Category Archives: Construction & Shortcuts

What Causes That Fish Mouth Appearance in a Shingle Roof?

Posted by in Buying/Maintaining a Home, Construction & Shortcuts, Roof, Shingles | July 10, 2017

Sometimes a shingle roof will exhibit a pattern of shingle tabs raised at their center, such as seen in the featured photograph.  That is, the shingle tab is partially sealed at each end, but raised in the middle (Figure 1).… Read More

An Oversight Makes a Rafter More Susceptible to Fracture

Posted by in Construction & Shortcuts, Roof, Structural Analysis, Wood | December 07, 2015

In the featured photograph we see where the rafter fractured at its end.  This fracture was due to vertical tension in the rafter.  That is, the weight of the roof framing and the snow were pushing downward along the length… Read More

What Can Happen to Unbraced Wood Truss Web Members?

Posted by in Construction & Shortcuts, Structural terms, Wood | September 21, 2015

So, what happens when the web members of a wood truss are not braced laterally as specified by the truss manufacturer? When a wood truss is designed and constructed by a truss manufacturer, the manufacturer commonly provides drawings that show… Read More

Which wood framed structure would you expect to be stronger?

Posted by in Construction & Shortcuts, Structural terms | August 31, 2015

Which wood framed structure would you expect to be stronger? Number 1 or Number 2? Wood framed construction built in accordance with prescriptive framing methods. (Prescriptive framing methods are established upon rule of thumb guidelines that have developed from the… Read More

Inadequate Roof Flashing

Posted by in Buying/Maintaining a Home, Construction & Shortcuts, Roof, Shingles, Water Sources | April 27, 2015

We are often contacted to evaluate the source of moisture or water that is causing apparent mold growth, decay, moisture staining, or another type of water damage.  Sometimes the cause of the moisture or water source is a little easier… Read More

Unbalanced Backfill & A Garage Foundation Wall

Posted by in Construction & Shortcuts, Foundations, Masonry, Soil Issues | June 16, 2014

It is not uncommon for a garage floor slab to be raised above the original grade, especially where the grade around the garage slopes down from front to back or side to side.  This hillside or sloped grade setting will… Read More

Are You Feeling Lucky? (Construction by Dummies – Headers)

Posted by in Construction & Shortcuts | June 17, 2013

In our continuing series of Construction by Dummies, we discuss headers for timber framing, specifically the members that frame around an opening through a floor or roof. Openings are often necessary through a floor or roof for the penetration of… Read More

Woven Valleys – Construction for Dummies

Posted by in Construction & Shortcuts | June 10, 2013

In our continuing series of Construction by Dummies, we discuss woven valleys for asphalt shingles. A woven valley is one method of installation for asphalt shingles at a valley where two intersecting roof slopes meet (see featured photo above).  It… Read More