Loft Conversions Question

2 joists cut in loft

We have just found 2 loft joists appear to have been cut out, either by Council before we bought it (7 yrs ago), by re-wiring (8 yrs ago), front/back PVC Clad+Double Glaze (8 yrs ago), my father before he left (25+ yrs ago) or before we moved here (30 yrs ago).

We don't really go in the loft, just use the space near to the hatch due to it having that insulation that looks like paper machet and fiber glass which goes EVERYWHERE, so only noticed today when getting xmas decos and clearing for some work to be done.

The house passed the survey with no mentions of this, and the council never mentioned it when repairing bits on the survey (damaged tile, vents needed minor stuff).

Now we are aware of it, we are wondering if it a case of having it braced, or repaired, what the likely implications of such an old issue.

Is it likely to be a simple job ?

Edit: I can't see how too reply on my tablet. Ill take some picture asap just waiting on cavity wall people today.

10 Answers

Best Answer

hi would it be possible for u to upload a pic or 2 to have a look
thanks dave

Answered 21st Nov 2011

DMCS Carpentry

Member since 21 Nov 2011

Hi if they are just the ceiling joists in a traditional built roof then they can easily be re strengthened by putting new alongside and bolting through into the cut joists, if your roof is a truss roof (prob not) then then similar can be done bit you would need to check if any movement in the roof has appeared and rectify if it has as trusses are not designed to be cut. Hope this helps...

Answered 21st Nov 2011


Member since 16 Mar 2009


Not really sure of the reason why someone would cut out two whole ceiling joists. The ceiling plaster is fastened to these joists and they are part of the structure of the roof.

Is there any evidence of damage to the ceiling in that area? Are the 2 joists in question next to each other? How big is the gap between the remaning joists in that area? Just wondering if maybe they were fitted in the wrong place during the build and then cut out?

It's hard to comment without viewing it or seeing some photos, but If they do need replacing, it shouldn't be a major job.

I would've thought though, that if it was an issue, the surveyor would've picked up on it.


Answered 22nd Nov 2011

AR Joiners & Builders

Member since 14 Jan 2009

If the ceiling does not appear to be bowing, or the plaster cracked, then I strongly suspect that you dont have anything to worry about.
If your still worried about this look for a carpenter, who gives free quotes,in your local area. He will be happy to have a quick look and offer you advise on how to proceed.

Answered 21st Nov 2011

Cove Carpenters

Member since 25 Jan 2010

Its been a long time without them, but I would advise for peace of mind to reinstate them.
Sounds like your loft insulation wants upgrading while your up there.

Answered 21st Nov 2011


Member since 29 Oct 2008

Hello seraphim_51,
this is a simple repair for a carpenter, i recommend you keep clear of the area until it is done.

Answered 22nd Nov 2011

IAC services

Member since 9 Nov 2011

contact a structural engineer and also Building control. And i would do this sooner rather than later

Answered 22nd Nov 2011

Clarity Home Designs Limited

Member since 27 Sep 2010

sounds like you may need to splice a timber down side of them and bolt them together or use timber lock screws dont think there is anything to worry about just a bit of peace of mind let the timbers extend as far as possible past the cut on either side a metre is usually enough good luck
Roy Sequoia Construction

Answered 22nd Nov 2011

sequoia construction

Member since 4 Nov 2007

Hi there,
If the joists that are missing was next to a wall? You may of had a chimney removed years ago?
I would recommend having a local builder to replace them, and to maybe upgrade your loft insulation after the refit of the joist?
Thanks Russell

Answered 19th Feb 2012

MTR Lofts Ltd

Member since 2 Jul 2008


You cant really just cut out joists, without it weakening the structure. It could be fine for years to come... but to be on the safe side it would be best to put them back in. Surprised it's not been picked up earlier, and god knows what's holding the ceiling up.

Either way, it's not a big or expensive job to replace the joists or to put bracing in.. you are possible looking at around £130-£250 all in.

Implications, would be actually getting the new joist up into the loft...that's usually the most difficult part... if you have the would be straight forward job.

If room is tight... other ways around it, would be to put a trimmer joists (braces) across the cut end joists, fixed into the two full joist either side of the missing take the ends of existing cut joist.

Sounds very complicated I know :) check this link ignore the waste pipe bit.....

You could then infill the opening...with two joist to support the ceiling...

Hope this helps, if not I'll hang myself

Answered 21st Nov 2011

Rebel Carpenter

Member since 24 Sep 2008

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