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I am in a rental house. I just looked at the attic for the first time today, and saw this line of 2x4s apparently supporting the roof, and apparently severely bowing under the strain.

I only saw this once before in a house I bought from an architect who did a lot of poorly thought out modifications to “open up the floor plan” and I ended up needing to put back a lot of structure in the attic and living space that he had taken out.

I don’t think the floor plan of the house I’m in now has been modified, though there is a lot of HVAC equipment in the attic, and it is possible that framing was modified to accommodate it years ago. There has to have been some “renovation” work done on the house sometime in the past, because the wiring is a mess (most outlets don’t work, the light bulbs burn out in days, some of the lights don’t have junction boxes, etc).

My question is, what do you think is going on with this framing? The house dates from the 1970s in Raleigh, NC.

  • Are there bowed members on the other side of the attic too? Can you remove one and see if it’s naturally bowed or under stress?
    – Lee Sam
    Dec 11, 2017 at 10:18
  • That looks to be really excessive, are the all bowed or just a few. It is possible some settling of the foundation on 1 wall is causing this or some termite / carpenter ant damage to a wall if only for a few. I would never remove one of these until properly supported by another means in my own home and never in a rental.
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 11, 2017 at 14:27
  • @EdBeal oh, yes. Be sure to add supports before doing any exploratory surgery.
    – Lee Sam
    Dec 12, 2017 at 7:27
  • First call: landlord. Second call: the structural engineer your landlord approved you consulting.
    – Bryce
    Dec 18, 2017 at 18:55

1 Answer 1


First call: landlord. Second call: the structural engineer your landlord approved to look into the situation. Potential third call: fire inspector for the wiring.

Since it's a rental, you really have to call the landlord next.

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