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This is a follow up from a previous question: (Is this a sign of my roof trusses sagging?)

Do you know how to use ratchet ties (or some other method) to fix sagging roof trusses?

Here is an image of a ratchet tie in place:enter image description here

So, this is a 2-storey brick veneer house, built 15 years ago, in south-eastern Australia. Carpernter 1 used some hoist from inside the house to push the ceiling up, then they put in place a hanging beam [i'm not sure this is the right term] for the left half of our roof. This didn't last long before the symptoms of sagging roof trusses began again. A few months later, Carpenter 2 came and temporarily used some ratchet ties, before putting in place some support beams [again, i'm not sure this is the right term] around the same area that Carpenter 1 worked on. This too didn't last long before the trusses began to sag again.

So I am thinking of using some ratchet ties and then just leaving them in place. This will allow me to re-adjust/re-tighten if need be in the future. Also I think I will place them all around my roof, instead of just one area like the previous carpenter. This is because the signs of sagging roof trusses are all around our roof.

The photo attached shows how a carpenter had placed the ratchet ties. But the photo only captures part of the image. I guess the top part of the image would have showed the ratchet tie over the rafter (which would be slanting at an angle here). Is this the right way to do it?

[I know people in my previous post told me to go to a structural engineer, but I am poor...we already tried some carpenters in the past, but it seems to have been a waste of money and effort with them...any help would be great guys, thanks in advance.]

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    can't tell from the picture, but I doubt you have trusses. Rafters/joists are more prone to sagging - trusses don't generally sag unless they are broken, or about to break. Seems like you might need an engineer's advice while you still have a roof over your head.losing your roof costs a great deal more.
    – Ecnerwal
    May 5 at 1:38
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    While the ratchet hoists can be use to hold up stuff temporary, I would not want them as the reason my roof is not falling down. My guess they are being used to hold up ceiling joists, instead of proper support posts/walls. Can try your local college/uni and see if they have any engineers(professors/teachers).
    – crip659
    May 5 at 2:16
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    There needs to be more info and pictures on the conditions you have. It does look familiar of a remodel I did where a bearing wall was removed and I resupported it by placing a beam designed to handle the load. I wanted to use LVLs to do the resupport, so I called the maker of the LVLs I was going to use and spoke to their in house engineer. I gave him all the particulars...the span the beam was going to have, what type of attic storage, if any was going to be above the ceiling being supported and the snow loads in the wintertime. He was able to tell me what I needed. (Continued)
    – Jack
    May 5 at 3:55
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    With that I was able set in place something that would not sag. Long and short of it, you may need to add more 2X10s to beef up what you have, then tie the joists to the 2X10 beam using metal strapping designed to do just that. The loading straps cannot stay, over time they will stretch, at the worst degrade over time.
    – Jack
    May 5 at 3:59
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    You say you cannot afford a SE to take a look at this. I'd say you cannot afford NOT to have one look at this for you. A few hundred for an engineer or multiple thousands for hospital bills and reconstruction should if fail catastrophically? The choice is yours (and people have given some good suggestions on the possibility of lower cost options), but I know which I'd choose if it was my family on the line.
    – FreeMan
    May 5 at 12:32
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TL;DR

You will probably compress your roof and make things structurally worse using "permanent" ratchet straps.


With the ratchet straps you are only hiding a symptom which can be seen from inside your home. It would make things structurally worse in the long run.

Look at your roof line from the outside, is the ridge starting to do something like this? Ratchet straps will exacerbate the issue.

enter image description here

I'm sorry but there is no easy fix. Either the roof was engineered wrong, built poorly, or someone took out a load-bearing wall.

You could try filing a claim with your homeowner's insurance. Hopefully they're willing to get this fixed before it becomes exponentially expensive and/or deadly. If you involve a structural engineer before calling your homeowner's insurance then you would have verifiable proof of the issue and the insurance would not be able to easily cancel your policy to avoid honoring your claim. Do note that this would very likely raise your premium.


One final thought:

Talk to a real estate lawyer. A 15 year old house should not be having this issue. You might be able to sue the builder or previous owner for this issue.

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    Excellent example of why not to use the straps.
    – Ed Beal
    May 5 at 14:08
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    Worth stressing that fixing any of the possible causes requires proper diagnosis by a competent structural engineer. Someone needs to re-check the sizing calculations and verify if stuff is supported where it should be. Just calling in a carpenter to add some beams at random hoping for the best is unlikely to address the root cause (and quite likely to exacerbate the issue). OP needs to realize that this isn't a cosmetic issue that just needs a quick fix or that they can learn to live with. The building might be (gradually getting) dangerous.
    – TooTea
    May 5 at 15:18
  • @TooTea OP has stated that they do not currently have the funds to take on this repair properly. It is why I mentioned the insurance and/or lawyer route. Hopefully insurance will prefer to avoid a casualty or the lawyer would be willing to work pro-bono if they think OP has a valid case.
    – MonkeyZeus
    May 5 at 15:26
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Your question is leaving out one very important detail, what caused this? If you don't know what caused this then it is imperative that you get a structural engineer out there. If the cause of this is a wall being removed then you can get some pretty good answers to solve your problem. And if it was a wall that was removed then you should put back a temporary wall and remove the straps, the cost would be minimal. You'd need a hammer, a saw, nails and studs. When the budget allows you can fix it properly. One of the things about structural work is it's quite expensive to have someone do it but relatively inexpensive to do it yourself. I bought a house where the ceiling was sagging because the prior owner removed a wall. The day I bought it I put up a temporary wall. Two years later I fixed it with some posts, a beam and proper joist hangers. Also those "hangers" your carpenter used should go up the entire width of that beam. Only nailing into the lower half can split the beam. Not that I would bother changing them but just showing you that your carpenter probably wasn't qualified to repair this.

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