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  1. #1
    Jason Cutler's Avatar
    Jason Cutler Guest

    Default Knee wall construction

    Hello,

    First off what a great website for information.

    I live in NC and have been working on framing my attic. I have a friend who has been helping me. I built a 4' knee wall about 40' long. It was created using a single 2x48 baseplate and a 2x4x4 vertically nailed into the 2x8 roof rafter. These are 16 o.c.

    Am I required to have a top plate to pass a framing inspection ? I was told no, but I want to be sure before I go any further.

    The space is going to be used for a general living space.

    Thanks
    Jason

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Knee wall construction

    Sorry but your description is much too vague for me to follow. There will need to be more details with correct terms for us to be of any help.
    Photos would be very advantageous.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  3. #3
    Jason Cutler's Avatar
    Jason Cutler Guest

    Default Re: Knee wall construction

    Thanks Jim,

    I was in the process of snapping a few photos. Hopefully these will help. The light is not great up there.

    As you can hopefully see I have attached the 2x4 to the side of the 2x8. I did this along one wall approximately 40ft long.

    The site is only allowing me to post one picture. This is another knee wall in a bedroom about 6' tall. If it allows me to add more pics, I will

    Thanks

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Knoxville, TN
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    2,445

    Default Re: Knee wall construction

    Why not ask the local building official, since they would be the one that either passes it or fails it?

    I can hear the conversation now..
    Building official: "This isn't right".
    You: "It has to be, A bunch of inspectors on a web site said it was OK this way".


  5. #5
    Jason Cutler's Avatar
    Jason Cutler Guest

    Default Re: Knee wall construction

    I was planning on making a call, but also was curious to see what other inspectors thoughts are.


  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Orlando, FL
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    Default Re: Knee wall construction

    If your City, County, or Town follows a Building Code, then yes, top plates are required for walls.
    They may want one even without codes, as they are a standard in wall construction.


  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Chicago IL
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    Default Re: Knee wall construction

    Low Kneewalls are a typical violation I write up all the time. 5' minimum kneewall height under our Code. I don't know what the IRC says. You should see what version of which Code you are under. As far as the top plate, terrible to say but I don't know if it is required. No one uses one, no one ever writes it up as a violation that I know of. Trying to use a top plate on kneewalls is just a PIA. Better and easier to put a pseudo top plate between each stud just under the rafters.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  8. #8
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    Santa Rosa, CA
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    Default Re: Knee wall construction

    My read is no top plate would be required in that particular instance. I am assuming you are creating a wall in an attic that did not have one and you did not remove any purlins. If that is the case, the wall is likely not taking any significant roof load. The top plate would make lining-up the studs easier so your wall board will be straight.

    But, as said above, check with the inspector that will be coming out. There may be things that are not in your pics that he will have objections to.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Knee wall construction

    A top plate is always required:

    R602.3.2 Top plate. Wood stud walls shall be capped with a
    double top plate installed to provide overlapping at corners and
    intersections with bearing partitions. End joints in top plates
    shall be offset at least 24 inches (610 mm). Joints in plates need
    not occur over studs. Plates shall be not less than 2-inches (51
    mm) nominal thickness and have a width at least equal to the
    width of the studs.
    Exception: A single top plate may be installed in stud walls,
    provided the plate is adequately tied at joints, corners and
    intersecting walls by a minimum 3-inch-by-6-inch by a
    0.036-inch-thick (76 mm by 152 mm by 0.914 mm) galvanized
    steel plate that is nailed to each wall or segment of wall
    by six 8d nails on each side, provided the rafters or joists are
    centered over the studs with a tolerance of no more than 1
    inch (25 mm). The top plate may be omitted over lintels that
    are adequately tied to adjacent wall sections with steel plates
    or equivalent as previously described.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Knee wall construction

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    A top plate is always required:
    Not based on the code section you posted.

    R602.3.2 Top plate. Wood stud walls shall be capped with a
    double top plate installed to provide overlapping at corners and
    intersections with bearing partitions. End joints in top plates
    shall be offset at least 24 inches (610 mm). Joints in plates need
    not occur over studs. Plates shall be not less than 2-inches (51
    mm) nominal thickness and have a width at least equal to the
    width of the studs.
    Exception: A single top plate may be installed in stud walls,
    provided the plate is adequately tied at joints, corners and
    intersecting walls by a minimum 3-inch-by-6-inch by a
    0.036-inch-thick (76 mm by 152 mm by 0.914 mm) galvanized
    steel plate that is nailed to each wall or segment of wall
    by six 8d nails on each side, provided the rafters or joists are
    centered over the studs with a tolerance of no more than 1
    inch (25 mm). The top plate may be omitted over lintels that
    are adequately tied to adjacent wall sections with steel plates
    or equivalent as previously described
    .


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Knee wall construction

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Not based on the code section you posted.
    Pick when picking is needed. The rest of the time pay attention to what is being discussed.

    Texas Inspector
    http://www.texasinspector.com
    What the plainspoken man lacks in subtlety, he makes up in clarity.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Knee wall construction

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    A top plate is always required:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Not based on the code section you posted.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    Pick when picking is needed. The rest of the time pay attention to what is being discussed.
    Hey, YOU are the one who said "always", not me.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    North Central Texas
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    Default Re: Knee wall construction

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Hey, YOU are the one who said "always", not me.
    g-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r . . . . . .

    Texas Inspector
    http://www.texasinspector.com
    What the plainspoken man lacks in subtlety, he makes up in clarity.

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