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post #1 of 16 Old 01-26-2016, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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House Framing

How is this for good framing? I inspected a house for a client today and found a big portion of the house they doubled 2x4's for the floor joists. With other things I found wrong with the house she decided to pass on the house. What appears to be ceramic tiles for shims on the piers turned out to be 1/4" steel plates.
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post #2 of 16 Old 01-26-2016, 01:47 AM
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That's uh... That is... Something
Are those stacked 2x4's?
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post #3 of 16 Old 01-26-2016, 02:55 AM
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In the UK we have building inspectors who have to sign off various stages in house construction.
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post #4 of 16 Old 01-26-2016, 09:06 AM
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Hey, at least the steel won't crack...

I'm curious, how were the stacked 2x4's held together?

Maybe this was just an early example of gluelam beams!
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post #5 of 16 Old 01-26-2016, 09:20 AM
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i was always curious if two 2"x4"s (or 2 anything) would structurally equal the sum, or a 2" x 8" in this case. can't imagine they could be that well attached on site to be considered one. hopefully a structural engineer will step in here.
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post #6 of 16 Old 01-26-2016, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Hey, at least the steel won't crack...

I'm curious, how were the stacked 2x4's held together?

Maybe this was just an early example of gluelam beams!
In the middle they nailed a small piece of 1/2 plywood to one side of the boards.
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post #7 of 16 Old 01-26-2016, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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That's uh... That is... Something
Are those stacked 2x4's?
Yes they are stacked 2x4's and not fastened together very good.
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post #8 of 16 Old 01-26-2016, 09:36 AM
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i was always curious if two 2"x4"s (or 2 anything) would structurally equal the sum, or a 2" x 8" in this case. can't imagine they could be that well attached on site to be considered one. hopefully a structural engineer will step in here.
I worked for a company that did 20 or more roof tear offs and add a second floor. While we never encountered 2x4's we had an engineer design a system of stacking joists with plywood strips for gussets, centered on the joint, glued and nailed to both joists. Sometimes, existing pipes and wires would not allow for anything else. They came out slightly stronger than a single joist of the same size, possibly due to the added plywood. Joist had to be glued to joist to prevent any lateral sliding due to bending under load too. It looks like someone could do the same to the ones in the picture, if they could get the building for a much lower offer to cover the work.
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post #9 of 16 Old 01-26-2016, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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In the UK we have building inspectors who have to sign off various stages in house construction.
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Houses have to be inspected here too however in the Dallas area it's not difficult to get a contractor to come in and do repairs without permits, especially if the repair isn't visible from the street. The wood with the doubled 2x4's looks newer than the house so I believe it's someones idea of repairs. The house has had a bunch of these type repairs. It had something I'd never seen before. The kitchen cabinet doors were style and rail construction made out of MDF. She says, what are these puffy spots on the doors? I said the doors were made out of paper and they've been wet. This house had so many problems I gave her a rough estimate of 50k just to patch it up and make it livable. This is one house that would be better off torn down and rebuilt.
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post #10 of 16 Old 01-26-2016, 10:32 AM
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How many 2x6's did they use for the beam Steve?


Just looking at the one photo you posted I would agree with you about tearing it down.
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post #11 of 16 Old 01-26-2016, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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How many 2x6's did they use for the beam Steve?


Just looking at the one photo you posted I would agree with you about tearing it down.
Some of the beams were 4x6 treated. I believe the rest were three 2x6's.
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post #12 of 16 Old 01-26-2016, 03:40 PM
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At least you did a good job of inspecting for her, I too am in the Dallas area, one time I got a punch list of what was wrong with a used house that was inspected, they wrote up the aluminum wiring to the electric furnace, so I installed anti galling compound to the joints, and as I was crawling across the attic, I went over a garden hose, so when I went out curiosity got the best of me so I traced the hose down, it went from the gas meter to a log lighter in the living room, it wasn't written up, but I made it known so it got fixed

Never could figure out why they had an electric furnace while they had gas to the house
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post #13 of 16 Old 01-26-2016, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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At least you did a good job of inspecting for her, I too am in the Dallas area, one time I got a punch list of what was wrong with a used house that was inspected, they wrote up the aluminum wiring to the electric furnace, so I installed anti galling compound to the joints, and as I was crawling across the attic, I went over a garden hose, so when I went out curiosity got the best of me so I traced the hose down, it went from the gas meter to a log lighter in the living room, it wasn't written up, but I made it known so it got fixed

Never could figure out why they had an electric furnace while they had gas to the house
This was an old neighborhood in the lower Greenville area. She had the house inspected also, is why she called me. She wanted my input since I would be doing most of the repairs. Over the last sixteen years she has had me do numerous repairs to the house she is currently living in and it appears they are trying to downsize and get them a smaller house. The inspector thought the piers were crumbling and she wanted to know if I could them. When I got under the house I found the piers, some of them were as old as the house but not crumbling. It was everything else. The outer beam of the house seemed fine but a lot of the piers had sunk down some making the floor un-level. I couldn't have done the work anyway. The house was too low to the ground for me to get around very much. Needed someone skinny, which certainly isn't me. There was an issue too with the floor sagging under the bath. When I got under the house I discovered at some time a plumber had cut off a floor joist to install the toilet and the joist was hanging down an inch lower than the other side of the cut.
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post #14 of 16 Old 01-26-2016, 08:31 PM
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I don't suppose the area where the 2Xs are found was originally an addition like a deck or open porch built before the 80s? Many states prior to the 6th edition of the NBC let tons of junk slide, windows, doors, some additions, (decks) roofing, siding, etc. without pulling permits. In 1982 Ma, all one had to do to get a license handed to them was have an employer vouch for you regardless of qualification. By 1987 it all changed in Ma, so much bad work had been done you couldn't sneeze on a house without pulling a permit. By 1990 One had to register with the HIC to do repairs, (even if you had an unrestricted CSL. By 1992/93 the majority of write-ups in the "Bulletin" State contractors rag, went from amendments to the current code to contractor fines and license suspensions. Many homeowners think they can still reconfigure the weather tight and or structural integrity of their home however they like, because it's their home.

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post #15 of 16 Old 01-26-2016, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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I don't suppose the area where the 2Xs are found was originally an addition like a deck or open porch built before the 80s? Many states prior to the 6th edition of the NBC let tons of junk slide, windows, doors, some additions, (decks) roofing, siding, etc. without pulling permits. In 1982 Ma, all one had to do to get a license handed to them was have an employer vouch for you regardless of qualification. By 1987 it all changed in Ma, so much bad work had been done you couldn't sneeze on a house without pulling a permit. By 1990 One had to register with the HIC to do repairs, (even if you had an unrestricted CSL. By 1992/93 the majority of write-ups in the "Bulletin" State contractors rag, went from amendments to the current code to contractor fines and license suspensions. Many homeowners think they can still reconfigure the weather tight and or structural integrity of their home however they like, because it's their home.
No, it's not an addition. I think some time for some reason someone replaced some of the original floor joists. I know most of the piers are newer than the house. The originals were done with red brick. The newer ones are concrete block.

As far as the permits, in Texas you can easily get away without permits and you don't have to have a license. I do all kinds of building, plumbing and electrical work on folks houses without any kind of license. When I first got into it I hired plumbers and electricians and then one plumber hooked up plumbing in a kitchen sink, turned on the water, got in his truck and went home. It wasn't caught until a neighbor found water coming out their front door. Then a few projects where I was working under a building permit the electricians were doing bad work and the building inspectors were red tagging the job holding me up. I finally started going over their work to make sure it was right before calling for inspection. On jobs without a building permit I finally cut them out of the deal and started doing the work myself instead of having to re-do what the electrician was doing.
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post #16 of 16 Old 01-27-2016, 02:30 PM
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The thing about using licensed and insured , (subs and gens), is recourse with insurance Cos, local BD, HIC and State Licensing board. Many of the guys I worked for and or around hated all of the above, mostly because "all of the above" look out for the HO and themselves and not and not the contractor.

Spring 2014, a neighbor asked me if I'd be interested in framing a stairwell and stairs to his attic. He claimed to be a licensed MCS, and had pulled the permit to do the job 2 yrs prior. Why didn't you do it yourself? You know the permit you pulled is invalid right? It becomes invalid if construction is delayed and one doesn't renew it at 6 month intervals from date of issue to keep it valid. Are you aware the permit is pulled under the previous BC edition? If and when you get the existing signed off with the BD or issued a new permit give me a call, I loath turning down work considering how little I get anymore, but I'm not risking my license, insurance or rapport with the BD.

He was infuriated with the questions. The work was finally done last fall, by a framer not me who pulled a new permit under his license. You gotta protect your own assets.

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