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AC installers cut my roof trusses

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  1. #1
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    Question AC installers cut my roof trusses

    Hi all.

    We're in the middle of renovating a brick veneer home we purchased not long ago, and we'll be moving in after everything is done. The house was built in 1981.

    A couple of days ago we had a reputable AC company come in and replace the 30+ year old existing ducted AC system with a new inverter ducted system. While it was getting quoted, there was no mention of problems getting the indoor (return air) unit to fit in our roof space.

    Come install day, the installer says he'll need to cut some timbers to fit the indoor unit into the roof. Since he didn't make a big deal of it, and I didn't know any better, I didn't object.

    After the unit is put in, I go up into the roof space to see what's been done. It turns out he's cut the webs of 2 trusses to get the unit in, and nailed another piece of timber near the cuts.

    The 2 trusses that were cut:

    cuts.jpg

    The bracing: (there are 3 braces, but only 2 cut trusses. Not sure what's going on there)

    braces.jpg

    How the first brace was secured:

    brace1.jpg

    How the second brace was secured:

    brace2.jpg

    brace22.jpg

    Oddly enough the third brace on a truss that wasn't cut looks the most secure of them all:

    brace3.jpg

    As far as I can tell, the bottom chords of the trusses are intact and the AC unit itself is suspended from the rafters.

    From my internet searching, the rule around trusses is not to cut them unless an engineer has designed the reinforcement and given the all clear. I asked the AC company whether they had such an approval but they could only tell me that they do this kind of thing all the time, and they reassured me that everything would be fine.

    I'm worried about whether this will come back to bite me in the butt 5 or 10 years down the track in the form of a sagging ceiling or a building inspector/insurance company throwing a hissy fit. I also plan to fit solar panels on my roof in the future.

    What should my next steps be? Should I get an independent engineer out to take a look? I have no idea how expensive structural engineers are. Should I just take the AC company at their word?

  2. #2
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    I would not take the word of the AC company at all, either get a builder or engineer to have a look and go from there. That looks dodgy to me especially as they have cut two trusses

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    You should never cut a truss, these are factory made with pre loaded stresses, one you cut any part of them you completely destroy the structural integrity of them.
    If they do it all the time they should be shot, I would speak to the company and let them know you will be seeking engineers advice and will be sending them the bill for rectifications.

    I know the units are large that need to go into the roof cavity, but simply cutting truss components off to accommodate these is not the correct way.
    One pet hate I have is plumbers that persist in cutting structural wall or roof members just to get their bloody pipe somewhere, without consulting any of the chippies on site, and have no idea what they are cutting and the ramifications of doing it.

    Sparkies are more aware of where to and not to drill, but plumbers are just rough as guts, if they find a timber that's assumed to be in the way, most just cut it out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    You should never cut a truss, these are factory made with pre loaded stresses, one you cut any part of them you completely destroy the structural integrity of them.
    If they do it all the time they should be shot, I would speak to the company and let them know you will be seeking engineers advice and will be sending them the bill for rectifications.

    I know the units are large that need to go into the roof cavity, but simply cutting truss components off to accommodate these is not the correct way.
    One pet hate I have is plumbers that persist in cutting structural wall or roof members just to get their bloody pipe somewhere, without consulting any of the chippies on site, and have no idea what they are cutting and the ramifications of doing it.

    Sparkies are more aware of where to and not to drill, but plumbers are just rough as guts, if they find a timber that's assumed to be in the way, most just cut it out.
    It's funny because I was told by the company that the installer used to be a carpenter, so you'd expect him to know better...

    Looks like I'll need to get a structural engineer in. Anyone got a ballpark figure on how much an engineer's report would be? And how would I force the AC company to pay for rectifications? I've already paid them

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    They are the ones that cut the members. Particularly if they have admitted it demand that they arrange their engineer to provide the report that the modification made by them are safe or detail the work required to rectify the damage.

    As you have already paid any way to reverse or hold the payment ? VISA ?

    Document any interaction you have with the company, preferably get everything in writing.
    Any pictures pre install ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nooblet View Post
    It's funny because I was told by the company that the installer used to be a carpenter, so you'd expect him to know better...

    Looks like I'll need to get a structural engineer in. Anyone got a ballpark figure on how much an engineer's report would be? And how would I force the AC company to pay for rectifications? I've already paid them
    I would start by calling NSW Fair Trading, ask for their advice, cutting trusses is not standard practice.
    Then express your concerns to the aircon company, if they say something like it's fine we do it all the time, ask them for an engineers certificate stating the work done is certified.

    A Carpenter, either "use to be" or currently is, should know better than cutting a truss perhaps he used to be and is no longer a carpenter because he was crap at being a carpenter.
    There is no real issues cutting rafters if you know what to do, but trusses are a different kettle of fish as these are a structural framework of timbers, not a single timber such as a rafter.

    Ask the company if this carpenter / installer is he still a licensed carpenter ? because he should not be cutting anything in the roof if he is not licensed to do so, ask the company for the license number of this "used to be" carpenter, and check out his qualifications on FT website.
    https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/h...-licence-check

    If all else fails contact a structural engineer, explain the situation and ask if this is something they can assist with, probably a basic report will ball park around $400, but start with Fair Trading to guide you what to do.

    Also let the aircon company know (if they are unhelpful) you will be seeking legal advice on how to have the damage rectified.

    Let us know who is or is not helpful.
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    They should be reported anyway that being their standard practice, it is a defect.

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    Thanks all for your replies.

    Quote Originally Posted by droog View Post
    They are the ones that cut the members. Particularly if they have admitted it demand that they arrange their engineer to provide the report that the modification made by them are safe or detail the work required to rectify the damage.

    As you have already paid any way to reverse or hold the payment ? VISA ?

    Document any interaction you have with the company, preferably get everything in writing.
    Any pictures pre install ?
    Unfortunately I paid by bank transfer so the money's out of my hands.
    I don't have pictures of how the trusses looked pre-install, but I do have some closeup photos of the cuts that were made - to my untrained eye they look quite new so it would be pretty difficult for them to argue that they already existed. The old system was about half the size of this new one so it wouldn't have needed trusses to be cut.

    EDIT: turns out I actually do have pictures! Thank goodness for cloud backups.

    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    I would start by calling NSW Fair Trading, ask for their advice, cutting trusses is not standard practice.
    Then express your concerns to the aircon company, if they say something like it's fine we do it all the time, ask them for an engineers certificate stating the work done is certified.

    A Carpenter, either "use to be" or currently is, should know better than cutting a truss perhaps he used to be and is no longer a carpenter because he was crap at being a carpenter.
    There is no real issues cutting rafters if you know what to do, but trusses are a different kettle of fish as these are a structural framework of timbers, not a single timber such as a rafter.

    Ask the company if this carpenter / installer is he still a licensed carpenter ? because he should not be cutting anything in the roof if he is not licensed to do so, ask the company for the license number of this "used to be" carpenter.

    If all else fails contact a structural engineer, explain the situation and ask if this is something they can assist with, probably a basic report will ball park around $400, but start with Fair Trading to guide you what to do.

    Also let the aircon company know (if they are unhelpful) you will be seeking legal advice on how to have the damage rectified.

    Let us know who is or is not helpful.
    Thanks for that, I'll give Fair Trading a call tomorrow. I did ask for some "paperwork" stating that the work done to the trusses was safe and they promised to email me something like that so I could have that in writing, but I haven't received it yet.

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    Nothing worse than crap chippies turning their hand to plumbing work!
    Love it when DIYERS pin the blame on plumbers for their own shoddy work

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    Quote Originally Posted by droog View Post
    They are the ones that cut the members. Particularly if they have admitted it demand that they arrange their engineer to provide the report that the modification made by them are safe or detail the work required to rectify the damage.

    As you have already paid any way to reverse or hold the payment ? VISA ?

    Document any interaction you have with the company, preferably get everything in writing.
    Any pictures pre install ?
    Actually you are better off engaging the engineer yourself, what you are after is a report based on your needs, not one based on the installers needs. They should be the same of course but we can all be swayed by a convincing argument. Same with the repair, get quotes if you are attempting to rectify a problem, you need to go through the process of fair trading if they will not pay, if they agree they are at fault it will depend on what you can negotiate. Always start with negotiation, although contacting Fair Trading will tell you the path you need to take if there is no outcome.

  11. #11
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    They did make a feeble attempt at fixing the damage. See picture 2 and the perfectly adequate skew nail half way. Lovely!
    Fair trading in NSW, unless it changed in recent times, is very professional in my experience.
    They will get them for structural alteration with no engineer report. Your 'authorization' to do the job, is irrelevant.
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    it advances one funeral at the time.
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    Yep as its structural timbers, looks dodgy at best.

    As others have said:

    Seek to have it resolved directly with the company but ensure:
    • document all communications
    • Email a list of questions for them to provide an email response...follow up with a phone call to talk through the responses if required
    • Send follow up emails for a response if they have not responded within a reasonable time, use the original email sent as the "reply" so you can easily see an email history of the conversations rather then starting a new email.
    • Ask for an engineers report certifying the changes to the structural timber trusses and supply a couple of photo's of whats occurred as the company may not be fully aware of what changes were made by the installer. This gives them context that is hard to ignore or deny knowledge of the severity.
    • Make sure your there when the engineer does his assessment. Potentially and politely we've into your conversation that you will be seeking a second opinion from another engineer. It may ensure the report they do is accurate and minimise any loyalty they may or may not have with the aircon company. If your not happy with the result, then seek a second opinion or agree up front with the installer to use of a specific engineering company.
    • Seek general advice from Fair Trading
    • Ensure any repairs are done properly and as per the engineers advice. Suggest this should be a 3rd party company given the substandard work they have done but could be hard pressed to achieve this one. If not, make it clear before the work begins, you want a followup engineers inspection of the work completed given the substandard work they have originally done.
    • If all else fails, take it to Fair Trading.
    • ...and something where you r getting no where, lodge a report on "Product Review" clearly outline the situation and lack of action to rectify (obviously no personal names...but maybe position titles. Scan your receipt with the review, so the moderators can add "verified purchaser" to your review making it more legit. Depending on the company, some regularly monitor this site and its at least contributed to moving forward where they have stalled for weeks with a build I had.

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    Also as mentioned by the poster regarding future solar panels, an inspection of the roof structure by the solar installer will indicate that it wont be structurally adequate to support additional loads.

    May not have been before but will now certainly not pass.

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    Thank you all for your responses! I've never had to deal with anything like this before so it really does help when figuring out what to do next.

    I called Fair Trading this morning and received advice very much along the same lines as you guys have been saying: get evidence of the damage (well it's pretty self evident now, and I have photos), get an engineer's report, ask them to fix it at their cost. If they won't play ball, lodge a complaint with FT and go to tribunal where they'll have to pay up.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnc View Post
    Actually you are better off engaging the engineer yourself, what you are after is a report based on your needs, not one based on the installers needs. They should be the same of course but we can all be swayed by a convincing argument. Same with the repair, get quotes if you are attempting to rectify a problem, you need to go through the process of fair trading if they will not pay, if they agree they are at fault it will depend on what you can negotiate. Always start with negotiation, although contacting Fair Trading will tell you the path you need to take if there is no outcome.
    I emailed the company insisting they send someone qualified, who's willing to produce a written report of the damage and the works that will need to be done to rectify it. They've agreed to this in writing but we've yet to arrange a time. From my experiences on installation day I'm not convinced the person they send will be entirely impartial, so I've gotten in touch with another party who can give me a second opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bart1080 View Post
    Ensure any repairs are done properly and as per the engineers advice. Suggest this should be a 3rd party company given the substandard work they have done but could be hard pressed to achieve this one. If not, make it clear before the work begins, you want a followup engineers inspection of the work completed given the substandard work they have originally done.
    If all else fails, take it to Fair Trading.
    ...and something where you r getting no where, lodge a report on "Product Review" clearly outline the situation and lack of action to rectify (obviously no personal names...but maybe position titles. Scan your receipt with the review, so the moderators can add "verified purchaser" to your review making it more legit. Depending on the company, some regularly monitor this site and its at least contributed to moving forward where they have stalled for weeks with a build I had.
    Good point about getting another company to actually do the repairs. The consensus in this thread seems to be that the work done to brace the trusses was dodgy - I think expecting another repair from this mob to be better would be too much to ask for.

    I've asked for the license number for the so-called former carpenter but zilch so far. FT pointed out that even if he was a carpenter previously, it doesn't matter now that he's cut timbers while unlicensed. During the call FT identified a number of other things the company could be fined for, like not providing a license number on the contract, and not having the person who's actually licensed to do AC/refrigeration work supervise. (The people who showed up to do the install were decidedly not the person listed on the company's license )

    I will definitely be posting negative reviews of this company if they don't fix this. I chose them based on their reviews on Google, which were numerous and glowing. Yes, I realise there are fake reviews out there, but these seemed genuine enough. I'll leave review bombing as a nuclear option though, because they probably wouldn't want anything to do with me after.

    Quote Originally Posted by Notthemama View Post
    Also as mentioned by the poster regarding future solar panels, an inspection of the roof structure by the solar installer will indicate that it wont be structurally adequate to support additional loads.

    May not have been before but will now certainly not pass.
    I had a suspicion this might be the case. What a mess this has turned out to be! I thought it would be relatively straightforward given there was already an AC system... just pop it out and put the new one in its place...

    The bloke I spoke to at Fair Trading said he only hears about things like this once a year. If this company is doing it for its clients all the time, there must be heaps more homes out there with trusses that have been cut to fit AC units! Maybe the owners don't realise the implications

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    Quote Originally Posted by nooblet View Post
    Hi all.

    We're in the middle of renovating a brick veneer home we purchased not long ago, and we'll be moving in after everything is done. The house was built in 1981.

    A couple of days ago we had a reputable AC company come in and replace the 30+ year old existing ducted AC system with a new inverter ducted system. While it was getting quoted, there was no mention of problems getting the indoor (return air) unit to fit in our roof space.

    Come install day, the installer says he'll need to cut some timbers to fit the indoor unit into the roof. Since he didn't make a big deal of it, and I didn't know any better, I didn't object.

    After the unit is put in, I go up into the roof space to see what's been done. It turns out he's cut the webs of 2 trusses to get the unit in, and nailed another piece of timber near the cuts.

    The 2 trusses that were cut:



    The bracing: (there are 3 braces, but only 2 cut trusses. Not sure what's going on there)



    How the first brace was secured:



    How the second brace was secured:





    Oddly enough the third brace on a truss that wasn't cut looks the most secure of them all:



    As far as I can tell, the bottom chords of the trusses are intact and the AC unit itself is suspended from the rafters.

    From my internet searching, the rule around trusses is not to cut them unless an engineer has designed the reinforcement and given the all clear. I asked the AC company whether they had such an approval but they could only tell me that they do this kind of thing all the time, and they reassured me that everything would be fine.

    I'm worried about whether this will come back to bite me in the butt 5 or 10 years down the track in the form of a sagging ceiling or a building inspector/insurance company throwing a hissy fit. I also plan to fit solar panels on my roof in the future.

    What should my next steps be? Should I get an independent engineer out to take a look? I have no idea how expensive structural engineers are. Should I just take the AC company at their word?
    it looks like they have structurally damaged your home, put in a insurance claim for the damage caused to your home, your insurer should do the rest.
    inter

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    Thank you all for your responses! I've never had to deal with anything like this before so it really does help when figuring out what to do next.

    I called Fair Trading this morning and received advice very much along the same lines as you guys have been saying: get evidence of the damage (well it's pretty self evident now, and I have photos), get an engineer's report, ask them to fix it at their cost. If they won't play ball, lodge a complaint with FT and go to tribunal where they'll have to pay up.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnc View Post
    Actually you are better off engaging the engineer yourself, what you are after is a report based on your needs, not one based on the installers needs. They should be the same of course but we can all be swayed by a convincing argument. Same with the repair, get quotes if you are attempting to rectify a problem, you need to go through the process of fair trading if they will not pay, if they agree they are at fault it will depend on what you can negotiate. Always start with negotiation, although contacting Fair Trading will tell you the path you need to take if there is no outcome.
    I emailed the company insisting they send someone qualified, who's willing to produce a written report of the damage and the works that will need to be done to rectify it. They've agreed to this in writing but we've yet to arrange a time. From my experiences on installation day I'm not convinced the person they send will be entirely impartial, so I've gotten in touch with another party who can give me a second opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bart1080 View Post
    Ensure any repairs are done properly and as per the engineers advice. Suggest this should be a 3rd party company given the substandard work they have done but could be hard pressed to achieve this one. If not, make it clear before the work begins, you want a followup engineers inspection of the work completed given the substandard work they have originally done.
    If all else fails, take it to Fair Trading.
    ...and something where you r getting no where, lodge a report on "Product Review" clearly outline the situation and lack of action to rectify (obviously no personal names...but maybe position titles. Scan your receipt with the review, so the moderators can add "verified purchaser" to your review making it more legit. Depending on the company, some regularly monitor this site and its at least contributed to moving forward where they have stalled for weeks with a build I had.
    Good point about getting another company to actually do the repairs. The consensus in this thread seems to be that the work done to brace the trusses was dodgy - I think expecting another repair from this mob to be better would be too much to ask for.

    I've asked for the license number for the so-called former carpenter but zilch so far. FT pointed out that even if he was a carpenter previously, it doesn't matter now that he's cut timbers while unlicensed. During the call they identified a number of other things the company could be fined for, like not providing a license number on the contract, and not having the person who's actually licensed to do AC/refridgeration work supervise. (The people who showed up to do the install were decidedly not the person listed on the company's license )

    I will definitely be posting negative reviews of this company if they don't fix this. I chose them based on their reviews on Google, which were numerous and glowing. Yes, I realise there are fake reviews out there, but these seemed genuine enough. I'll leave review bombing as a nuclear option though, because they probably wouldn't want anything to do with me after.

    Quote Originally Posted by Notthemama View Post
    Also as mentioned by the poster regarding future solar panels, an inspection of the roof structure by the solar installer will indicate that it wont be structurally adequate to support additional loads.

    May not have been before but will now certainly not pass.
    I had a suspicion this might be the case. What a mess this has turned out to be! I thought it would be relatively straightforward given there was already an AC system... just pop it out and put the new one in its place...

    The bloke I spoke to at Fair Trading said he only hears about things like this once a year. If this company is doing it for its clients all the time, there must be heaps more homes out there with trusses that have been cut to fit AC units! Maybe the owners don't realise the implications

    Quote Originally Posted by intertd6 View Post
    it looks like they have structurally damaged your home, put in a insurance claim for the damage caused to your home, your insurer should do the rest.
    inter
    Not an option for me I'm afraid. The insurance company will probably give me grief about the house being unoccupied at the moment.

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    ....as unfortunate as it is, put it down as a learning experience. If you follow the basic issue resolution steps, hopefully you get to see a good resolution from your point of view. With any luck, they will fullfill their obligations, you get it fixed to min engineering requirements and move on without the need to go to FT which may draw out the process in terms of time.
    And either way, they wont be getting any more of your business or glowing recommendations!!!
    All the best. Would be good to know the final outcome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bart1080 View Post
    ....as unfortunate as it is, put it down as a learning experience. If you follow the basic issue resolution steps, hopefully you get to see a good resolution from your point of view. With any luck, they will fullfill their obligations, you get it fixed to min engineering requirements and move on without the need to go to FT which may draw out the process in terms of time.
    And either way, they wont be getting any more of your business or glowing recommendations!!!
    All the best. Would be good to know the final outcome.
    Thanks Bart, I'll try to keep you guys posted.

    Are there any immediate concerns with the trusses in this condition? I can't see this getting resolved for at least a couple of weeks. Do I need to avoid walking on the roof or in the roof space? Should I avoid walking underneath the return air unit altogether?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nooblet View Post
    The bloke I spoke to at Fair Trading said he only hears about things like this once a year. If this company is doing it for its clients all the time, there must be heaps more homes out there with trusses that have been cut to fit AC units! Maybe the owners don't realise the implications

    .
    This is why I suggested to get FT involved, these cowboys sound like it's common practice to go around cutting trusses to fit the equipment in.
    What they have done is not only illegal it's bloody dangerous, they are structurally damaging your house
    The correct way would be to

    1: Do a site inspection
    2: Note the truss roof construction as part of the inspection
    3: Have an upfront additional set fee to engineer a solution due to truss roof
    4: Engineer visit site and design an alternative bracing system
    5: Quote to perform the pre installation additional work
    6: Perform the additional pre-installation work as quoted
    7: Install the AC system

    This may add an additional $1500 - $2000 to the installation cost but the end result would be one that is safe and still keeps your home insurance intact.
    If you have a roof failure in the future due to this shonky work, I'm quite sure the Insurance company will put it back onto you for having illegal work done that caused the problem.

    From the looks of their "bracing" if you could call it that the person who put that bracing up has absolutely no skills.
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    your roof pitch looks lowish .. maybe 10 to 15 degrees.. Maybe others dont have the problem because of the pitch. I dont know. Still no excuse at all to cut a truss. Hard to tell but do you have concrete tile roof or metal. If its roof tile id be looking into it a bit quicker. 7 to 8 ton vs maybe 1 ton for steel is a bit of a difference. Too many trades trying to take the easy way out these days. bloody frustrating. Could have supplied a slightly smaller unit that fit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    1: Do a site inspection
    2: Note the truss roof construction as part of the inspection
    The guy who came around to do the quote was sales so it's very possible he just didn't know the difference. I know I let him have a good long look at the roof space.

    Quote Originally Posted by sol381 View Post
    your roof pitch looks lowish .. maybe 10 to 15 degrees.. Maybe others dont have the problem because of the pitch. I dont know. Still no excuse at all to cut a truss. Hard to tell but do you have concrete tile roof or metal. If its roof tile id be looking into it a bit quicker. 7 to 8 ton vs maybe 1 ton for steel is a bit of a difference. Too many trades trying to take the easy way out these days. bloody frustrating. Could have supplied a slightly smaller unit that fit.
    It's concrete tile.

    I would've preferred that they packed up and went home once they realised there was no way the unit would fit without cutting timbers.

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    And this is one reason why I would never, ever have a ducted heating unit in the roof. Similar thing happened at my daughter's house, but it's not a trussed roof.

    Good luck with the outcome.
    I am not responsible for anything that Moondog says!

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    Quote Originally Posted by nooblet View Post
    The guy who came around to do the quote was sales so it's very possible he just didn't know the difference. I know I let him have a good long look at the roof space.



    It's concrete tile.

    I would've preferred that they packed up and went home once they realised there was no way the unit would fit without cutting timbers.
    The guy that came around should be used to seeing the insides of a roof, after all this is his job.
    If the company was ethical and had people working for them that know what they were doing these types of things can be avoided.

    All it would take is for the sales guy to simply measure the distance of the webs, or to make it easier supply him with a plywood template made up for the various units they sell.

    The template would be hinged and fold in two so it can get through the roof access hole, he would simply unfold the template, place it in the web and see if all the clearances were ok.
    Then measure the distance between the trusses to see if there was enough room to get the unit into the truss, it's really not that hard.

    If the sales guy noted the template wont fit, then they need to either specify other equipment that will fit, or flag it with the office who should contact you explaining the restrictions of your particular roof and the need to have an engineer visit so any truss modification work can be certified.

    As I said, if the company was ethical this is the way it should be done, if they are not ethical and just want your business then they can be inclined to do dodgy work so they don't miss out on your money.

    From the sounds of it, the sales guy gets into the roof, see's there are restrictions, says to himself, the installers will look after this, maybe looks for basic obstructions, then calls it a day.
    Sends the info to the office, he get's his commission, moves onto the next place, they get the stuff sent out and start hacking the roof to bits.

    This company sounds like they just let the installers do whatever they need to get the unit in there so they get their money.

    Looking at the quality of the bracing, if you could call it that, was installed it appears this guy hasn't got a clue.

    I cant say I have ever seen any trusses cut for any of the ducted systems I have seen installed.
    Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir

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    Quote Originally Posted by nooblet View Post
    Thank you all for your responses! I've never had to deal with anything like this before so it really does help when figuring out what to do next.

    I called Fair Trading this morning and received advice very much along the same lines as you guys have been saying: get evidence of the damage (well it's pretty self evident now, and I have photos), get an engineer's report, ask them to fix it at their cost. If they won't play ball, lodge a complaint with FT and go to tribunal where they'll have to pay up.



    I emailed the company insisting they send someone qualified, who's willing to produce a written report of the damage and the works that will need to be done to rectify it. They've agreed to this in writing but we've yet to arrange a time. From my experiences on installation day I'm not convinced the person they send will be entirely impartial, so I've gotten in touch with another party who can give me a second opinion.



    Good point about getting another company to actually do the repairs. The consensus in this thread seems to be that the work done to brace the trusses was dodgy - I think expecting another repair from this mob to be better would be too much to ask for.

    I've asked for the license number for the so-called former carpenter but zilch so far. FT pointed out that even if he was a carpenter previously, it doesn't matter now that he's cut timbers while unlicensed. During the call they identified a number of other things the company could be fined for, like not providing a license number on the contract, and not having the person who's actually licensed to do AC/refridgeration work supervise. (The people who showed up to do the install were decidedly not the person listed on the company's license )

    I will definitely be posting negative reviews of this company if they don't fix this. I chose them based on their reviews on Google, which were numerous and glowing. Yes, I realise there are fake reviews out there, but these seemed genuine enough. I'll leave review bombing as a nuclear option though, because they probably wouldn't want anything to do with me after.



    I had a suspicion this might be the case. What a mess this has turned out to be! I thought it would be relatively straightforward given there was already an AC system... just pop it out and put the new one in its place...

    The bloke I spoke to at Fair Trading said he only hears about things like this once a year. If this company is doing it for its clients all the time, there must be heaps more homes out there with trusses that have been cut to fit AC units! Maybe the owners don't realise the implications



    Not an option for me I'm afraid. The insurance company will probably give me grief about the house being unoccupied at the moment.
    you can have it unoccupied for periods of time, 60 days rings a bell.

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    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    I agree with Inter. Call the insurance and tell them the AC installer made your home unsafe, and you now must move to a hotel and ask for how long will they cover that.
    Science is never settled,
    it advances one funeral at the time.
    Max Planck

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    Quote Originally Posted by intertd6 View Post
    you can have it unoccupied for periods of time, 60 days rings a bell.

    Correct, it can be unoccupied for 60 days before being considered "unoccupied" all it takes is for someone to stay there for 2 consecutive nights (house sitting) for the 60 day period to be reset.

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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    I cant say I have ever seen any trusses cut for any of the ducted systems I have seen installed.
    As a cabler I spent a bit of time in ceilings a while ago. Definitely not unusual to see truss webbing cut to allow for an install but I have also seen the top chords cut to make room in a low ceiling. Some braced, some not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Notthemama View Post
    Also as mentioned by the poster regarding future solar panels, an inspection of the roof structure by the solar installer will indicate that it wont be structurally adequate to support additional loads.

    May not have been before but will now certainly not pass.
    if you think these AC guys are dodgy wait till you see some of cow boys that do solar installs
    Remember if you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing

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    Quote Originally Posted by havabeer View Post
    if you think these AC guys are dodgy wait till you see some of cow boys that do solar installs
    Somebody say SOLAR?
    My daughter was at her in-laws some months ago and called me about 9pm during some heavy rain to say that there was water everywhere upstairs.. The bit that got me was it was both sides of a brick wall.

    The in-laws had been in the home several years so a leak of this magnitude made no sense. Water was running down the stairs.
    I asked what had happened recently, and yep they had had solar installed. The next morning the SIL removed 300ish litres of water with a vacuum.

    Investigation showed the installers had drilled two 20mm holes in the WRONG places in the floor of the box gutter, with the third being in the right place. But they forgot to cover/rectify the wrong holes.

    The solar company just copped it on the chin, and picked up the tab for everything including the replacement box gutter and install.
    And.....your point is.....what exactly?

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    Two 20mm holes too many? Pffff ... what's wrong with that?
    Solar industry is a magnet for unqualified, unskilled, pretending competence workers.
    I believe more than half the solar installs have important problems that go unreported.
    Pink bats anyone?
    Anything that is fuelled by subsidies, is suspect.
    Science is never settled,
    it advances one funeral at the time.
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    Anything that is fuelled by subsidies, is suspect.

    I look after some maintenance for my older female neighbour. She decided to have solar installed and did all the right things, plus spoke to people they had done installs for and asked me to come over and get my 'gut feel" for the firm from the rep.
    When they came back with the cost they indicated that they could not put the panels on the 'best" side as there were not enough screws in the roof. Essentially while the roof was up to code there was a row "missing" across the centre, and there was a batten there. Surely the best way would have been to point out what was needed and quote that as an extra?
    In the end I climbed up and put the 35 odd screws in less that an hour for her. Simple really. It's just them looking to make the most from minimal effort, even if the end result is less than perfect.


    And.....your point is.....what exactly?

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    In the good old KR days, I had to replace my hot water tank. It turned out that KR was in a good mood and paid for 2/3 of the hyperinflated price of a solar hot water system, so I got solar hot water. When it came to installation it seemed the circus came to town.

    All of a sudden a flock of unskilled assistant that had no clue what they had to do invaded my backyard. The moron in chief was a self appointed plumber who herded the kids around like you would a bunch of cats. Half a dozen where under the house, another dozen on the roof, some sat in the truck stroking their phone.

    When it came to the pipes under the house, the 'plumber' decided it was too much effort to feed the copper pipe through the manhole that is under the deck, so he poked a hole in the vermin mesh that covers the clay vent on the side of the house and attempted to push the pipe through there, lubricated with strings of swore words.

    No go, the fence, only 1.2m away was stopping him. No problem, fed a bit and bent, another bit and kink, some more and shove. Eventually the copper pipes, shaped like a giant corkscrew and with enough kinks to feature in a blacksmith's attempt at sculpture, ended in the hand of the assistant, who dutifully bent the pipe back by hand to fit loosely in the general direction between the tank and the roof.

    I let them toil and when the job was "finished" the icing on the cake. The salesman made his appearance and with histrionic gesture told me in a conspiratorial tone. that he did this to all his client as a special favour. -See, he assured me, -This way you never run out of hot water ... and proceeded to rewire the tank heating element from the booster at the top, to the heating element at the bottom of the tank, that is in fact reserved for electric only installations.

    When the circus left, I called the manager and told him in no uncertain terms that I wanted a qualified plumber and a qualified electrician to come back and redo the job.
    Didn't take much talking, and the next day two actual tradesman had to pull all the copper from under the house and install new pipes properly, and the wiring was changed back as it should be.
    All courtesy of the global warming religion.
    Science is never settled,
    it advances one funeral at the time.
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    Any update on this? I read the original posts, what a nightmare. I hope you're getting it resolved satisfactorily.
    Owen in Melbourne

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    Quote Originally Posted by autojack View Post
    Any update on this? I read the original posts, what a nightmare. I hope you're getting it resolved satisfactorily.
    Happy to say that as of today, this ordeal is over.

    There was a lot of back and forth with the aircon company trying to get them to send a carpenter out at their cost. They did but only after I threatened to report them to Fair Trading.

    Unfortunately there was no mention of an engineer, and because getting them to send a carpenter was like pulling teeth, I shelled out some more money for an independent engineer to come out and inspect the damage, instead of letting the carpenters have their way with it and potentially making the whole problem worse. I'd already spent 10 grand on an aircon unit after all... might as well get the fixes done properly.
    Engineer came back to me with a report and a suggested fix.

    Gave the report to the carpenters, and this is what the trusses look like now.



    It's not pretty, but the engineer certified it, so that's that!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails after.jpg  

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    Well done.
    Now, for laughs, I would send the engineer's invoice to them to reimburse you, underlined by a fair trading complaint threat.

    You never know your luck in a big city, I managed to recover $2000 in repairs from a tyre shop that fittend 265/75 front tyres and 265/70 back tyres in my 4wd, and busted the controller and the actuator. Didn't need to talk much at all ... then again my expression was probably enough
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    it advances one funeral at the time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Well done.
    Now, for laughs, I would send the engineer's invoice to them to reimburse you, underlined by a fair trading complaint threat.

    You never know your luck in a big city, I managed to recover $2000 in repairs from a tyre shop that fittend 265/75 front tyres and 265/70 back tyres in my 4wd, and busted the controller and the actuator. Didn't need to talk much at all ... then again my expression was probably enough
    And.....your point is.....what exactly?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Well done.
    Now, for laughs, I would send the engineer's invoice to them to reimburse you, underlined by a fair trading complaint threat.

    You never know your luck in a big city, I managed to recover $2000 in repairs from a tyre shop that fittend 265/75 front tyres and 265/70 back tyres in my 4wd, and busted the controller and the actuator. Didn't need to talk much at all ... then again my expression was probably enough
    "A big boy did it and ran away"

    Legal disclaimer denying responsibility to be inserted here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nooblet View Post
    Happy to say that as of today, this ordeal is over.

    There was a lot of back and forth with the aircon company trying to get them to send a carpenter out at their cost. They did but only after I threatened to report them to Fair Trading.

    Unfortunately there was no mention of an engineer, and because getting them to send a carpenter was like pulling teeth, I shelled out some more money for an independent engineer to come out and inspect the damage, instead of letting the carpenters have their way with it and potentially making the whole problem worse. I'd already spent 10 grand on an aircon unit after all... might as well get the fixes done properly.
    Engineer came back to me with a report and a suggested fix.

    Gave the report to the carpenters, and this is what the trusses look like now.



    It's not pretty, but the engineer certified it, so that's that!
    keep an eye on any deflection , I've never seen a truss modification like that, I'd imagine a web going from the apex to the new web on the left to give a straighter load path with more open obtuse angles

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    Quote Originally Posted by nooblet View Post
    Happy to say that as of today, this ordeal is over.

    There was a lot of back and forth with the aircon company trying to get them to send a carpenter out at their cost. They did but only after I threatened to report them to Fair Trading.

    Unfortunately there was no mention of an engineer, and because getting them to send a carpenter was like pulling teeth, I shelled out some more money for an independent engineer to come out and inspect the damage, instead of letting the carpenters have their way with it and potentially making the whole problem worse. I'd already spent 10 grand on an aircon unit after all... might as well get the fixes done properly.
    Engineer came back to me with a report and a suggested fix.

    Gave the report to the carpenters, and this is what the trusses look like now.



    It's not pretty, but the engineer certified it, so that's that!
    I would forward the engineers bill to them, why should you have to pay for their stuffup.
    If the engineer came up with a solution to stabilise the damaged trusses this would say there was a problem created by the installers.

    If you didn't engage an engineer you could have been looking at far more expensive fixup later.
    If the engineer came out and said nah it's all ok, then so be it, but he didn't so forward the bill stating that you had to pay for professional advice how to rectify the structural damage they caused.

    If no go follow it up with FT, these cowboys need to be taught a lesson, you can't go around cutting structural timbers willy-nilly, they need to change their installation methods.
    Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir

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    Bet they'll pass on the solution for future installations to their carpenters, I'd be asking for reimbursement too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by intertd6 View Post
    keep an eye on any deflection , I've never seen a truss modification like that,
    Wonder if a truss supplier could run the numbers on that solution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    Wonder if a truss supplier could run the numbers on that solution.
    It's been a while, but when remember back to when trusses were modified when webs were removed , the top and bottom chords are laminated with more timber and adjacent webs are as well, all with bolts, fish plates, cleats & so on, the area where webs were removed was just spanned, these were truss manufacturers engineered solutions.
    inter

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