What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Over 95 Years of Combined Experience

Do you remember the magazine “Highlights for Children?” I think they still publish it. I used to like reading it when I was waiting at the dentist’s office when I was a kid. We didn’t have a subscription at home. My favorite feature was the “What’s wrong with this picture?” page. It was a full page illustration with many mistakes in it and you had to find them all. Not to brag or anything, but I was always good at it. I would find all the mistakes and even some that were not “mistakes,” but I would still find them. No wonder I grew up to become a Home Inspector.

Take a look at this picture. Can you find what’s wrong? I see a sight like this at least once a month. Did you find the mistake? It’s pretty obvious.

To make room for the new HVAC system in the attic, the HVAC technician cut into the truss. Little did he know that you are NEVER to cut, notch or drill a truss. In contrast to conventionally framed homes (which are constructed with large pieces of lumber), truss constructed homes are engineered. This means small pieces of lumber, such as 2 x 4’s or 2 x 6’s, may have been used. Whenever a truss is altered, it can place additional stress on the remaining wood. Since it hasn’t been accounted for, it can compromise the integrity of the structure. In short, any alteration done to a truss constructed structure should be approved and signed off by a structural engineer in order to assure continued structural integrity.

All these years later, I love to find things wrong with any picture. I still don’t like going to the dentist.

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