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Seeking opinions on remedial actions for roof built by nonprofessional

4901 Views 24 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  ronan0
Hello all. Fairly new to this game. Wondering if I could get some feedback on the following -

Residential roof at 45 degree pitch forming upstairs floor. Heavy concrete tiles. Pretty windy spot. I understand it was built around 30 years ago by an amateur boxer who trained rocky style by building the house all by himself. Little prior expertise in roofing.

There is quite a bit of cracking in the house - it "looks" like the collars are moving upwards, and the props are moving outwards? Some lateral movement too.

I have just made some preliminary observations. One is that each rafter and joist is only connected by one nail each, which are rusting. Same for the collars.

Arrangement of roof shown below, and a couple of pictures.

Any feedback much appreciated.

EDIT - Roof span is 7250. Right prop has no interior wall underneath it as the left prop has. Lifting and cracking on that side is worse. Also some cracking at exterior wall (on that side) which I'm not sure is related.
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I see no pics, and your terminology is confusing. Props? By roofing I think you mean roof framing. Roof span is 7250?
1-Pictures didn't show up

2-What kind of Engineer are you? I hope not a SE, with questions like this

3-Where are you located?

4-45 degree is commonly referred to as a "12-in12" in the trades

5-"Roof span is 7250". 7250 what? Feet? :eek:

6-What do you want to know, how to do this yourself, like the first inexperienced guy did?
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Yes, I could probably fix it. But I probably can't tell you how to do it in one post.

Jacking a roof or tearing it off completely, plumbing bowing existing walls, and reframing the roof, is not a job for someone with no experience.
I'm a mechanical engineer, getting more into building work lately. I have a few building projects under my belt... I don't know why images aren't showing. They're showing for me... I'm non US... I want to elicit opinions on how I might stabilise this roof. If the answer is can't be done, I want to know this definitively. I am not the type who says to my client with little information, "no, it all has to come down, and it's going to cost you an arm and a leg". I want to start getting an idea of what forces might be acting. Weak points and strong points of what's existing. Whether the design is off and if so how it could be rectified. Where building regulations have been overlooked, how they might be met... The walls are fine. Fairly plumb. That's after 30 years. There is only one crack could maybe do with some epoxy injection. The rest are superficial. Measurements in mm... I will eventually do a thorough analysis, but I wanted to elicit the opinions of tradesmen who work with these things day in day out, first. Anyway, I'm probably on the wrong forum. Sounds like you guys are out pitching for business / displaying your hardcore building prowess. Not to mention coming across as dicks.
You might have to have more post to post a pic???
I think you mean professional dicks, buddy.
Sounds like you guys are out pitching for business / displaying your hardcore building prowess. Not to mention coming across as dicks.
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Kind of harsh for just posting here .
ronan0 said:
Not to mention coming across as dicks.
These guy that go through school are used to being coddled , We sweat, bleed and stink for a living but don't coddle to well:no: And yes there are a lot of dicks and aresholes here and a few pusssssys too:thumbsup: They build the world you live in.
You as an engineer (but not the kind that's required for this) should no you should contact an engineer, and hire a contractor to over see the project. Your questions are very telling as to your experience, IMO you should not be practicing on someone's home, even if it's yours.
Maybe people can see the pics here where I originally posted before being advised to post here.

Seriously though, no one is even interested in trying to understand the problem before jumping straight to diagnosis :) - big project, get in the supervising contractor and engineer, jack up the roof, reframe it... :)

Ever hear of sitting down and working something out before getting out the big guns?!

The place has stood for 30 years. Another month to try and properly diagnose the problem is hardly going to be catastrophic (before jumping in to 'practice' on it!).

A quick look at the british standards and I can see the fixings are inadequate. If that's all it is, it's a much simpler job to make them good.

But of course I'm not going to make that call until I've thoroughly investigated the problem.

As an aside. My background is mostly underground mining. I worked with lots of steel and machinery. Solving problems and building and commissioning big stuff in dangerous conditions. Lots of fitters working for me too. Actually I remember the kind of **** I'm getting here when I was starting out 20 years ago. Had to fully work it out myself back then, looks like I'll have to do the same again...

Anyway cheers for the life and work lessons tough guys. ;)
No luck there on viewing the pics either. While you are waiting the month out, why not browse around here until you have enough posts to put up some pictures. Your
terminology is pretty confusing for the pros here. I dunno if it is the regional thing or what, but most guys here are willing to help out with sincerity when we understand what we are dealing with.
X2. Different terminology than around here - pics will clear it up.

I'm a proud new member of roofing talk.


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And here's my guess as to what you're saying.


I love these kind of questions,if I could only figure out what he is talking about.
He said you're a dick. I wouldn't help this ass wipe out of a fire.
I love these kind of questions,if I could only figure out what he is talking about.
There's the problem, being British he probably put the nail on the wrong side of the joist.:laughing:
Maybe people can see the pics here A quick look at the british sta...much simpler job to make them good. [/QUOTE]
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Hey Ronan,

I wouldn't take the reactions to your first post to heart. From what I have read around here the guys are pretty helpful. This is your first post in what is largely a forum populated by contractors from the US and Canada. Although there are a few members from the UK, Europe and even New Zealand who regulary contribute.

Your terminology and use of metric and a pitch in degrees is not commonly used on the other side of the Atlantic never mind by the guy stuck out in the middle of the pacific ;). Residential housing techniques and building practises are also different.

That said, the advice you have been given has been sound, you really need to get a fully qualified structural engineers report on this one. The nailing which you have discovered that is not up to standard may be the least of the problems.

For example: If your roof span is 7250 that gives you a run of 3625 and at a pitch of 45° therefore a mathmatical rafter length of 5126. You can google the uk rafter span tables showing maximum unsupported span of a rafter according to depth of rafter, pitch and basic loading conditions. The props as you call them are not a structurally designed member and offer no or little suport to the rafter.

All bad news for the home owner by the looks of it and this is just one potential issue.

The folks here are trades people who took years to learn their craft and sometimes they view new members with suspicision and rightly so in my opinion. If I posted in a Mechanical Engineers forum that I was looking some advice on designing some supporting steelwork for a mine shaft what reaction would I get?

I hope you read this and it is of some help to you. If you need any further advice you can always hire me. Yes I am openly pitching for business :laughing:
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