How Some Uneducated People Mutilate Trusses

A couple of weekends ago, I came across this article on a “Do-It-Yourself Attic Transformation”, which with my history in construction and as a component designer, I very eagerly decided to read the write-up. I strangely enough had to stop reading after the first page and immediately started typing up an e-mail to spread the word to fellow co-workers. However, before I decided to send the e-mail I finished reading the article.

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Looking at the above picture, what could someone really do to the uninhabitable fink storage trusses that would prompt an immediate e-mail to others? Well, apparently the DIY’er decided to change the angle of the diagonals leading up to the peak of the truss. I read with amazement and scratched my head in shock at the same time.

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Perhaps, the ½” bolts threaded through the chords may make some feel comfortable, but I started wondering… that is a tile roof above, those bolts may work for the shear, but what about the moment? In addition, in all my years of component design and the time I spent designing repairs underneath of an engineer, we always cut the webs in – with approved stress graded lumber – and used a plywood gusset to form the joint. I guess the DIY’er never considered this though, right?

As I continue to read, in awe at what I am seeing someone do… I come across some pictures that make me take a double look.

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The DIY’er is creating what appears to be a habitable room. Now, typically a standard fink storage truss uses a significantly lower bottom chord loading (20PSF) versus the much heavier habitable attic loading (40PSF and 5PSF for the attic ceiling). Is ignorance truly bliss?

The last page of this six-page write-up, completely blows my mind.

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It appears as if the DIY’er has completely transformed the fink attic into a habitable room, with bookshelves, a weight bench, skylight, wall-mounted television, and a bed. I could not believe what I witnessed someone do and the fact that a website is promoting this type of DIY articles amazes me. And the fact that this type of mutilation was published on a positive note it just mind-boggling.

Even though they offer a couple of warnings such as:

  • “He added a couple of beams to modify the angle of the roof (be EXTREMELY careful if you try this at home).”
  • “It’s so dangerous.”
  • “He actually changed the angle inside the attic without compromising the structural integrity of the beams.”

Articles like this should not face major exposure on the internet because not every DIY’er is going to come across the same luck as this fellow has in transforming his attic. I wonder what they will say when the sagging begins!

Have you ever seen anything like this? What are your thoughts on this? Do they even have a clue what this does to the integrity of the structure?

All images are courtesy of Diply and the full article write-up can be found here:

http://home-design.diply.com/omg-facts/what-this-man-did-his-attic-is-unbelievable-i/36185/1

Neil Laporte – Project Manager

Gould Design, Inc.