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Thread: Shear Walls

  1. #1
    Travis Grubbs's Avatar
    Travis Grubbs Guest

    Default Shear Walls

    My inspection area has been included in the 100 / 110 wind regions. I have been reading up on Shear Walls, which has resulted in questions.

    Does every house have to have shear walls? Are they only required when indicated in the plans?

    When are multiple foundation anchor / hold down systems required?

    When using mud sills, is another system also required?

    Travis

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Shear Walls

    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Grubbs View Post
    Does every house have to have shear walls?
    *Should have*, yes (not 'shall'). In many areas of the country, though, they barely have any diagonal bracing.

    Are they only required when indicated in the plans?
    Tough question when answered as asked , you will find them shown on the plans, and those are required, now for the other part of your question, are all shear walls which are required shown on the plans - hopefully.

    When are multiple foundation anchor / hold down systems required?

    When using mud sills, is another system also required?
    Those answers all depend on the engineering - go with what is shown where on the plans.

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

  3. #3
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
    Aaron Miller Guest

    Default Re: Shear Walls

    Jerry:

    That brings up a topic I'd like for you to address. Though the IRC requires that a complete set of construction documents remain on site throughout the construction process, the builders in my service area refuse to do this. Additionally, the AHJs here do not require it.

    What are your thoughts on this practice?

    Thanks,

    Aaron


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Shear Walls

    R106.3.1 Approval of construction documents
    . When the building official issues a permit, the construction documents shall be approved, in writing or by a stamp which states “APPROVED PLANS PER IRCSECTIONR106.3.1.” One set of construction documents so reviewed shall be retained by the building official. The other set shall be returned to the applicant, shall be kept at the site of work and shall be open to inspection by the building official or his or her authorized representative.

    Even if they were kept on site, as stated, they do not have to allow you access.

    Don't know how you are supposed to build to a set of plans which as not available - could be one reason why it will keep HIs in business?

    If the AHJ does not enforce it, all you can do it ask the AHJ why, and do it in a way which endures you to the building official. Something like, 'maybe the reason why your inspectors and us private inspectors find so much done incorrectly is that the plans and drawings are not on site and are not available to the actual workers, maybe if they were kept on site less would be constructed poorly, or at least the excuse that there were no plans on site could not be used ... I think it says something in the IRC about that but I can't remember where or what it says, do you have that?'. What you've done is brought it to their attention, and ASKED THEM if there really is something in there, and could they 'splain it to you. That only works, though, if you've been making contact with them in the past.



    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 09-25-2007 at 10:08 AM.
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Shear Walls

    Jerry P makes an excellent point which has been the bane of my life first as a builder, latter an inspector, and now a consultant. I could repeat horror stories galore regarding careless AHJ from the top to bottom! (BO, plan checkers, field inspectors, and the lack of in-house educational training) However, my new vent is now directed at how often manufacturer's installation instructions are totally ignored due to either stupidity or lack of language skills. (No puedo leer Ingles)

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  6. #6
    Travis Grubbs's Avatar
    Travis Grubbs Guest

    Default Re: Shear Walls

    Allow me to step out of the Realm of Home Inspection and ask: When looking at a house plan how can you tell if a shear wall is missing, when one should be present?

    Travis


  7. #7
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
    Aaron Miller Guest

    Default Re: Shear Walls

    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Grubbs View Post
    Allow me to step out of the Realm of Home Inspection and ask: When looking at a house plan how can you tell if a shear wall is missing, when one should be present?

    Travis
    Travis:

    There should be engineering notes on the framing plans indicating not only the locations of the shear walls, but their precise design. Often there will be elevation drawings in the framing details depicting the construction techniques and materials to be used in these areas. If done properly, these will include such information as the sheathing type, fastener type and spacing, bracket types, i.e. Simpson model number, et al.

    Aaron


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Shear Walls

    Travis
    They have a unique way of visually inspecting proper wall shearing in Kansas, although itís not particularly popular with home owners. Seriously after itís covered up who knows but the wind and seismic fairies?

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

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