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  1. #1
    Jenni Wailes's Avatar
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    Default Framing... is this ok???

    The builder began framing on our house last thursday. My husband an i went to to see it on friday, and what we saw.... seemed really shady. There where premade wall panels *(which we knew was common) but lets say it take 15 2x4's to make that panel..... 12 of those 15 boards were made to look like 8 foot 2x4's by being dove tailed pieces fit together.... thats crazy right???? is this normal.... what is the structural integrity of a house when 85% of it is made with scraps piece together???

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Framing... is this ok???

    Your probably seeing finger jointed 2x4's in a vertical position which is normal too see. Not a structural problem whosoever. These types of 2x4's cannot be used in a horizontal position though.

    rick


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Framing... is this ok???

    Did they look like this?

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  4. #4
    Jenni Wailes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Framing... is this ok???

    yes... just like that... but not all sections were equal size.... should we back out of buying this house due to that.... or is it common place.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Framing... is this ok???

    Jenni, you should hire an inspector to look at the house and go from there.


  6. #6
    Jenni Wailes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Framing... is this ok???

    we have. He's going to go out there when the framing and wiring are complete.... but since the builder we around us and poured our slab with out telling us when they were going to do that (we didn't get a chance to have him inspect the forms). i just wanted to get an idea of if this fram work was ok


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Framing... is this ok???

    The boards are not going to be of all equals sizes in between the finger-jointed sections due cutting of the boards.

    Let your inspector check it out before jumping to conclusions.

    Who's your builder? Send me a private email if you'd like.

    rick


  8. #8
    Michael Cantor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Framing... is this ok???

    The lengths are staggered or random much like brickwork which is staggered to create a bond. You don't want all the joints at the same height or level so that the assembly won't tend to crack at the joints. The finger joints are perfectly ok!

    Mike


  9. #9
    Jim Zborowski's Avatar
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    Default Re: Framing... is this ok???

    In all likelyhood the finger joining would have been done at the mill when the wood was made. The process is becoming more widely used as we become more " green ", as you waste less wood. From all reports I have seen, the joint is at least if not more strong as the uncut portion of wood. However, this strength would be in a compressive state only, not under latteral load, as was previously mentioned.


  10. #10
    Ed Massart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Framing... is this ok???

    The finger jointed wood studs will not twist, crack, split or cup like the sawn lumber will. It can be an upgrade to get these studs on walls that will have cabinets, they will be straighter and more plumb than regular framed walls. makes it much easier to hang cabinets on.

    The only problem I have with finger jointed wood is in window sills and brick molding that does not get regular exterior maintenance. Then you have all kinds of problems.

    Ed


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Framing... is this ok???

    Acceptable yes maybe, but surely not the best construction practice. If they went for the best price when purching they have to take the questionable construction that goes with it.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Framing... is this ok???

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Wieczorek View Post
    Acceptable yes maybe, but surely not the best construction practice. If they went for the best price when purching they have to take the questionable construction that goes with it.

    Why is that Bill? Are you saying that if someone buys an affordable home there is not going to be some "finger jointed" wood?

    Why is that even considered questionable. FJ lumber is just a strong if not stronger against breakage than a regular cut 2x4.

    I would say 99% of the homes built here have such lumber. It is not used just in affordable homes.

    rick


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Framing... is this ok???

    I've never seen it here, that doesn't mean it's not permitted. My reply is the result of a personal preference. Even the lower priced homes bacjk here are not using finger jointed framing material. I'm sure it must be ok in your area if they are using them.
    The only finger jointed material i have seen is trim. My reply is strictly a personal perference.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Framing... is this ok???

    Bill,

    I will agree with you about the finger jointed trim such as crown moldings and base. Its junk.

    rick


  15. #15
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Framing... is this ok???

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Bill,

    I will agree with you about the finger jointed trim such as crown moldings and base. Its junk.

    rick
    As posted above I have never seen a piece of finger jointed exterior trim that I liked. That brings me to believe that the higher the moisture level is between the walls the quicker the break down of the glue joint (possibly)

    Anyways, I like but also dislike fingure jointed lumber for framing. Straighter yes. Stronger, not sure, winds blowing against a wall, I think weaker. Used as king studs for doors and such, don't think it is a good idea.

    JMHO


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Framing... is this ok???

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Cantor View Post
    The lengths are staggered or random much like brickwork which is staggered to create a bond. You don't want all the joints at the same height or level so that the assembly won't tend to crack at the joints.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Zborowski View Post
    In all likelyhood the finger joining would have been done at the mill when the wood was made. The process is becoming more widely used as we become more " green ", as you waste less wood.
    Michael,

    There is no control or relationship to having or not having the joints align on the construction site.

    As you said, yes, the piece of wood are random lengths, and, as Jim said, that was done in the mill. The studs 'may' (although it would be unlikely) all have the joints at the same height in the wall, except that, being random lengths used, that would be highly unlikely.

    From all reports I have seen, the joint is at least if not more strong as the uncut portion of wood. However, this strength would be in a compressive state only, not under latteral load, as was previously mentioned.
    The disconcerting thing is, walls are indeed under lateral loads every time the wind blows.

    Yes, finger jointed studs meet the structural requirements for the compressive loads on the studs, however, that does not mean they area stronger than non-finger jointed wood studs - it only means they are 'strong enough'.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Framing... is this ok???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenni Wailes View Post
    The builder began framing on our house last thursday. My husband an i went to to see it on friday, and what we saw.... seemed really shady. There where premade wall panels *(which we knew was common) but lets say it take 15 2x4's to make that panel..... 12 of those 15 boards were made to look like 8 foot 2x4's by being dove tailed pieces fit together.... thats crazy right???? is this normal.... what is the structural integrity of a house when 85% of it is made with scraps piece together???
    Jenni,

    Out left here in CA, type of lumber is generally specified in the plans or in the specification booklet that is a part of the approved plans. I would call the engineer of record and ask him/her if the finger jointed studs are acceptable.

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  18. #18
    Jenni Wailes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Framing... is this ok???

    Thanks Gentlemen,
    from what I gather, you all are saying that the finger joint framing is acceptable for the interior walls/frame. But that it should not be used for exterior. And when used, it should only be in the vertical position. is that correct? I have to tell you this has made me feel better about the house.... we were one step away from pulling out of this and going elsewhere


  19. #19
    Jenni Wailes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Framing... is this ok???

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Jenni,

    Out left here in CA, type of lumber is generally specified in the plans or in the specification booklet that is a part of the approved plans. I would call the engineer of record and ask him/her if the finger jointed studs are acceptable.
    how would i find this guy... is he the construction manager.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Framing... is this ok???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenni Wailes View Post
    But that it should not be used for exterior.
    No, that is not what we are saying. There are many areas of the country which have less susceptibility to high wind loading (or high snow loading), and, in other areas, the engineer of record could specify their acceptability, if the engineer determines they are acceptable in exterior walls.

    And when used, it should only be in the vertical position. is that correct?
    Correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenni Wailes View Post
    how would i find this guy... is he the construction manager.
    No, his name will be on the plans as the designer of record, could be an architect, could be a structural engineer.

    In some areas, no engineer is needed if the house is 'built using the code as the design model', i.e., the code says you can do this, and the contractor does that. However, in many areas of the country, that is not acceptable, the AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) wants an engineer to be responsible.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 10-13-2008 at 09:21 PM. Reason: fixed a [/quote] which was missing the '/'
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Framing... is this ok???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenni Wailes View Post
    how would i find this guy... is he the construction manager.
    Jenni,

    Just like JP said, if engineered, the approved set of plans will have the engineer's stamp. In my area, pretty much everything has an engineer's stamp. I forget that not all of the U.S. does this, but our ground tends to shake occasionally. I would have assumed that since TX is in the path of the occasional hurricane, engineering would also be required. If there is no structural engineer's stamp on the plans or specifications (usually the term is "professional engineer" or P.E.), then the architect would be the one to question. If no architect, then you are stuck with the builder.

    Remember to check the approved plans. The builder will probably have these. The approved set will probably have a city or county stamp on each page. At least, that is what is done around here.

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Framing... is this ok???

    I see Stafford is near the coast.
    The counties along the coast have a special restriction requiring an engineer to certify the construction since it is in a high wind area.
    Since I am far from the coast, I know very little about the process, but I did sit through a continuing education class that taught a little on the subject.
    I would bet there is an engineer involved since you can't get insurance without the certificate if the house is located in a high wind area. Get in touch and ask him about the requirements.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Framing... is this ok???

    Finger joint is common around here. Here's everything you need to know about the lumber. http://www.cwc.ca/NR/rdonlyres/676CF...ntedlumber.pdf

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
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