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Church Gable end Wall
3

Church Gable end Wall

Church Gable end Wall

(OP)
My GF dragged me to Church yesterday. Board AF, I noticed the gable end wall behind the Preacher looked bowed outwards. This is an approx. 50 ft. wide sanctuary with a vaulted ceiling. The wall looks to be about 30 ft tall at the peak and about 5 1/2" thick. Probably built with 2x6's and a hinge at about 14 ft (the approx height of the side walls). Spent the remainder of the service figuring out how I would fix that if asked to. I was worried it was also carrying a 70 ft. ridge.
At the end of the service, I went outside and could see it was, in fact, visibly bowed outwards about 4". I could also verify that scissors trusses were used so it is not load-bearing.
Given that it not constructed properly (even if some steel was used, it is too slender for it to be effective) and will likely collapse in a hurricane, do I notify the Church or the AHJ of the deficiency? It has stood for 15 years without failure. I did not see any sheetrock cracks. Honestly, it is not the first church I have seen with a floppy gable end wall.

RE: Church Gable end Wall

3
I would certainly start with the church. Inform them of you concerns and that you believe based on prior experience with similar structures that, over time, this problem is likely to progress and cause a danger to the health and well being of the occupants. You might suggest they hire a different engineer to assess it, but ask that you either be notified of the assessment by the other engineer or receive a copy for your records. When I'm faced with this sort of thing, I usually notify the owner of my ethical obligation to public safety and inform that if they haven't moved toward having the issue addressed (if I see it in passing, have it looked at by another engineer; if during one of my jobs hiring a contractor to fix it) by a certain, reasonable amount of time, I will pass my concerns on to the AHJ.

I usually want them to hire a different engineer as saying "get this looked at or I'll report you" while also telling them they need to pay me to look at it feels a tad slimy.

RE: Church Gable end Wall

It's bored, not board....

Agree with phameng. You will need to explain quite well why you feel the need to do this up front, but given the place is probably cash poor, maybe offer to review the report or liaise with another engineer to save them some money? And also insist on being told what they've done before you shop them to the local authorities.

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: Church Gable end Wall

(OP)
Yea, they were just boasting that they finally raised enough money to put some solar panels on the roof. I guess that will get put on hold for a while.
Thanks for the advice.

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