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Thread: Loose hold down

  1. #1
    Denny Waters's Avatar
    Denny Waters Guest

    Default Loose hold down

    Is it ok for hold downs to be a bit loose?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Loose hold down

    Denny

    I am assuming you are referring to the anchor bolts that connect the sill plate to the foundation. As the sill plate dries out it will shrink some which will cause the anchor bolt to become loose if it was just snug tight in the beginning. As long and there was a washer and a nut on the bolt I would not say anything. Ninety percent of the time they are not visible so the only time I mention them in a report is if I see no washer and/or nut or the anchor bolts were never installed.

    Randy Mayo, P.E.
    Residential Engineering & Inspection Services
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  3. #3
    Denny Waters's Avatar
    Denny Waters Guest

    Default Re: Loose hold down

    What about that long rod going up to the first floor. It's as loose as broke guitar string.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Loose hold down

    Quote Originally Posted by Denny Waters View Post
    Is it ok for hold downs to be a bit loose?
    Nope.

    When installed they should be tight (but not cranked into the wood) and then turned 1/4 turn past tight.

    As the wood shrinks during construction and as the framing settles during construction (from the loads placed on the framing as the structure is constructed) the nuts should be re-tightened during construction, and one last re-tightening just before drywall is installed.

    From the bow in that all thread (or rod with treaded ends), it was likely never tightened, and/or may be binding up in mis-aligned holes (the tie-down rods should be straight and not bound up in the holes.

    Simpson StrongTie makes a couple of self-adjusting nuts and self-adjusting couplers which are tightened as described above, then a pin is removed and further shrinkage/settlement is automatically taken up in the self-adjusting nut/coupling - as I recall, those self-adjusting nuts/couplings can take up 1/2" before hitting their adjustment limit.

    I would write them up.

    Having loose hold-down bolts and rods is no different than having loose truss straps and hangers - and I am sure that all of us would write up loose truss straps and hangers.

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

  5. #5
    Denny Waters's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loose hold down

    Thanks Jerry for your replys. I got this one too:

    Where are the hold downs? This is only threaded rod not a hold down. There should be a hold down connected to the 2 x 6 (which also should be doubled) at the foundation connection and 2 more hold downs between the 1st and 2nd floor. This looks like Uncle Buck's version of a hold down.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Loose hold down

    Quote Originally Posted by Denny Waters View Post
    Thanks Jerry for your replys. I got this one too:

    Where are the hold downs? This is only threaded rod not a hold down. There should be a hold down connected to the 2 x 6 (which also should be doubled) at the foundation connection and 2 more hold downs between the 1st and 2nd floor. This looks like Uncle Buck's version of a hold down.
    There is a system which starts out with an hook with a threaded dowel end and which is embedded into the concrete, you can also epoxy the threaded dowels in if done correctly, the all thread, or rods with threaded ends (which sounds like the ones made by Simpson StrongTie) are then coupled together all the way to the top plate, and in two story structures may be anchored with a nut and washer at the second floor and then continue to the top plate where they are anchored again with a nut and washer.

    Not an Uncle Buck's version of a hold down, a real system used in many places - those systems tie the uplift forces directly down to the foundation/slab without all the intermediate straps and clips required the regular way.

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

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Loose hold down

    Quote Originally Posted by Denny Waters View Post
    Is it ok for hold downs to be a bit loose?
    Denny,

    The problem with the all-thread version is that it is difficult to tighten-down once the wood has shrunk. With a hold-down that is attached to the wall framing, you can easily tighten-down the nuts. Don't know how to do that with this method.

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

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Loose hold down

    One more thing.

    Generally, when I see the all-thread type shear wall design, there are two, one at each end of the shear wall panel and the all-thread rods are typically right next to a 4x4.

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

  9. #9
    Stephen McSpadden's Avatar
    Stephen McSpadden Guest

    Default Re: Loose hold down

    Everything should be tight and snug or else sever racking from wind loads or seismic loads will rip the structure apart.


  10. #10
    Denny Waters's Avatar
    Denny Waters Guest

    Default Re: Loose hold down

    Thanks again everyone.


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