Repairing the roof truss

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I hired the AC tech to replace my AC system which included a new condenser unit outside and a new handler up in the attic along with new drain line and drain pan etc...The old air handler had to be removed and disposed of.
The AC tech told me the new air handler will fit in the same space. I specifically told him to make sure the unit he orders will fit and I don't want to have to cut any rafters, and when they were done, they cut two of my rafters out!!! I asked him and he said it had to be done or else it wouldn't fit. So I had to figure out a way to fix what he did.
This is what the two members used to look like, the piece that goes from the joist to the roof rafter. See the image:
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w67/143house/framing/P1020494A.jpg
In order to fix this, I remove the left over pieces he cut from the bottom and top connection. Took me a long time because there are plates with hundreds of teeth biting into several pieces of framing at the same time, there was not enough elbow room to work or get leverage so it took me a long time. Once I got them out, I replaced them with a piece going from the bottom to the top only at a steeper angle, then I ran another piece from there to the high point. So basically replacing one member with two. Here are the photos:
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w67/143house/framing/P1020491.jpg
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w67/143house/framing/P1020495.jpg
Will this work? I think it should but want to double check.
Also, the metal piece the bites into these wood took a long time to pull out, a few pieces I cannot pull out but managed to "bend" backwards to let loose the piece of wood. Is there a tool to remove these metal plates? I was up there almost 4 hours just prying the plates out.
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w67/143house/framing/P1020490.jpg
Thanks,
MC
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I'm not a structural engineer, but it looks OK to me. Those things are over engineered because idiots like your AC guys will cut them once in a while but moving the load to a different point should not be a problem. I'd have done it pretty much the same way, give or take an inch.
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<snip>

You might want to apply generous plywood gussets using screws and liquid nails to both sides of those joints where those new webs meet the rafters to replace the nail plates you removed.
When I worked on a truss shop we used a tool similar to this to peel off gang nail plates when necessary.
http://www.horseshoes.net/mfc/nippers.asp
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What he has done is nothing but bad news. If I were buying your house I would ask for a stamped PE's (professional Engineer) statement that says the repair is approved. If I were a home inspector, in my report to the potential buyer it would say something to the effect of "Trusses have been modified. Request from buyer a stamped copy of PE's statement approving changes/modifications".
Somewhere along the line that's gonna happen to some seller of that house. It's just a matter of who is holding the bag. As a buyer, I don't wanna be the one.
You cannot just change trusses. Every piece of a truss has an effect on the others. Most trusses can be repaired but before anything you have to have a PE's statement approving it. This is not just some PITA rule. The weight of the entire roof and anything that's ever on it is on those trusses and transfered to the outer walls. Repairs and changes are often done with gussets. The geometry, specs, placement and even screw spacing and type are part of the PE's statement.
The reason those plates are hard to pull out is so that they don't pull out. They are put in by hydraulic presses to apply an even calculated pressure that is part of the overall geometry of stresses and loads of the truss. Even the lumber used is part of the calculation, i.e, SYP, SPF, No 1,2 or 3, cord & web widths.
What you have done may be fine but you will need to show many buyers a PE's statemnt that says so...and any buyer that gets a home inspection. Personally, I would go after the bastard for altering a significant structural component of your home. They may or may not have needed a permit to do the HVAC work but I bet a permit is required to modify trusses. Did they get one? The the inspector sign off on it?
As a buyer I might hear yadda yadda yadda from the seller and much of it good convincing info. When the seller was done I'd say, "Great! Show me the approved PE's statement stamped".
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Like he said. Read what he wrote again so it sinks in.
Your AC guy bent you over a chair and had his way with you. You can't arbitrarily change truss members. Truss connections are at least as important as the truss member sizes. That diagonal element may be called on to take compression or _tension_ loads. What you did does nothing for tension loads. Another poster recommended plywood gussets, and that would be a big help if done correctly, but you are Rube Goldberging a solution to an equation you don't understand.
You have _no_ choice but to have an engineer design the solution and then build what he indicates and have him sign off. That could easily cost as much as your AC guy's profit - or more.
R
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I'd have to agree with Red Green's & Rico's comments ....
have a PE bless your fix (with any necessary mods) or design an alternative.
My guess it will be plywood gussets & staples.
btw the reason those truss plates are hard to remove is that they're not intended to be removed.....there is no tool. I would use a 4" grinder with really coarse sanding disk to burn off the plates and then just plywood gusset over the joint.
Truss members are meant to meet at a single point of action so that member loads are dominately axial in nature.
cheers Bob
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wrote

I'd have to agree with Red Green's & Rico's comments ....
have a PE bless your fix (with any necessary mods) or design an alternative.
My guess it will be plywood gussets & staples.
btw the reason those truss plates are hard to remove is that they're not intended to be removed.....there is no tool. I would use a 4" grinder with really coarse sanding disk to burn off the plates and then just plywood gusset over the joint.
Truss members are meant to meet at a single point of action so that member loads are dominately axial in nature.
cheers Bob
OK, I have to dig out some old structures book and study them. I did have some classes on trusses, plates and shells in college, long time ago and don't remember anything.
Monday, I will walk next door to the bridge department and ask those PhD what I need to do.
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BobK207 wrote:

And resorcinol glue. The repair in the pictures looks good to me, but you should have put a jack under the top member(looks like a rafter) to take some of the weight of the roof while you replaced the brace -- so the brace is preloaded like on the unmolested trusses. I've had to repair a defective truss and that's how I did it before I nailed/glued the sister boards. This was just a garage, but I did contact the truss maker and one of their P.E. sent me some paperwork. I did the same thing to fix broken rafters in a big tool shed, but that wasn't a truss so the certification didn't matter.
Two consecutive trusses?? I'd be really pissed. You need to get an engineer (or maybe an architect can do it but I doubt it) to certify the modification and you'll be fine. Send the bill to the asshat who cut them.
Bob
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And as a seller, I'd say "well, then Mister, find yourself another house because I'm not hiring a PE or a structural engineer just to reduce your stomach butterflies".
Since when in our society do we always need such ironclad guarantees, stamped with approval?
How the hell did they ever manage to build houses before structural engineers existed? Give me a break...
I raised the roof of a house using 26 ft long rafters to give a clear span with a 16 ft cathedral ceiling in one part and designed my own trusses in another. I simply used code books and books on architectural engineering standards, did the simple math and had it built, but also doing much of the work myself.
The City's building inspector approved my drawings, signed off on the inspections and it passed with flying colors. When in doubt, I simply went up one extra lumber size over what the simple match dictated. That was done in 1988 and I still own the house and it survived a tornado that shook the entire building.
It ain't rocket science and no structural enineer is necessary to do such a simple repair. The orginal poster has done a perfectly satisfactory job.
Jeez, it's amazing that Monticello is still standing. Jefferson wasn't a structural engineer...
Doug
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Doug wrote:

You're right, it isn't that hard, but consider: * Most people couldn't find the resources you did. You're exceptional. * It's easy to solve the problem by overengineering the truss, but a manufacturer won't do that. They'll build the truss exactly to the minimum specification to save on cost. I've worked in factories where they worried about reducing the time to perform a step by two seconds in order to save a penny or two. * The legal environment has changed. Jefferson probably didn't even *have* a building code. * You might have trouble selling a house with a structural problem. It's the AC doofus' fault. Make him fix it, and do it so no one could ever complain about the solution. If nothing else, the doofus needs to be taught to do what the customer tells him to do.
--
Steve Bell
New Life Home Improvement
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wrote:

yeah get professional structural engineer do exactly what they oirder, get it inspected, and take HVAC hack to small claims court. it will discourage him from ever doing this again.
when it couldnt fit he should of asked before cutting structural parts........
say heres the amount you owe, either ay or see you in court.
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In this economy, where the economy is in dire trouble, and there is a glut of homes for sale - many going begging, you're suggesting turning away a potential buyer because of several hundred dollars that will most likely (if the OP has any common sense at all) come out of the AC guy's pocket.
Forgetting the financial and concentrating on the structural, do you really expect a buyer, even one as can-do as yourself, to walk into such a house and not have any questions about the repair, who did it, whether it was done right, etc.? Are you suggesting that someone can simply eyeball a truss and tell if the connections and members are correctly sized?
Buying the house is not entirely up to you unless you're paying cash. A bank will almost certainly require an inspection and any inspector worth his salt will red flag such an obvious modification to an engineered truss.
You can take umbrage at the unfairness of the situation - it just won't change it.
R
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Buying the house is not entirely up to you unless you're paying cash. A bank will almost certainly require an inspection and any inspector worth his salt will red flag such an obvious modification to an engineered truss.
You can take umbrage at the unfairness of the situation - it just won't change it.
R
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Really? Never had a bank, insurance, or mortgage company ask for inspection, And I'd never pay for a home inspector because they miss too many things.
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wrote:

Bravo Edwin,
I've never had to use a home inspector in over 15 home closings. I've NEVER had a bank require it. That's a widely held myth.
The only inspection that one bank requried me to get, at the last moment, was a well water purity test.
Insurance companies do their own inspections, at their own expense, if they so choose.
Home inspectors have been the cause of blowing up more deals than they've helped, plus they miss much hidden damage (based on experiences of two of my friends who had filed lawsuits against home inspectors). Both lost their lawsuits since the home inspector's contracts has exclusion clauses stating that they were not responsbile for hidden damamges.
Both of these friends has inspection reports listing about 30 things that were wrong with each house. Most of the items listed were trivial if not invalid. Yet, big items were missed. The reports however, were VERY impressive to read....
Some routine things that licensed home inspectors, at least those in my area, never check are:
As mentioned above, well water purity in terms of bacterial and chemical contamination (a few check flow rates)
Current condition and estimated future life of septic systems.
Condition and likely life of sewer lines and water supply lines.
Termite, carpenter ant and powder post beetle infestations (unless the infestations are OBVIOUS).
Yet, all of the above are big ticket items that if defective will cost a homeowner more dollars than almost anything else.
In any event, a home purchase is probably the single most important purchase in someone's life. A buyer should take the time to educate themselves and not always depend on others. Educate yourself....educate yourself....educate yourself. That's my Mantra.
Doug
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Doug wrote:

(snip)
Agreed, based on my limited experience, home inspections may be useful as a negotiating tool, but that is about it. Mine told me nothing I didn't already know, but I grew up in the business, no I'm not a real good sample. Someone who didn't have my background would have found the $350 dollar report impressive. The previous owners obviously did (only one round of counter-offers, to bring sale price down 12k), so it was still money well spent. But having said that- with each new project I undertake (ever so slowly), I find new problems that were not readily apparent. So far, nothing life-threatening, but it tends to dampen enthusiasm for starting the next project.
-- aem sends...
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Can't say anyone could disagree with you Doug on many of your building points.

Back a few years when people were wacky outbidding each other while the seller sat back and heard $cha-ching$ I probably would say the same. But that was then and it's gone - for now. Today is what it is.
I myself have a place where a truss web was cut by AC people somewhere along the line to put a return duct. I mean all they had to do was use a few more feet of duct to go around it. I assume to save a few bucks it was easier to whack the web. When I had the new AC system put in I had them properly route the new return duct.
There was like only a couple of sq inches of plate on each side on each end fastened into the wedged in end. All I had to do to put a new web piece in was cut that 1-2 square inch corner of the truss plate with a Roto_zip on ONE SIDE on each end and pop the cut ends out.
See: http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic3o1um1&s=4
No lumber geometry changes at all. Never disturbed any other part of the plates. Cut and put in new web piece, same SYP #2 (with markings). Compressed back into existing plate corner on one side using screw clamps and a couple of steel plates for even pressure, then a small gusset.
Is what I've done satisfactory structurally? I'd say so but I really don't know. It's certainly better than the way it's been for the past 20 yrs or so. Is it legit? No. No PE statement. I'll just deal with it when I sell. Since there were no geometry changes, I used the same lumber and did not disturb any of the other connections, I assume if I don't get a signoff any further work will be minimal.
If it's raised as an issue in:
Sellers market: Tell them to pound sand. Too many eager buyers out there. Buyers market: Pay the damn engineer for paperwork and move on. Neutral market: Tell buyer we'll have a PE come in. If he says it's OK           as is then you pay for it since you insisted on it. If he           says it needs beefing up/alterations then I'll pay the fee           and make the changes.
The market and my situation then will drive what I do/don't do.
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I wish I saw that picture you linked above before I strated to pull out those plates. I did not think of trimming those corners. Now I have half of them pulled out completely and half of them pulled out enough to get the lumber out but still attached to the joint. However it's so bent our of shape I am thinking I need to bite the bullet and get them all out and use plywood gussets when I repair them.
Thanks.
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MiamiCuse wrote:

Your changes are probably OK, but you definitely need to replace the gusset plates. I recommend you have a structural engineer take a look.
The official position of our Habitat for Humanity crew chiefs is that if you do anything to the truss, you need an engineer to recertify it--so don't do anything to a truss. The real problem comes when you fail the inspection.
I don't know how things work where you are, but around here you could have trouble selling your house. The buyer's inspector might flag the changes, then the buyer's mortgage or insurance company could refuse to accept the house without either changes or engineer certification.
The engineer's bill, and the bill from the carpenter who fixes the problem (even if that's you), should go to the AC company.
--
Steve Bell
New Life Home Improvement
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On Fri, 26 Sep 2008 23:17:14 -0400, "MiamiCuse"

Man did you ever get screwed. I'd hire a structural engineer, have him write a report and then go after the hack ac jockey that cut you trusses.
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Read Rico & Red Green again, then find an engineer. I would be much less worried about future buyers than about future hurricanes. T
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