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  1. #1
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    Default Cool stuff in Alaska

    Here's a nice burl that the HO was asked to sell for $2,000 prior to install. Not your typical "post", but I think it'll hold the deck up just fine. I didn't make any comment in the report as to using this non-dimensional post, because when it comes to construction in Alaska, you never know what you'll find. The HO did take steps to get it off the ground (on a sauna tube) and flashed the top to prevent water entry...seemed like a good install, albeit atypical. Anybody question this type of construction in their neck of the woods? Thanks, David

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Cool stuff in Alaska

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mortensen View Post
    Not your typical "post", but I think it'll hold the deck up just fine. David
    David,

    Looking at the vertical splits I don't know how you could verify the load bearing capacity.

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Cool stuff in Alaska

    True, the vertical splits may cause weakening of the post. I felt the post was "overkill" anyways due to it's size. You would recommend some further analysis of its strength? Thanks for the reply...David


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Cool stuff in Alaska

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mortensen View Post
    You would recommend some further analysis of its strength?.David
    David,

    I would recommend replacement. Besides the vertical cracks(which will worsen with time.)
    The Post doesn't appear to be properly attached to the deck.Coupled with the small end at the bottom the possibility of failure under load due to racking(and they all come tumbling down) IE Party on the deck 15-20 people.

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Cool stuff in Alaska

    The top was fastened with a galvanized "L" bracket to the deck beam. The bottom has the same bearing surface as a typical 4" x 4". I think the issue is the vertical cracks more than the bearing of the top and bottom, but the use of atypical building materials will always get someone in trouble looks like... thanks for the responses! David


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Cool stuff in Alaska

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mortensen View Post
    but the use of atypical building materials will always get someone in trouble looks like.. David
    David,
    You are correct as an Attorney (after a deck failure) would use any atypical building materials in his case.

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  7. #7
    Chad Fabry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cool stuff in Alaska

    (on a sauna tube)
    Sonotube is a brand name for columnar cardboard concrete forms. It'd be difficult to determine if Sonotube brand forms were used after the fact. There are more than a few manufacturers of cardboard and polyethylene columnar concrete forms.

    The splits in the log are called checking and it doesn't much affect the compressive strength of the log. If that log were made into a half dozen or so 4x4's you wouldn't raise an eyebrow at it supporting the whole deck instead of one corner.

    I wonder why they installed the log opposite of its natural growth. If I was a log I'd want to be installed right side up.

    The L brackets are probably the weak link in the assembly.

    Coupled with the small end at the bottom the possibility of failure under load due to racking(and they all come tumbling down)
    Billy, why do you think it'd be more likely to rack and how would using a 4x4 fix that? Diagonal bracing would increase racking resistance but I'm not understanding why replacing the log with a 4x4 would?

    Last edited by Chad Fabry; 11-12-2007 at 02:42 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Cool stuff in Alaska

    While I may question the attachment points (cuz i can't see them in the photo), I don't think I would have any problem with the log being used as a post - but that's just me.

    I see many 6x6 posts that have checks in them.
    Almost every log home I have inspected has checks in the logs "somewhere".

    That log is probably a lot stronger than the "new" 6x6's available at the local lumber yard.
    JF


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Cool stuff in Alaska

    I like the log! I'm with Chad and Jack, I see little problem with it, other than how it might be attached and what I can't see.

    If you want to CYA, just report it as unique and unconventional. Then say that unconventional items tend to perform in unconventional and unpredictable ways, but right now it looks like it is performing its intended purpose.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Cool stuff in Alaska

    Quote Originally Posted by Chad Fabry View Post
    Billy, why do you think it'd be more likely to rack and how would using a 4x4 fix that? Diagonal bracing would increase racking resistance but I'm not understanding why replacing the log with a 4x4 would?
    Chad,

    If you Zoom on photo several cracks at the top & bottom contact points. Big chip off the bottom contact point weighted on top increases chance of tip over.Log splits at top(Some,No Contact or angle forcing load away from structure. 4x4 installed as shown does non those.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    That log is probably a lot stronger than the "new" 6x6's available at the local lumber
    yard.
    JF
    Jack,

    It's the probably part thats the problem. Written report recommend replacement. Is it stronger Probably. Will it perform its intended purpose and out last the rest of the deck Probably. Would the New owner replace it? Probably not. Am I in Court defending Probably?

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Cool stuff in Alaska

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    If you want to CYA, just report it as unique and unconventional. Then say that unconventional items tend to perform in unconventional and unpredictable ways, but right now it looks like it is performing its intended purpose.
    Scott,

    Attached photo is from Nolan K. Posted 8-01-07 Home built in 1929. Is this a recommend replacement or unconventional performing its intended purpose?

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    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Cool stuff in Alaska

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    Scott,

    Attached photo is from Nolan K. Posted 8-01-07 Home built in 1929. Is this a recommend replacement or unconventional performing its intended purpose?
    Kind of a small picture, but it looks like a tree trunk being used as a support or foundation column. I have seen them many times in old homes from the 1800's and early 1900's. Yep, they are unconventional in today's standards but they were very conventional when those homes were built.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Cool stuff in Alaska

    I would like to "CMA" so to speak, but in this case it just seems overboard to fret about the splits in the log. However, I am sure if this fails I won't feel that way at all. I guess it's a judgement call we make everyday as an inspector. I'm glad I posted this topic, it's valuable information to see how others view a topic and I appreciate the feedback. David


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Cool stuff in Alaska

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Yep, they are unconventional in today's standards but they were very conventional when those homes were built.

    Scott,
    There are things that were conventional construction during their time, Knob & Tube wiring,no insulation in the attic,asbestos siding,no T&P on WH heaters,no auto reverse on garage doors,no smoke alarms installed, ect. I still write those.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mortensen View Post
    I guess it's a judgement call we make everyday as an inspector. David
    r

    David,

    I'm not saying you were wrong as I was not there. I am saying if I don't think I can answer the man in the black robes questions, I write it.

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Cool stuff in Alaska

    Thanks for the advice Billy, I do think in terms of that guy in the black robes alot, and thankfully I haven't been in front of him yet. That's why I appreciate your feedback. Good inspecting to you, David


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