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  1. #1
    Yufei Shi's Avatar
    Yufei Shi Guest

    Default Floor joist related questions

    Hi All,
    I bought a new 2 story house less than two years ago. The house is located in Ottawa, Canada. I have few floor joist related questions and would like to get your opinion.

    1) (Please see photo 1) Pretty much all joist hangers at both basement and the floor above (by looking at photos take during framing inspection)
    are attached to the header with 8 nails (4 on each side) instead of 10 nails due to the header (a 2x8) being too short and there is a gap above the header. Please Look closely at the top hole on the joist hanger, it is not used. By using 20% less nails than required, will this reduce the bearing capacity of the joist hangers and the floor joists the hangers
    support? Is this an issue?

    2) (Please see photo 2, 3, 4) One end of a floor joist is damaged by toe nailing (there is about only 2 bearing on the sill plate for the floor joists). And there are 2 more floor joists are notched at the bottom flange in the middle. Is this an issue? Will this reduce the joist bearing capacity to the point that it needs repair?

    3) (Please see photo 5 and 6) Another question regarding floor joist should installation. The floor joists are NOT nailed to the sill plate along the foundation wall. (I checked both sides of several floor joists). Only the rim joists are nailed to the top and bottom flange of the floor joists from outside. Is this standard practice? 2x4 is used as the sill plate on the foundation wall, so the floor joist bearing is about 2". Is it OK?
    Is there enough space on the sill plate for both rim joist and foundation anchor bolts (have not found any yet on the 2x4 sill plate)?
    Is this an issue?

    4) (Please see photo 7) The floor joists are all butt joined with a small gap bettwen them and only has 2" bearing on the sill plate. This is throughout the basement. Is this common way to install the floor joists? I was told the floor joist only needs minimum 1-1/2" bearing.

    5) (Please see photo 8) Solid blocking is used between the bottom flanges of floor joists instead of cross-bridging. Is this OK? Should solid blocking be added between the TOP flanges of floor joists as well?

    Thanks for you reply in advance.

    Yufei

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Floor joist related questions

    Do you have a manufacturer name for the I joists? They normally have instructions that will detail attachment to headers, nailing to sill plate, etc.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Floor joist related questions

    shoulda, woulda, coulda had a home inspection


  4. #4
    Yufei Shi's Avatar
    Yufei Shi Guest

    Default Re: Floor joist related questions

    Jim and Wayne, thanks for the replies.

    The floor joist is manufactured by NASCOR, The model is NJ10.

    http://www.nascorbykott.com/literatu...spec-guide.pdf

    The model for strong tie joist hanger is LU210.

    I had home inspections done by 3 different inspectors
    - Framing inspection before they put on the drywall
    - Another inspection after move in
    - 1 year warranty inspection
    - 2 year warranty inspection done few days ago (by the same inspector who did the framing inspection)

    I have brought up those concerns to all the three inspectors who are certified Ontario home inspectors.

    They all told me those are NOT issues and they are not included in the inspection reports reproduced by the inspectors.

    But the installation does not seem to comply with the installation guide from floor joist manufacturer (which also include instructions on joist hanger and bridiging installation).

    The joist installation did say minimum 1-1/2" bearing though.

    Are those issues? Should I include them in my 2nd year Tarion warranty report?

    Thanks a lot,

    Yufei


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Floor joist related questions

    Yufei
    From what I see on your photos you're in deep trouble. I'd get the local building department out there for another look and if that doesn't get results get an attorney who specializes in construction defects because your floor joist installation is "target rich."

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  6. #6
    Yufei Shi's Avatar
    Yufei Shi Guest

    Default Re: Floor joist related questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    Yufei
    From what I see on your photos you're in deep trouble. I'd get the local building department out there for another look and if that doesn't get results get an attorney who specializes in construction defects because your floor joist installation is "target rich."
    Thanks Jerry,

    Could you please elaborate more on the specifics of the issues? The house was inspected by the City of Ottawa.

    I will try to get a city inspector to look at problems.

    Thanks,

    Yufei


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Floor joist related questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Yufei Shi View Post
    The floor joist is manufactured by NASCOR, The model is NJ10.

    http://www.nascorbykott.com/literatu...spec-guide.pdf

    The model for strong tie joist hanger is LU210.
    You have done some research and, from having been there in person, can see the installation in comparison with the installation guide better than we can.

    The problem with doing things like this over the internet with photos is that we cannot see the entire picture at the same time and thus cannot tie the loose ends together, which might in fact make the loose ends 'no problem'.

    They all told me those are NOT issues and they are not included in the inspection reports reproduced by the inspectors.
    I hope I am not stepping on the toes of any or our Canadian inspectors here, and I have said this before, as have a few others ... If you are doing new home inspections and your ARE NOT LOOKING AT THOSE THINGS ... YOU SHOULD NOT BE DOING NEW HOME INSPECTIONS. Period.

    Those SHOULD BE on the inspectors report.

    But the installation does not seem to comply with the installation guide from floor joist manufacturer (which also include instructions on joist hanger and bridiging installation).
    Agreed with what little we can see.

    While you are looking over the installation instructions again, please not that at the cross-bridging it states "(optional)", which means your local code would need to be referenced and looked at.

    Are those issues? Should I include them in my 2nd year Tarion warranty report?
    Yes, and I would call the manufacturer and see if they have a representative in your area or one which travels around and can stop by to review the installation of THEIR I-joists as THEY may also be on the hook as they are the "deep pockets" should something happen.

    If their representative signs off on the installation, then you have documentation stating same.

    If their representative says anything other than signing off on it, have them issue a report was to what they (the manufacturer) see is not acceptable as an installation practice and how it should be corrected. Give that to the builder, then to the those home inspectors.

    Bring the city in as a last resort as if there is a significant number of things wrong the city can tell you to vacate the building until the items have been corrected. You may not be ready for that extreme - and it could happen ... be careful what you wish for.

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

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Floor joist related questions

    The home was most certainly approved by the municipality via the building permit process/inspection and granting of final occupancy. My bet is the town inspection officer will not contradict what was already passed.

    If you have three inspectors (btw inspectors in Ontario are not certified and there is no licencing, and just because they belong to an association is pretty much meaningless) they should be called to account in my opinion.


  9. #9
    Yufei Shi's Avatar
    Yufei Shi Guest

    Default Re: Floor joist related questions

    Thanks Jerry and Raymond,

    I will get a structural engineer and get in touch with a lawyer practicing construction law in Ontario.

    All 3 home inspectors did not notice the problems themselves. Even after I pointed the probelms/concerns to them, they told me they are not problems. But the more I do my own research, the more they look like real issues to me.

    I am not counting on the city inspectors as they probably did not spend much time in the house during the inspections.

    Your opinions are very valuable to me. I really appreciate it.

    Thanks,

    Yufei


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Floor joist related questions

    The inspectors should have caught the anchoring of the columns its so blatant. As far as I am concerned one of the three should have caught it.

    Good luck, let us know if you need any further help.


  11. #11
    Yufei Shi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Floor joist related questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    The inspectors should have caught the anchoring of the columns its so blatant. As far as I am concerned one of the three should have caught it.

    Good luck, let us know if you need any further help.
    Thanks Raymond,

    You are referring to the steel post to foundation wall ahchorage in my other post, correct?

    Thanks a lot,

    Yufei


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Floor joist related questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Yufei Shi View Post
    Thanks Raymond,

    You are referring to the steel post to foundation wall ahchorage in my other post, correct?

    Thanks a lot,

    Yufei
    Yes I am and now that I look further that section of the code does not apply to the base of the column, however that shim should be placed squarely under the bottom plate as it appears to have been placed there as the column is too short thus the steel shim. Cannot find a code reference for steel shims at bottom plate. Ideally the steel shim should always be at the top of the column. Sorry for any confusion.

    Last edited by Raymond Wand; 08-12-2009 at 07:52 PM.

  13. #13
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Floor joist related questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Yufei Shi View Post
    More photos for you to exam.

    This is the first set for main floor.

    All photos were taken 2 years ago before construction was completed.

    Please let me know if you see something wrong.

    Thanks,

    Yufei
    You should have this home imaged by a thermographer.
    Infrared Thermal Imaging can show you more information about your home behind the sheet rock. Framing, Missing insulation, plumbing leaks, moisture condition, roof leaks or overheating wires in the walls and leaks in the HVAC Ducts.

    Send me an email if you would like more information.
    ronofexcellence@earthlink.net

    Best

    Ron


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Floor joist related questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Yufei Shi View Post
    More photos for you to exam.
    Quote Originally Posted by Yufei Shi View Post
    More photos for you to exam.
    Quote Originally Posted by Yufei Shi View Post
    More photos for you to exam.
    Quote Originally Posted by Yufei Shi View Post
    More photos for you to exam.
    I see one thing in common with the above posts ... ...

    ... Those should have said "More photos for THE INSPECTOR/STRUCTURAL ENGINEER/ATTORNEY I am hiring to examine."

    Way to many photos and things to try to dissect FOR FREE here on a public board. You need to HIRE someone qualified to go over those photos while in your house so they have a reference point.

    A photo here and there, a question here and there, and we try to help, and that help is given FREELY, however, you are asking for much more than that.

    Finally, the more information you ask for and have given here (or anywhere) publicly, it now becomes public and you may well regret it when it comes time to litigate should that be necessary - opposing counsel and their client will have access to all the things said about things WHICH MAY NOT BE DEFICIENT.

    The information you seek may come back to bite you in the butt then.

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

  15. #15
    Yufei Shi's Avatar
    Yufei Shi Guest

    Default Re: Floor joist related questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I see one thing in common with the above posts ... ...

    ... Those should have said "More photos for THE INSPECTOR/STRUCTURAL ENGINEER/ATTORNEY I am hiring to examine."

    Way to many photos and things to try to dissect FOR FREE here on a public board. You need to HIRE someone qualified to go over those photos while in your house so they have a reference point.

    A photo here and there, a question here and there, and we try to help, and that help is given FREELY, however, you are asking for much more than that.

    Finally, the more information you ask for and have given here (or anywhere) publicly, it now becomes public and you may well regret it when it comes time to litigate should that be necessary - opposing counsel and their client will have access to all the things said about things WHICH MAY NOT BE DEFICIENT.

    The information you seek may come back to bite you in the butt then.
    Thanks Jerry. Point taken. I deleted the extra photos I posted last night.

    Yufei


  16. #16
    Richard A Hetzel's Avatar
    Richard A Hetzel Guest

    Default Re: Floor joist related questions

    Each joist hanger is designed to support a certain maximum load, and this information can be found in the manufacturer's literature. Yes, the manufacturer specifies that the hanger shall be fully nailed, BUT, if the actual load on the hanger is less than the maximum design load of the hanger, perhaps the omission of two nails is of no consequence. It is not automatically a defect.

    No one in their right mind will expect any municipal inspector to inspect to this level of detail. They are given perhaps 20 minutes to complete an inspection, whereas home inspectors may take a half-day or a whole day. Further, most municipal inspectors are protected by a hold-harmess clause, and they cannot be held responsible for construction defects, even if they should have seen them.

    The hangers should be evaluated for sufficient nailing by an engineer or other qualified design professional. They are not automatically incorrect.

    Last edited by Richard A Hetzel; 10-04-2009 at 06:56 AM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Floor joist related questions

    No one in their right mind will expect any municipal inspector to inspect to this level of detail. They are given perhaps 20 minutes to complete an inspection, whereas home inspectors may take a half-day or a whole day. Further, most municipal inspectors are protected by a hold-harmess clause, and they cannot be held responsible for construyction defects, even if they should have seen them.
    Maybe down in the states, but up here in Canada the courts have addressed this issue and have found otherwise. The whole purpose of the building code and inspection and enforcement is the duty to protect the public fwiw.


  18. #18
    Richard A Hetzel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Floor joist related questions

    Yes, that's true, but most, if not all, municipalities could NEVER afford the cost of inspecting to that level of detail. Their inspection staff would have to increase about forty-fold to do so. Municipal inspectors sometimes leave their office in the morning with a list of 30 to 40 inspections to make. Divide 8 hours by 40, and you get 12 minutes per inspection, without accounting for travel time in between them! How can we expect our municipal inspectors to find minor issues? They work on a trust basis with the contractors in their areas. Contractors they trust get drive-by inspections. I know of one inspector who inspected over the phone.

    If owners want inspection to that level of detail, they are certainly free to hire a good private inspector, who can spend two or three whole days a week at the site when it's warranted. Yes, it costs, but what is the cost of not doing so? Or, they can retain their architect for on-site inspection, rather than simple periodic observation. Yes, that costs, too, and most owners who have homes built by a builder, using the builder's plans, are at the mercy of the builder, with no design professional on their side.

    The Canadian courts may have held as you describe, but that decision is completely unreasonable in practice. It isn't the first mistake courts have made, and it won't be the last. The expectation of exhaustive on-site inspection by municipal inspectors is nuts. Give them a break; they do a pretty good job as it is, because they know who to trust.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Floor joist related questions

    Courts in the U.S. have consistently found that AHJ's have a duty to the public at large, not to the individual. As long as there is no malfeasance, he is usually protected. For example, as long as the inspector does not say he went there when he didn't, then he (or the municipality) can't be held responsible for missing something. If he's drunk, taking bribes, lying on a report, etc. then that is a whole new ballgame, but if he goes there and simply misses something, there is no liability that I'm aware of.
    I'm not aware of any case to the contrary, but I'd love to hear if anyone else has.

    Last edited by Steve Frederickson; 10-04-2009 at 09:17 AM.

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