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  1. #1
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    Default Structure tie staps

    I recently had a pre-drywall inspection and commented that I did not see even minimal tie straps at the corners of load exterior load bearing walls and and recommended inquiring with the project manager if they were inadvertently left off.

    "1. Wall Hurricane Straps >> I did not observe minimal tie straps on the
    exterior walls. Straps appear to be missing. They are normally located at the sides of the garage door and corners of the building. I recommend asking the project manager if they are shown on the plans and if they are please show you the location."
    ---
    FROM THE CLIENT

    The Program Manager said he could not resolve this issue. Here was his
    response.
    ---
    "There are no structural framed panels in the basement or garage at
    all so therefore no straps are required. They only require them on
    framed wall panels in a garage that have structural value to them.
    Since yoi [sic] have an integral all your walls are concrete that have the
    load bearing structure to tied them."

    The project manager is a kid who looks like he just graduated from business school.

    My initial response was, "What ties the second floor to the first? The tie straps are installed to prevent separation of the building under high winds"

    Where does the IRC stand on this issue?

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    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Structure tie straps

    R502.9 Fastening.
    Floor framing shall be nailed in accordance with TableR602.3(1).Where posts and beam or girder construction is used to support floor framing, positive connections shall be provided to ensure against uplift and lateral displacement.

    R802.11 Roof tie-down.
    - R802.11.1 Uplift resistance.
    - - Roof assemblies which are subject to wind uplift pressures of 20 pounds per square foot (960 Pa) or greater shall have roof rafters or trusses attached to their supporting wall assemblies by connections capable of providing the resistance required in Table R802.11.Wind uplift pressures shall be determined using an effective wind area of 100 square feet (9.3 m2) and Zone 1 in Table R301.2(2), as adjusted for height and exposure per Table R301.2(3).
    - - A continuous load path shall be designed to transmit the uplift forces from the rafter or truss ties to the foundation.



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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Structure tie staps

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Brooks View Post
    I recently had a pre-drywall inspection and commented that I did not see even minimal tie straps at the corners of load exterior load bearing walls and and recommended inquiring with the project manager if they were inadvertently left off.



    My initial response was, "What ties the second floor to the first? The tie straps are installed to prevent separation of the building under high winds"

    Where does the IRC stand on this issue?
    I don't recall seeing in the IRC that straps are required. Although, I don't live in a hurricane zone. How was the exterior sheathing applied. Why can't the same uplift resistance be supplied by tying the first floor with the second by continuing the wall sheating across the rim joist? In fact we always spanned across the floor system to the sill plate. I see many times where wall sheathing is stopped and not continous to the sill. In that case, the only thing holding the walls down to the floor is face nails. Other thoughts?

    Randy Gordon, construction
    Michigan Building Inspector/Plan Reviewer

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Structure tie staps

    Stuart,
    When ever I teach plan review I explain buildings are like recipes, you can change the ingredients for a flavor you want, theres information missing here. What did the design plans call for? I know that ones a problem I do litigation all the time where the plans are missing details or bioler plate information goes on. trust me, dont juststop there, see how the cut in soil vents and duct work too on exterior load bearing walls.

    second, what are the walls sheathed with? and how was the sheathing started for its seams. I can speak for here in jersey, along the ocean I see plywood installed in a method some times that laps the 1st floor studs over the 2nd floor box beam to the second floor studs, I have seen straps from the 1st flr studs naild over the box beam onto the second floor studs with OSB sheathing. A lot of shrinkage happens at the second floor box beam so designers dont like the plywood buldging causing problems with stucco and such.

    My friend in Arizonia showed me photos of his condo wall construction a few years back where there was the metal diagonal strapping nailed at the corners and 1st to 2nd floor hold down straps were in place and they sheathed the wall in ridgid foam sheathing with vinyl siding...you could cut through the wall with a utility knife, but its an approved shear wall design if all the metal componants are installed correctly

    You are saying you didnt see them, that sounds like they are required in your wind zone? or your think they may be? I can build a shear wall out of plywood and not see a piece of metal fastener except for the sill plate hold down and truss hold down if the roof was not conventianal stick framed. And as Jerrys stated in the code section - A continuous load path shall be designed to transmit the uplift forces from the rafter or truss ties to the foundation.

    If the project manager could not resolve that issue,they need to RFI the architect and inquire the wind load connections for you per your request and not continue to close walls up.

    The PM does states its required at garage walls, that has been a big code change acknowledged and structural componant companies actually came out with new corner assemblies because you have 1 or 2 large openings and some times a 18" inch corner wall which the industry had slowly realized is a weak link on a building, typically from data from insurance claims. As much as the PM could not give a direct answer on the main structure but they knew they are required on the garage walls is good sign they know about them. You hate to discriminate against age but thats a fact.

    Joseph Ehrhardt
    Building Forensic Specialist LLC

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Structure tie staps

    Thanks Jerry and Joe or do you prefer Joseph?
    Is strapping they required at the location in question? Don't know. As best as I can recollect,every PDW inspection I've done in the past 4 years some type of transfer strapping was installed. Sometimes, but not very often, what the architect required would meet Florida requirements. This isn't shear wall or corner bracing but a simple heavy gauge galvanized strap about 1.5 - 2" wide that is run vertically at wall corners and especially at larger opening like garage doors, double or triple wide window openings, and 6' patio or deck doors. All the details of how the OSB sheathing on exterior are covered by WRB or exterior siding. Since I'm looking from the inside at whole wall panels without a visible horizontal joint in the sheathing, there doesn't appear to be a lapping of the top and bottom plates between floors.

    Not to mention names (starts with an 'R') but this builder is a large corporate spec builder who tells subs what they will pay for a piece-work job and how long they have to do it. A lot of their PMs are recent college graduates who sent to the company's PM classes. Almost all of the subs are from South of the border. I sometimes am totally disgusted at $300K to half-million dollar homes being put up like a hut you would find in a third world county.

    Unfortunately, a lot of AHJ inspectors look like they are more concerned with not causing problems than doing what they are supposed to do. If they made the contractors tear-out and rebuild defective work just a couple of times, the word would quickly spread.

    Okay, I'll hop down from the soap box . Thanks for the opportunity to vent.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Structure tie staps

    This is an issue that must be resolved at plan check. Where are the approved/reviewed plans? How can you do an inspection without the approved plans? Plan checks must be done on the plans in the office, not in the field.

    This is a crucial issue, especially in southern, high-wind States like Florida. See the following articles, available at APA - The Engineered Wood Association, for what can happen if buildings are not properly tied together, or the sheathing is not properly nailed. To access the articles you must register with APA, but it is free and gives you access to a lot of good techical information:

    Building for High Wind Resistance in Light-Frame Wood Construction: Recommendations contribute to improved overall performance in the structural shell and focus on good connection details to tie together exterior walls, roofs and floors. Available only as a downloadable PDF. Issued August 2011.
    Tornados of the South: Structural Performance of Newly Constructed Homes in North Carolina, Alabama, and Georgia. Report provides damage observations conducted by APA after the April 2011 tornados. Available only as a downloadable PDF. Issued August 2011.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Structure tie staps

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom Huggett View Post
    This is an issue that must be resolved at plan check. Where are the approved/reviewed plans? How can you do an inspection without the approved plans? Plan checks must be done on the plans in the office, not in the field.

    This is a crucial issue, especially in southern, high-wind States like Florida. See the following articles, available at APA - The Engineered Wood Association, for what can happen if buildings are not properly tied together, or the sheathing is not properly nailed. To access the articles you must register with APA, but it is free and gives you access to a lot of good techical information:

    Building for High Wind Resistance in Light-Frame Wood Construction: Recommendations contribute to improved overall performance in the structural shell and focus on good connection details to tie together exterior walls, roofs and floors. Available only as a downloadable PDF. Issued August 2011.
    Tornados of the South: Structural Performance of Newly Constructed Homes in North Carolina, Alabama, and Georgia. Report provides damage observations conducted by APA after the April 2011 tornados. Available only as a downloadable PDF. Issued August 2011.
    Thanks Thom - I already subscribe to the APA.
    PLANS? On one of these job sites? Are you kidding? I wish.
    I would love to have a set of plans before hand but my inspection is not in depth and I still find plenty of deficiencies. I don't need to have plans to locate a nail used to shim a steel beam or bad work in general. Nail spacing? Except for sub floors, it's not going to be visible. I get upset because an idiot architect or plumber placed bath tubs back-to-back on a common wall. One side has a big soak or spa tub and both will have tile surrounds. How in the heck is someone going to repair a leak or bad diverter in the future without tearing out the wall? Nothing can be done about it. Architects - artists in reality. Architects used to be able to depend on having experienced competent contractors to know how to but things together. The same concept is still applied today but there are few contractors who either care or know how any more.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Structure tie staps

    Stuart - I assume that you work for a municipal or county building inspection department; doesn't your jurisdiction require plans to be submitted and reviewed before a building permit is issued? This issue must be addressed based on the configuration of walls, floors and roof during a plan review. It is unfair to the inspector, and irresponsible on the part of the jurisdiction to expect an inspector to field plan check. It also appears from your original post that you were not afforded the opportunity for an exterior shear inspection. Lack of thorough plan review and spotty inspections is the reason why you see all the damage in those APA articles.

    Maybe if you show the PM the pictures in those articles he will change his tune????

    Thom Huggett, PE, SE, CBO

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Structure tie staps

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom Huggett View Post
    Stuart - I assume that you work for a municipal or county building inspection department; doesn't your jurisdiction require plans to be submitted and reviewed before a building permit is issued? This issue must be addressed based on the configuration of walls, floors and roof during a plan review. It is unfair to the inspector, and irresponsible on the part of the jurisdiction to expect an inspector to field plan check. It also appears from your original post that you were not afforded the opportunity for an exterior shear inspection. Lack of thorough plan review and spotty inspections is the reason why you see all the damage in those APA articles.

    Maybe if you show the PM the pictures in those articles he will change his tune????
    Wrong assumption. I just a home inspector.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Structure tie staps

    Stuart,

    your not actually clear why your inspecting the home at rough frame...client? , but depending on your zone in the country and what codes your state had adopted...certain states adopted the IBC and IRC and have their own addition. Many buildings are constructed with 8d and 10d nails at the studs and headers with 7 coolers nailed through the sheathing. This entire assembly properly installed acts as a shear wall and hold down. There are zones out there in each of our states that have taken the siesmic, wind, snow to additional considerations. I dont know your code requirement, but because you did not see the straps does not mean your local code requires designers to put them in providing it meets the miminum of the code it enforces for wall construction.

    here in Jersey between 1983 and 1995 we used to have the BOCA code and the CABO (Council of American Building Officials) 1 and 2 family building code which was basically a book a home owner could pick up and build their home complete with illustrations. These drawings included sheathing patterns and the diagonal notching of a 1x4 into the studs down to the plates, much like the old Sears kit homes had. With out pictures, it sounds like a regular conventional stick framed building,we can always find a monkey with cloths on who screwed something up on a building...believe me, I can rant too.

    I am recently am doing litigation on a 4 condo unit in Ocean City, basically a sand bar below Atlantic City, where the engineer incorperated a 6" galvanized moment frame steel super structure with steel studs and georgia pacific dense glass sheathing...the building next to it is a standard conventional stick frame private dwelling, both met the code, one guy wants his building to survive if we ever get a hurricane close to our shores like our far south nieghbor Jerry gets, the other guy has a larger claim.

    if your stating that thats all you see by you is metal hardware all over the framing, but not sure of the code, just call it out, let them prove they dont need it or call your local state agency and confirm.

    I dont like 24" on center construction, but it meets code, I dont like 250 series TJI manufactured joists and prefer 350 series but they meet code.

    The way this countrys going we may all be in tents soon

    Joe

    Joseph Ehrhardt
    Building Forensic Specialist LLC

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Structure tie straps

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Ehrhardt View Post
    both met the code,

    I dont like 24" on center construction, but it meets code, I dont like 250 series TJI manufactured joists and prefer 350 series but they meet code.
    Joe,

    I believe it is time to repeat one of my favorite topics:
    - Code is the minimum standard for construction - you are not allowed to build it any crappier than that.
    - Therefore, code is the crappiest you are legally allowed to build it.
    - When you pass a code inspection ... that really is not saying much.
    - When you DON'T pass a code inspection ... that really says A LOT.

    I like the way the NEC puts it: (bold and underlining are mine)
    - ARTICLE 90 Introduction
    - - 90.1 Purpose.
    - - - (B) Adequacy. This Code contains provisions that are considered necessary for safety. Compliance therewith and proper maintenance results in an installation that is essentially free from hazard but not necessarily efficient, convenient, or adequate for good service or future expansion of electrical use.

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

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Structure tie staps

    PLANS? On one of these job sites? Are you kidding? I wish.
    IMHO if you are performing construction phase inspections with out a sealed set of plans for the specific unit being inspected you are exposing yourself too excess liability. Make sure your scope of inspection is tight.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Structure tie straps

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Ehrhardt View Post
    Stuart,

    your not actually clear why your inspecting the home at rough frame...client?
    Joe,

    Just because *you* are not actually clear why Stuart is inspecting the home at rough framing, I am quite sure that Stuart is fully aware of why *he* is inspecting the home at rough frame.

    *He* is, I am sure, trying to figure out what contractors miss soooo many things, and why municipal inspectors miss soooo many things that the contractors miss.

    So the question really may be that, if you are a municipal inspector ... are you actually clear why you are inspecting the home at rough frame ... ?

    Just turning the tables on you with your own wording to figure out why you do not understand why Stuart is inspecting the home at rough frame and why you would be.

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

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Structure tie staps

    It was not clear to me at first quick read of his thread if he was in code enforcement but I saw he was independent as a home inspector, not putting it pass any one out here to be consulted by a owner to look at a frame on a house they were having built. I have my share framing inspection when I worked code, but I never seam to get them new, only at failure. I was envious, you can stop a lot of crap at rough frame.

    Joseph Ehrhardt
    Building Forensic Specialist LLC

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Structure tie straps

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Joe,

    Just because *you* are not actually clear why Stuart is inspecting the home at rough framing, I am quite sure that Stuart is fully aware of why *he* is inspecting the home at rough frame.

    *He* is, I am sure, trying to figure out what contractors miss soooo many things, and why municipal inspectors miss soooo many things that the contractors miss.

    So the question really may be that, if you are a municipal inspector ... are you actually clear why you are inspecting the home at rough frame ... ?

    Just turning the tables on you with your own wording to figure out why you do not understand why Stuart is inspecting the home at rough frame and why you would be.
    Thanks Jerry - you hit it on the head.
    Let's see, steel beam shimmed with nails, roofing sheathing missing truss by 1.5 inches and lots and lots of nails and staples used to fill the gap, only about 10% of necessary ridge venting, no or incomplete environmental sealing, 1/3 of rear of building missing WRB, gang support columns where 2 of 5 touch the top plate the other 3 are about 1/4 inch short, unsecured electrical wires, roof mounted bath fan vent without a hood, Low voltage and branch circuit wiring running though same holes, truss hangers with nails only about half way drive into a LVL header, bathtub drain line with no or negative pitch, .... , etc. And yes siree, the local AHJ inspectors had been through before me on most inspections.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Structure tie straps

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Brooks View Post
    And yes siree, the local AHJ inspectors had been through before me on most inspections.
    Stuart,

    I think I've created quite a following here where I am now ...

    I am sure people are following me, but ... every time I turn around I see shadows disappearing behind bushes, houses, telephone poles, trees, ...

    ... one of the contractors graciously gave me a shirt with the Target store logo on the back of it, but I don't know why , it sure is a nice shirt, though ...

    ... I think maybe I am a marked man ...

    (All kidding aside, no gifts accepted.)

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

  17. #17
    mark tyson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Structure tie straps

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Brooks View Post
    Thanks Jerry - you hit it on the head.
    Let's see, steel beam shimmed with nails, roofing sheathing missing truss by 1.5 inches and lots and lots of nails and staples used to fill the gap, only about 10% of necessary ridge venting, no or incomplete environmental sealing, 1/3 of rear of building missing WRB, gang support columns where 2 of 5 touch the top plate the other 3 are about 1/4 inch short, unsecured electrical wires, roof mounted bath fan vent without a hood, Low voltage and branch circuit wiring running though same holes, truss hangers with nails only about half way drive into a LVL header, bathtub drain line with no or negative pitch, .... , etc. And yes siree, the local AHJ inspectors had been through before me on most inspections.
    Guys,
    I think you are misinterpreting my post. You can certainely provide your client with an informative framing inspection by pointing out the deficiencies that you noted above. I was only concerned that your scope includes some type of waiver stating that the construction documents were not available so that you are not exposing yourself to unneeded liability for items that would not be apparent with out having the plans. Such as; design specified truss bracing,gusset plate size,design specified load path strapping, nail count, lumber grade and such


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