?) took apart some of the soffit or fascia and said that everything appears to be structurally sound. He didn't see any nail pops or anything else that would lead him to believe the house is shifting or moving. His opinion is that it was originally poor workmanship and is only a cosmetic problem.

Does anyone here have any suggestions or advice for me? Thanks!


Ironlight 04-05-2012 12:24 PM

The only way poor workmanship is responsible for that is if the roof sheathing is too thin or is assembled in pieces close to the gable in a way that does not give it enough structural rigidity.

Do you get a lot of snow in this area? That could explain the sagging over the fairly short period of 8 years.

We have a similar but slightly more severe deformation on our house which dates from 1925. The roof sheathing is 1x4, and for some odd reason much of the gable overhang consists of boards that end at at the first rafter, giving the gable very little support other than the corbels that seem to hold it up.

I'm hesitant to render an opinion on what sort of prognosis you can expect. Eight years is perhaps long enough to write this off as settling that will not present future problems, but it's difficult to say for sure.

Windows on Wash 04-05-2012 12:53 PM


Tough to comment on those picture alone.

Looks like the sag is largely in that overhang and doesn't show any further in the deck.

bcdemon 04-06-2012 08:19 AM

Could be weak construction in your overhang ladder.
Do you have aluminum soffits or is it T&G wood?

joecaption 04-06-2012 11:21 AM
Was the roof framed like this? Or was there just what looks like ladders nailed to the outside walls?
If it's just ladders, there's the reason it's tipping.

Daniel Holzman 04-06-2012 01:40 PM

You have had two people out to offer an opinion, plus the inspector who visited the site. I presume you paid the people who did the inspections, and received a written report. All you can possibly get from an internet chat forum are additional opinions, obviously without benefit of a site investigation, which can only confuse you further. My recommendation is to go back to the party you have the most confidence in, and ask them for a written opinion about the reason for the problem, the options for repair, and a cost estimate if you feel that is necessary. Of course you should expect to pay them for their additional time and effort to perform this service, but you simply cannot get a useful answer in this case from an on line forum.

Ben74 04-07-2012 09:30 PM

Thanks to everyone for the helpful posts and advice. I know that it's very difficult to diagnose a problem like this with pictures in an internet forum.

It sounds like the overhang ladders were not properly attached to the house and don't have sufficient support, which is causing the sagging. I've been told that if that is the case, then it shouldn't be too big of a job to square them up and then add braces for support.

We are hoping to get a structural engineer to come to the property and give us a detailed diagnosis of the problems along with suggestions and estimates for repair. Does anyone have any experience working with a structural engineer? Would they be the best option for diagnosing any of these types of problems?

Thanks again!


gregzoll 04-07-2012 10:51 PM

The home inspector is an idiot, which most are. This economy has allowed the kid flipping burgers or making your fries at the local fast food joint become a home inspector. Along with a lot of trades got in, due to they lost their business or job, and since banks, etc have a whole lot of inventory, every Tom, Dick, and Bubba got into being a HI, due to there is money to be made in riping people off.

Sorry to say this, but Home Inspection is becoming the next Snake Oil, next to Radon testing.

The only real way to tell if it is coming loose, is to remove the soffit and inspect to tell if the ladders are coming loose. Along with getting a roofer up there to inspect the decking from underneath and such.

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