When I saw so many repairs on this roof truss, immediately I thought it might have been easier to simply replace the truss!
It's location is second from the edge, in a townhouse. This is a pre-drywall inspection.
All three corners had been surrounded with large wood gussets on both sides. And they had been nailed furiously! They were hard to miss!
When I pointed them out to my client he said that they had been in the house many times and had never noticed them.
Nearly every inch of the rest of the truss was sistered with 2x4s sandwiching both sides. It's almost a triple truss all over!
These were nailed furiously also! And these nails weren't shot with a gun. I could see hammer dents all over the place. And glue is gooping out here and there.
I don't know what had happened to this truss to demand such a repair.
It may have been dropped by the crane and smashed in many spots.
But the wood gussets have been nailed into place AFTER the truss was installed in the roof as they have been cut to fit around plumbing which runs through the openings.
So, if you are the home inspector, what do you say to your client?
A few of your options are:
1. You realize they haven't noticed it before so you don't bring it up.
2. You discuss what you see, and point out how extensive the repairs are. You suggest that they get an engineer's report from the builder stating what happened and that this repair is substantial and correct, and that the truss is sound.
3. You show them the repairs with your great flashlight and say that in your opinion the repairs look really well done.
4. You explain how sistering wood around a cracked or broken piece of wood is the best way to repair it, and it makes it really strong. No worries here!
5. You laugh and say, "That's the craziest thing I have ever seen! Holy Cow! Look at all those nails!" And let it go with that.
6. You verbally describe how they dropped the truss in the parking lot, accidentally ran over it with a truck, how it took 20 people to pound it back into shape, and then decided to use it anyway. Then someone got the idea to hide all the problems with other wood surrounding the original truss because it looked so bad.
7. Get visibly upset and say that this truss has to go. It must be replaced.
I assure you, multiple scenarios go through a home inspector's mind. There are inspectors out there who might do any of the above!
Pick your poison - what would you say? And really, the buyers had NOT noticed this truss before.
My recommendation: it's all about how things are handled during a home inspection! This buyer's home inspector (wearing really cool PF Flyers) is not an alarmist, but not a sugar coater either. The house is the house. What you see is what you see. I am always thinking ahead. Not only are my clients going to live here, one day these folks will sell this house. They need to know that this truss is okay. One day a buyer's home inspector might question this, and MIGHT BE an alarmist, scaring his clients. As sellers, my nice people, who are buying this repair now, will want to have a calm answer for such a scenario. My report had number 2 on it. An engineer's report would be a Best Practice. If an engineer says this is okay and willing to provide a letter in that regard I am satisfied to be sure. And my clients will not have to face this in the future. Peace of mind is worth a million bucks.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560