What I'm Seeing Now

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Isn't A Front Porch Roof Heavy? How Should It Be Attached?

I like a front porch on a house, which usually has its own roof.  But, isn't a front porch roof heavy?  How should it be attached?

Compared to Mother Nature's power, a front porch roof weighs very little.  It should be attached such that it is a part of the structure of the house.

This porch is about 20' long, with its own roof.

The roof structure is such that a porch swing could be installed and the porch could be used for sitting or relaxing.

It is done right in that it extends off the end of the house, so a gutter system can discharge the downspout backwards, hiding itself on the side of the house.

But while the roof looks solid and heavy, it really is not.

It is attached to the side of the house on the right side, and against the house all along the roof's length.

Also, at the outside end, there are two joists which extend into the interior for attachment.

Properly attached the roof would be secure.  Proper attachment would mean through bolts, through the rim joist and onto the interior studs of the house.

I NOTICED BEFORE ENTERING THE HOUSE THAT THE ROOF IS ATTACHED WITH ONLY A FEW NAILS.

Granted, they are still building and maybe through bolts are yet to be attached.  But that's why we do a pre-drywall inspection, to make note of such things.

Being sure to look inside I saw WHAT I AM SEEING A LOT LATELY ON NEW CONSTRUCTION - A POORLY-INSERTED DOUBLE BEAM, UNATTACHED TO ANYTHING.

This is the third house in a row that I am seeing this.

Similar to the front porch attachment, they ATTEMPTED to only nail the end beams into the house.

Obviously five toe nails won't attach anything, especially when they are so far from what they are to toe nail!

But further, those beams hardly even enter the house!  They are barely resting on their support studs! 

THIS HOUSE IS SCHEDULED FOR ITS DRYWALL INSTALLATION TWO DAYS FROM THIS INSPECTION!  THE SUPERVISOR THINKS THIS IS ACCEPTABLE?  THE COUNTY APPROVED IT!

Of course, when my client scheduled the pre-drywall inspection he was given the builder harumph, being told that they "will only fix what isn't to code."

I have no idea as to the specifics the code(s) states as to proper front porch roof attachment to a house.  But for sure a dozen nails does not cut it!  Unattached beams resting 1/2" on top of studs, and attached by NOTHING can certainly satisfy no code at all, if there is one.

AND IT'S NOT MY PLACE TO CITE CODE SCRIPTURE AND VERSE TO THE BUILDER.

My recommendation:   inspected "every day" by the supervisor and "approved" by the County is not acceptable if what is inspected and approved is schmuck work.  And certainly this roof attachment is not acceptable by any criteria.  Mother Nature will enforce every "code" not obeyed by proper construction techniques.  I would love to hear the supervisor/builder explain why this is appropriate and why they are going to leave it!  Because now, if/when the roof falls off or is blown off the house, this buyer will have a home inspection report and photographic evidence that it was inspected and approved by schmucks.  The insurance company will have a field day.

And THAT is scripture and verse!

 

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 45 commentsJay Markanich • January 28 2013 02:34AM

Comments

Oh gosh.  It seems to me that the big test for all of this is a heavy snow.   Or, snow, followed by rain and it freezes.  I hope they get that fixed or they may have some issues when it snows/rains.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 6 years ago

Debbie - we have been known to get hurricanes here!  And even an earthquake periodically.  This structure is feeble at best.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

Jay how true this is, keep up the good work and good luck with your business in 2013,  E

Posted by Ed & Tracy Oliva, The Oliva Team Arizona Agents (West USA Realty - Arizona) almost 6 years ago

Thanks E&T.  And it is true!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

Hi Jay,

You and I know this is not right. And of course the county approved it in the inspection. Unless the home is falling down or a major part of the home is still missing the county and city inspectors always give the go ahead. I just wonder if there is any "greasing of the palm here".

Have a good day in Bristow. And good find my friend.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) almost 6 years ago

The County never saw it Clint.  Don't know about the grease, but this is something that should not slip by!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

That beam looks pretty poorly supported for sure. Would the builder live in this house? 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 6 years ago

He's big on toe nails Jim, but I bet he wouldn't want to snip his own in this house!  The side of the porch is attached with two nails into studs, and the long ledger with four.  It's wonderfully attached all over!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

Good catch Jay.  What a shame folks don't take more pride in their workmanship, just a few 2X4's  extra and a few bolts could make all the difference.  So close and yet so far away from perfect.

Posted by Kenneth Cole, NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com -) almost 6 years ago

Thay ARE all the difference Ken.  And necessary.  But you know what the supervisor will say - this was already on his list...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

Meets code and the county inspected it.

Show me the code and did the county inspect following instalation of the porch??

There is no way I'd be convinced that a few nails supporting a porch "meets code" and/or the county inspected it.  Well, perhaps that last part.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

If this meets some mythical code, we are all screwed Lenn.  You are right, I would love to see this one in writing with a diagram that describes toe nails.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

I don't like quoting scripture because as you know what means one thing to me will mean another to someone else. 

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) almost 6 years ago

Principles are principles, James, and whether they are interpreted or not do not change.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

That kind of workmanship...and the builder's allowance of it...will certainly come back and bite them in the butt.  I hope you get the chance to watch when it does!  Great work!  as usual.

 

 

Posted by Monica Hess, Kentucky's Feng Shui Master (Feng Shui This Kentucky) almost 6 years ago

Who knows when that will be Monica.  But I flagged it now, so it can be taken care of now!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

Schmucks indeed.  They should all be invited to dinner.

At least the photos and correspondence will serve well in court, if it ever comes to that.

Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Anthony Daniels, SF Bay Area REO Specialist (Coldwell Banker) almost 6 years ago

Securely. And moisture sealed to keep the elements outside from seeping inside. Heavy new fluffy white snow, in the 2 foot range and then warm up, rain makes that porch one heavy puppy. Need maintenance to lighten the load with better than the local gym work out shoveling heave ho of the snow.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) almost 6 years ago

Photo documentation is hard to refute Anthony!

Andrew - there are many ways this structure can be compromised.  It's best to think ahead and do it right now.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

We both know the county inspector probably got as close to this as the job box. And you are right, Mother Nature is indeed the code enforcer! I would think they would have used the bolts at the time of construction, not to be added later... you are being kind by giving them the benefit of the doubt. It surely would have been covered up in two days. I like the word Schmucks...

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) almost 6 years ago

I try to give the benefit of the doubt Fred.  So often I hear, "ït's already on my list..."  Yeah, right.  On a house the other day I asked the supervisor about bolts and he said he had installed them himself.  Upon asking him to show them to me he said that he had gotten to the "other houses" and this one was yet to be done.  Yeah, right.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

Jay, common senses says this isn't going to hold up to severe weather conditions. Amazing what siding will cover up. Get a pre-drywall inspection!

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA almost 6 years ago

Sounds like a recipe for a future disaster!  I would hate to be swinging on that porch swing!

Posted by Paula McDonald, Magnolia Realty ~ Granbury, TX 936-203-0279 (Magnolia Realty ~ Granbury) almost 6 years ago

Buyer needs to call for an additional county inspection.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

How many times had a builder uttered the words, 'Can't see this from my house" Probably said a few times here as well.

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) almost 6 years ago

Siding and drywall Mike, to cover a multitude of sins.

Paula - you got to have some attachment and support to be able to swing!

Lenn - I don't know if that will happen, but this is my second go around with this client (doing an inspection on another house 5 years ago).  He knows me well.

Ed - this is stuff they can't see for sure.  Well, they see it now!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

Jay, I have a feeling there is lots of this going on behind drywall--given that most homes do not get pre-drywall inspections by a home inspector.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 6 years ago

Like I said to Mike above, Charlie, I am sure that drywall and siding cover a multitude of sins.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

It all comes down to the person...the one doing it and the one inspecting it. All your rules and regs are worthless if these two don't agree to abide by them...good post here to open the eyes with

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 6 years ago

These pre-drywall inspections really open eyes sometimes Richie.  It is interesting how things don't get done.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

I love that last statement " Mother nature will enforce the code."

Posted by Chuck Mixon, Cutler Bay Specialist, GRI, CDPE, BPOR (The Keyes Company) almost 6 years ago

She is indiscriminate Chuck, and enforces things with impunity!

Why, there she is now!

Beware...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

Jay:  please continue to post the great info that you give us. Your pictures are a thousand words & your topics are superb. Thanks, Jim

Posted by Jimmy Faulkner, The Best Of St. Augustine (Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage) almost 6 years ago

Thank you, Jimmy, for your kind words!  Glad you like the topics!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

 toe nails are bigger than finger nails they might have though it would be ok. Don't worry the siding will hold it up.

Posted by Rob Ernst, Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor (Certified Structure Inspector) almost 6 years ago

And there are no guarantees that the builder will be around if/when mother nature enforces the laws of gravity.  In our area there are a few builders who fold, and then magically reappear as a different LLC.

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) almost 6 years ago

My favorite line in this post.....I noticed that this is attached by only a few nails.....wow....really?

Posted by Larry Bettag, Vice-President of National Production (Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001) almost 6 years ago

Good catch, Jay. As to your comment about the Code, IRC requires ledgers to be either through-bolted or lag-bolted, and gives some pretty detailed specifics. The problem is enforcement...and before that, the Builder's lack of concern. I'm glad you caught this - otherwise the owner is sleeping with a timebomb!

Posted by Tim Barron (Tim Barron Architect, Inc.) almost 6 years ago

Just another example of why anyone buying new construction should have a pre-drywall home inspection.  Just because it's being built new, doesn't mean it won't have issues or be done correctly.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) almost 6 years ago

Jay -- with only a 1/2" of overlap on that beam to the support post - if the front end of the porch should settle at all, that roof will be coming down quickly.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) almost 6 years ago

Home owners who try to take pictures of their new construction and do their own pre-drywall inspection pictures get chased off the property. I know this from first hand experience. Now I hear from you that they are told they will only fix what is not to code when what they are doing is not to code... All this tells me that the builders are not being supervised and the inspections are not being audited. I wonder what it would take to make that happen?

Posted by Les & Sarah Oswald, Broker, Realtor and Investor (Realty One Group) almost 6 years ago

Rob - fortunately those toes are bigger than fingers!  And thank goodness for the structural integrity of vinyl siding!

Kathryn - there is a structural warranty, but as you suggest, it is only as good as the builder's longevity.

Larry - literally!  Only a few nails!

Tim - I would assume it is the same as with decks, but don't know the specifics.  This county follows the IRC in much of its criteria though.

As you know Chris Ann.  It's only as good as the specs are translated into a house!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

Steven - there should be 4" or so of overlap, with solid security.

S&L - probably a disaster, like a collapsed front porch roof!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

This is why I always highly recommend my buyers get a pre-drywall and exterior inspection. Just because it's a new home, doesn't mean it was built correctly!

Posted by Gina Tufano, Ask Gina & Company, Northern Virginia Real Estate (Ask Gina & Company with Pearson Smith Realty) almost 6 years ago

That's right Gina.  I have been saying that for years!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

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