This picture shows a roof rafter that was cut off to make room for a chimney. This occurred in a relatively new condo. The chimney apparently was installed after the original construction of the building. The 2nd floor bedroom below this attic had a noticeable slope down towards the chimney. It was suspected based on the findings in the attic that a floor joist was cut through for the chimney.
When a structural wood member is cut through in a situation like this, the load it carries must be transferred to surrounding structural members. This is referred to as “heading off”. The term “header” is used to describe the structural member/s that transfer the load to adjacent structural members. In this case the cut roof rafter should have been connected to a 2″X10″ wood member installed perpendicularly and connected to the two adjacent rafters. Further, fire codes require a 2 inch separation between chimneys and wood members, which was lacking in this situation.
Photos taken by Dennis Robitaille of of Able Home Inspection.