Bottom Cord cut on truss in garage

Old 10-05-19, 12:44 AM
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Bottom Cord cut on truss in garage

We are looking to buy a house and our inspector was VERY thorough. He noticed in the old garage someone at some point for some reason cut out a bunch of the bottom cords on the trusses, presumably to fit something taller in the garage.

He noted it as a potential collapse hazard. Obviously I'm going to ask the seller to fix this, but if we went back and forth it wouldn't break the deal if I needed to do it myself or have it done.

So here's my question, only the center part is cut out and the inspector mentioned replacing or repairing the bottom cord and it shouldn't be terribly expensive. Can I replace with 2x4s and tie them into what is left with tie plates? Or does the entire piece need to be replaced to the wall?

I attached a picture to see what I'm dealing with. They left the far back truss alone as well as the front near the door. It's an older garage, more of a workshop so there is no overhead door, it slides.


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Old 10-05-19, 05:16 AM
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Anything to do with a truss must involve a Professional Engineer. They will have to advise you as to a proper repair. Most likely you will be instructed to use #1 or #2 yellow pine and the Engineer will tell you how they should be attached.

The cost of the repair will depend on what the Engineer says. A good bit of the expense will be the Engineer. If you do the repair it probably will be relatively inexpensive with most of the cost being the special ordered lumber.
Old 10-05-19, 06:35 AM
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Are those trusses or rafters with collar ties? Timber roof trusses maybe? How old is the garage?
Old 10-05-19, 06:40 AM
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Trusses. You can see the mending plate on the far bottom chord, left side.
Old 10-05-19, 07:20 AM
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It looks like it has been like this for a long time so if it is a real problem you should be able to see some evidence of it starting to sag.

Stand back from the garage and look to see if the roof is not sway backed.
If it is then there is a problem.

Take a level and check that the side walls are at 90 degrees.
If they are starting to lean out at the top then the roof/building structure is starting to fail.

If they are leaning out then they should be pulled back in and then add the bottom chords.
Old 10-05-19, 11:52 PM
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Thank you everyone. The inspector was a former structural engineer himself , obviously not acting in that capacity for me. He did say the work would be putting the bottom cord back in and it wouldn't be a huge expense. He said think hundreds not thousands, especially if I did it myself. He also checked the roof, roof line etc and said it was satisfactory, as noted in the report, he just didn't like that someone at some point cut away the bottom cord.

We of course are still are asking the seller to remedy. As for the age, no idea, it is older for sure.

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