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  1. #1
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    Default plywood used for cellar walls

    This is first for me, but prehapes someone else has seen this.

    What do you think when the builder opp out of pour concrete walls and
    substitute with pressure treaded framing studs and pressure treated
    plywood was used for the basement interior wall.

    The current homeowner said he ask people?? And was told it perfectedly
    okay. The wooden walls look okay, but the house is only two years old.

    Buyer wants to see concrete walls. I want to give a un-biase answer base on
    hard facts, before writing this up.

    Thanks

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  2. #2
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: plywood used for cellar walls

    If all the members are Ground contacts Approved then its not a problem if the AHJ Approves. In my area of Ca. its not at problem.

    Best

    Ron


  3. #3
    Michael Garrity's Avatar
    Michael Garrity Guest

    Default Re: plywood used for cellar walls

    What covers the exterior of the basement wall studs?


  4. #4
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    Default Re: plywood used for cellar walls

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert S. Mattison View Post
    The current homeowner said he ask people?? And was told it perfectedly okay.

    Buyer wants to see concrete walls. I want to give a un-biase answer base on hard facts, before writing this up.

    "Perfectly okay" is a vast overstatement.

    "Allowed" is much better.

    Keep in mind that "allowed" only means the minimum as the codes are "minimum" standards.

    My unbiased answer is that wood will, over time, deteriorate, rot, and decay, it just will, and does, and that if he/she wants a BETTER BUILT foundation under they house they really want something more than "minimum allowed".

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

  5. #5
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    Default Re: plywood used for cellar walls

    M.G. same brand of plywood cover exterior wall.


  6. #6
    Michael Garrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: plywood used for cellar walls


  7. #7
    Michael Garrity's Avatar
    Michael Garrity Guest

    Default Re: plywood used for cellar walls


  8. #8
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    Default Re: plywood used for cellar walls

    Michael,

    No one is saying permanent wood foundations are not around.

    Only that in those walls concrete lasts longer, much longer, and that even though wood foundation walls ARE ALLOWED, the codes are MINIMUM standards ... "minimum" being key.

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

  9. #9
    Michael Garrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: plywood used for cellar walls

    just helping the man do some research and then he can form his own opinion on the subject


  10. #10
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    Default Re: plywood used for cellar walls

    Micheal G. thanks for your recent post, it was most helpful to me.

    The report in its draft stage as of now. Don't want to rush this one. And the buyer isn't calling me, saying where that dam report. So I some window of time before I turn it in. This why I wrote the thread, to get other H.I.'s thoughts.


    MY MOTTO:
    I always dot my I's and cross your T's before turning the report over the customer.


  11. #11
    Michael Garrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: plywood used for cellar walls

    Try and find out if it was a pro job or a DIY,it might make a difference.Also some states might not allow wood framing over 2 floors


  12. #12
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    Default Re: plywood used for cellar walls

    Micheal G.

    Thanks for the update, I look into it what you said.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: plywood used for cellar walls

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Garrity View Post
    Try and find out if it was a pro job or a DIY,it might make a difference.Also some states might not allow wood framing over 2 floors
    A basement, in most cases, does not count as a story, thus the codes easily allow for wood frame foundation walls AND two stories above that, probably even three stories above the wood frame foundation wall (provided, of course, that the wood framed foundation wall is engineered to support that 3 stories above).

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

  14. #14
    Michael Garrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: plywood used for cellar walls

    What defines the lower level of a house is the grade plane.Many home owners think they have a basement but according to code they do not At least In NY.The grade plane determines where the 1st floor begins.It would benefit all HI to purchase a copy of their States code book.In NY we have the R code book for residential and the Building code book which cover all buildings.You can buy code books on the ICC website.Comments from people in different states might not be applicable in your state,so buy a code book and enjoy your reading.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: plywood used for cellar walls

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    A basement, in most cases, does not count as a story, thus the codes easily allow for wood frame foundation walls AND two stories above that, probably even three stories above the wood frame foundation wall (provided, of course, that the wood framed foundation wall is engineered to support that 3 stories above).
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Garrity View Post
    What defines the lower level of a house is the grade plane.Many home owners think they have a basement but according to code they do not At least In NY.The grade plane determines where the 1st floor begins.
    Correct.

    And the IRC states:
    - STORY. That portion of a building included between the upper surface of a floor and the upper surface of the floor or roof next above.

    - STORY ABOVE GRADE. Any story having its finished floor surface entirely above grade, except that a basement shall be considered as a story above grade where the finished surface of the floor above the basement is:
    - - 1. More than 6 feet (1829 mm) above grade plane.
    - - 2. More than 6 feet (1829 mm) above the finished ground level for more than 50 percent of the total building perimeter.
    - - 3. More than 12 feet (3658 mm) above the finished ground level at any point.

    MOST basements I've seen (in real life, in photos, and in designs) do not meet 1., 2., or 3., meaning the basement is indeed a basement and not a story above grade.

    Even some walkout "daylight" basements do not meet 3., and are therefore still considered "basements". Let's presume the grade slopes away from the structure down 6" at 10 feet, which would make it about 3-1/2" at 6 feet out from the building, and the headroom inside the basement is 7'-9-1/2", which means the headroom to the bottom of the joists is 8'-0", and 2x12 floor joists are used, which adds 11-1/4" and add on 3/4" subflooring to make that 12", thus we are only at 9'-0", then add 3/4" for wood flooring, you are now only at 9'-3/4" ... and you are allowed to be 12 feet above that grade reference point. Heck, you could have made the basement headroom 8 feet and used 2 foot trusses for the floor system and still be within that 12 foot height limit with 1-1/2 feet to spare. Notice too, that at 3., it is not even addressing "grade plane" but "finished ground level", so you can that 3-1/2" of sloping grade back.

    Here is the definition of "grade plane":
    - GRADE PLANE. A reference plane representing the average of the finished ground level adjoining the building at all exterior walls. Where the finished ground level slopes away from the exterior walls, the reference plane shall be established by the lowest points within the area between the building and the lot line or, where the lot line is more than 6 ft (1829 mm) from the building between the structure and a point 6 ft (1829 mm) from the building.


    Michael,

    What does NY say about the above? Similar or much different?


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

  16. #16
    Michael Garrity's Avatar
    Michael Garrity Guest

    Default Re: plywood used for cellar walls

    Without looking at the book the wording looks very similar if not the same.I suspect most states will follow the same codes with some regional variations.

    http://www.iccsafe.org/e/prodcat.html?catid=C-A&pcats=ICCSafe,C&stateInfo=jqvkbpnniYRisacL4330|1 6


  17. #17
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    Default Re: plywood used for cellar walls

    Robert, does wet wood go rotten in Vermont? Are there termites? Do Vermont bears crap in the woods?


  18. #18
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    Default Re: plywood used for cellar walls

    John K. the seller is the second owner. A funny story was told to me by the local's.

    It seems the the first owner was also the builder, and put in the plywood
    foundation to save money. I would like to point out something that I left out.
    This is large house with two stories, gas fireplaces, and the wood
    foundation was only used in one third of the cellar. There was also signs of
    a fire. And this house seen like its the middle on no where, on dirt back
    road. Far away from any fire dept. So the locals tell the story that the
    original owner torch his place hoping to collect on the insurance. The day
    he did this, a local, was driving the dirt road, that runs by this house, and
    where there smoke there fire. As luck would have it, this person happen to
    be a first responder with the local volunteer fire department. So the fire was out,
    before it had a chance to do any serious damage. But you still
    had the smell.

    Lastest update, buyer want to know if he could put in a offer minus the cost of replacing the plywood sections, with a pour concerte.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: plywood used for cellar walls

    My thanks to all, who took the time to reply to my Thread with a Post.

    Ron Bibler
    Micheal Garrity
    Jerry Peck
    John Kogel

    I believe I now have enough answers, to write the customer report.

    This thread is closed.

    All your answers help!


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