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  1. #1
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    Default Questionable framing

    Hello everyone I'm having a new home built about 700 miles away so it's hard for me to be there and stay on top of things. Here are some pictures, I'm concerned to say the least but my builder swears itís fine. I'm mostly upset about the roof, but I'd love to hear what you guys think. The thing is, this builder is charging me $100k more than another builder we had because he convinced me the first builder would "cut corners."

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Its looks pretty bad just from the few photos you have posted. I would contact a local structural engineer and have them take a look and issue a report.


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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    What a mess, I'm with Jack.


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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    I have to ask--where is the house being built? Must be in an area of the country where anyone with a dog and a pickup can call himself a builder. There are enough serious concerns in what the pix show that you can expect major problems, starting yesterday, with some of them being absolute safety hazards. Do yourself a big favor, and hire an inspector local to the site (preferably a licensed P.E. who knows construction) who can regularly monitor what is being done. After he or she makes a "do it over" list to eliminate all of the serious mistakes.

    Compared to what the place must be costing you, a P.E.'s inspection fee will be a pittance. Even the roof framing detail looks like an amateur put it together--it cannot be built as drawn, since warping a roof plane is not a structurally sound practice.

    Last edited by BridgeMan; 01-18-2014 at 06:09 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Manicone View Post
    Hello everyone I'm having a new home built about 700 miles away so it's hard for me to be there and stay on top of things. Here are some pictures, I'm concerned to say the least but my builder swears itís fine. I'm mostly upset about the roof, but I'd love to hear what you guys think. The thing is, this builder is charging me $100k more than another builder we had because he convinced me the first builder would "cut corners."
    I picked five of the photos at random and all of them had one or more problems that will cause additional problems if they are not addressed. You need to contact a qualified engineer or home inspector who specializes in framing inspections. You have problems......

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by BridgeMan View Post
    I have to ask--where is the house being built? Must be in an area of the country where anyone with a dog and a pickup can call himself a builder. There are enough serious concerns in what the pix show that you can expect major problems, starting yesterday, with some of them being absolute safety hazards. Do yourself a big favor, and hire an inspector local to the site (preferably a licensed P.E. who knows construction) who can regularly monitor what is being done. After he or she makes a "do it over" list to eliminate all of the serious mistakes.

    Compared to what the place must be costing you, a P.E.'s inspection fee will be a pittance. Even the roof framing detail looks like an amateur put it together--it cannot be built as drawn, since warping a roof plane is not a structurally sound practice.
    The house is being built in NC. Thanks for your input. There are other issues as well but way too many post. Glad I'm not crazy, but the builder thinks I'm being unreasonable.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Its looks pretty bad just from the few photos you have posted. I would contact a local structural engineer and have them take a look and issue a report.
    If the builder passes his framing inspection, what other recourse will I have? Does the final say rest with the local building department? I will look into a local engineer, any recommendations for the Denver NC area?


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Manicone View Post
    If the builder passes his framing inspection, what other recourse will I have? Does the final say rest with the local building department? I will look into a local engineer, any recommendations for the Denver NC area?
    Your legal options depend on what is in your contract with the builder and the wording of what is in the contract.

    Regardless, though, if you hire a local structural engineer to monitor the construction for you - and you really need to do that based on the photos - if the framing passes inspection from the local building department your engineer can present an engineering letter to them stating what is deficient and in need of correction ... I seriously doubt the building department will leave the inspection as 'approved' after receiving an signed and sealed engineer's letter stating that it is deficient/incorrect/unsound/etc.

    Also, if the approved documents (plans, drawings, specifications, etc.) show the proper way and the builder did not do it that way, the engineer can detail what is not 'per the approved documents'.

    This is from the 2012 IRC:
    - R104.9 Approved materials and equipment. - - Materials, equipment and devices approved by the building official shall be constructed and installed in accordance with such approval.

    Not sure if NC is using the administrative section or not, but that is the ICC IRC code section for requiring the approved documents to be followed.

    On some projects which 'do not meet code' but which were 'approved by the AHJ' (and thus 'meet code') the code reference I use 99% of the time for disapproving an inspection is 'R104.9 Not per approved documents' then I describe what is not correct. If the work does not meet (or exceed) the approved documents, the work should not be approved.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Your legal options depend on what is in your contract with the builder and the wording of what is in the contract.

    Regardless, though, if you hire a local structural engineer to monitor the construction for you - and you really need to do that based on the photos - if the framing passes inspection from the local building department your engineer can present an engineering letter to them stating what is deficient and in need of correction ... I seriously doubt the building department will leave the inspection as 'approved' after receiving an signed and sealed engineer's letter stating that it is deficient/incorrect/unsound/etc.

    Also, if the approved documents (plans, drawings, specifications, etc.) show the proper way and the builder did not do it that way, the engineer can detail what is not 'per the approved documents'.

    This is from the 2012 IRC:
    - R104.9 Approved materials and equipment. - - Materials, equipment and devices approved by the building official shall be constructed and installed in accordance with such approval.

    Not sure if NC is using the administrative section or not, but that is the ICC IRC code section for requiring the approved documents to be followed.

    On some projects which 'do not meet code' but which were 'approved by the AHJ' (and thus 'meet code') the code reference I use 99% of the time for disapproving an inspection is 'R104.9 Not per approved documents' then I describe what is not correct. If the work does not meet (or exceed) the approved documents, the work should not be approved.
    Lots of info, thanks so much and thank you all for your valuable input.


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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    I'd make an appointment with the local building inspector and actually show this to him first hand. If he passes it anyways, tell him you're going to hire a structural engineer to review the framing and his findings. Most likely he'll back pedal and make the contractor fix it.

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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    I'd make an appointment with the local building inspector and actually show this to him first hand. If he passes it anyways, tell him you're going to hire a structural engineer to review the framing and his findings. Most likely he'll back pedal and make the contractor fix it.
    The inspector has already visited the site and agrees that he needs to fix some of the issues, but he has also said that the builder's engineer can resort to some type of "bracing" of the rafters. In other words, he will not be forced to redo the roof, only to brace it and get a letter from the builder's engineer certifying that it's safe. My position is, this is brand new construction, why are we relying on bracing to begin with? It should be built right the first time.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    My past experience with local (county) building inspection people has been that some (and possibly many) do not feel they are responsible for contractor workmanship issues. When I noticed some serious construction flaws in a spec house being built up the street from our place in La Plata County, Colorado a few years ago, I took a few pix of things like framed bearing walls offset from stemwalls by more than 3" (very similar to those shown in the OP's pix), and stemwall concrete with so much honeycomb in it that you could almost see light passing through. As best I remember, when I showed him the hard-copy pix of the defects, the building department head inspector told me point-blank that "construction defects were the responsibility of the owner, and not his concern." When I mentioned this property didn't have an owner yet, as it was a spec home, he shrugged his shoulders and then said that the future owner would have to deal with the issues. He also suggested I contact the State Construction Contractors Board to file a formal complaint against the builder. I was told by the CCB people that if I didn't own the property, their regulations didn't allow me to file a complaint with them, and that I should contact the local building inspection department. That property hadn't sold yet when we moved from the subdivision a year later, so I don't know how the eventual owners dealt with the problems I'm certain they had in their future.

    Not right, but that's the way it is when (typical?) government employees are more concerned with their coffee breaks and retirement packages than they are with serving the people who pay their salaries.


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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Manicone View Post
    The inspector has already visited the site and agrees that he needs to fix some of the issues, but he has also said that the builder's engineer can resort to some type of "bracing" of the rafters. In other words, he will not be forced to redo the roof, only to brace it and get a letter from the builder's engineer certifying that it's safe. My position is, this is brand new construction, why are we relying on bracing to begin with? It should be built right the first time.
    The problem is your local building inspector has final authority. You can hire 20 structural engineers all saying it needs to be redone. They can't force the builder to correct it, only the local building inspector can.

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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    - Don't write anymore checks
    - If there are approved architectural plans thats good, review the detail pages of the approved Plans to see if roof framing was specified or not, have the architect who drew the plans come out and provide a written analysis
    - There are a lot of good roof framing books out that have detailed diagrams for specific roof areas, one of those should be able to provide you with details so you can show the builder what good framing is supposed to look like
    - Not sure how some of those rafters were attached, don't really see any nails,
    - will the roof collapse? probably not; however the bigger long term issues will likely be leaks and ongoing drywall cracks; due to the poor framing the structure will likely move a lot more than normal under load, wind, snow, etc. drywall cracks will probably be an ongoing annoying issue, roof leaks will probably happen every few years
    - I don't see any flashings under the shingles on the hips, as I like to tell clients, 'designed to fail'
    - hiring an SE is a good idea, however it is important to hire the right one, some just like to write letters, do math and draw pictures, that's fine overall; in your case though you need an SE that likes to fight, one who is willing to come onsite and hammer the builder, not just a guy who wants to email his report and stay in his office

    www.aic-chicago.com
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Both the framing and the roofing are the works of amateurs. You will never be satisfied with anything this builder does for you. Shut the whole thing down now.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Yup the shingle weaving in the valleys is a disaster, guaranteed to leak. Showing the builder a picture book ain't gonna sort out this mess.


  16. #16

    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Yup the shingle weaving in the valleys is a disaster, guaranteed to leak. Showing the builder a picture book ain't gonna sort out this mess.
    Contact one of the Charlotte are inspectors who regularly post to this forum, they are close enough to advise you on local resources

    Jeff Zehnder - Home Inspector, Raleigh, NC
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    http://carolinahomeinspections.com/

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    I just looked at all the photos. There isn't much right about this thing.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    - Don't write anymore checks
    - If there are approved architectural plans thats good, review the detail pages of the approved Plans to see if roof framing was specified or not, have the architect who drew the plans come out and provide a written analysis
    - There are a lot of good roof framing books out that have detailed diagrams for specific roof areas, one of those should be able to provide you with details so you can show the builder what good framing is supposed to look like
    - Not sure how some of those rafters were attached, don't really see any nails,
    - will the roof collapse? probably not; however the bigger long term issues will likely be leaks and ongoing drywall cracks; due to the poor framing the structure will likely move a lot more than normal under load, wind, snow, etc. drywall cracks will probably be an ongoing annoying issue, roof leaks will probably happen every few years
    - I don't see any flashings under the shingles on the hips, as I like to tell clients, 'designed to fail'
    - hiring an SE is a good idea, however it is important to hire the right one, some just like to write letters, do math and draw pictures, that's fine overall; in your case though you need an SE that likes to fight, one who is willing to come onsite and hammer the builder, not just a guy who wants to email his report and stay in his office
    Thanks for your response. When you say flashing under the hips do you mean the Ice and Water Shield membrane? As far as nails go, he nailed the hip rafters into nothing, completely missing the ridge which I have in another photo that I can't seem to find.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by BridgeMan View Post
    My past experience with local (county) building inspection people has been that some (and possibly many) do not feel they are responsible for contractor workmanship issues.
    Those inspectors are correct: code inspectors *do not inspect "workmanship" issues*, code inspectors only (*should* only) inspect for code issues.

    R101.3 Intent.
    The purpose of this code is to establish minimum requirements to safeguard the public safety, health and general welfare through affordability, structural strength, means of egress facilities, stability, sanitation, light and ventilation, energy conservation and safety to life and property from fire and other hazards attributed to the built environment and to provide safety to fire fighters and emergency responders during emergency operations.

    SECTION R113 VIOLATIONS


    R113.1 Unlawful acts.
    It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to erect, construct, alter, extend, repair, move, remove, demolish or occupy any building, structure or equipment regulated by this code, or cause same to be done, in conflict with or in violation of any of the provisions of this code.


    R113.2 Notice of violation.
    The building official is authorized to serve a notice of violation or order on the person responsible for the erection, construction, alteration, extension, repair, moving, removal, demolition or occupancy of a building or structure in violation of the provisions of this code, or in violation of a detail statement or a plan approved thereunder, or in violation of a permit or certificate issued under the provisions of this code. Such order shall direct the discontinuance of the illegal action or condition and the abatement of the violation.


    R113.3 Prosecution of violation.
    If the notice of violation is not complied with in the time prescribed by such notice, the building official is authorized to request the legal counsel of the jurisdiction to institute the appropriate proceeding at law or in equity to restrain, correct or abate such violation, or to require the removal or termination of the unlawful occupancy of the building or structure in violation of the provisions of this code or of the order or direction made pursuant thereto.


    R113.4 Violation penalties.
    Any person who violates a provision of this code or fails to comply with any of the requirements thereof or who erects, constructs, alters or repairs a building or structure in violation of the approved construction documents or directive of the building official, or of a permit or certificate issued under the provisions of this code, shall be subject to penalties as prescribed by law.



    Nothing in there about "workmanship" - that is where the owner has an obligation to do their due diligence, and that would include hiring a private inspector, an engineer, or both if needed, and for larger and more expensive projects (even large and more expensive houses) the owner should hire an 'owners representative'. Depending on the contracted services, those are the persons who would (should if included in the contracted services as it 'should be'), and those persons, especially an owner's representative, would have access to all construction documents including specifications, all appliances, all of everything and, if something is 'not right' then it is 'wrong' and should be addressed by the owner. The final decision is between the owner and the contractor, however, many smaller items and issues may be in the hands of the owner's representative if something is 'no per approved documents' AND if something 'is or is going to' cause or create problems with future work (like when architects do not check to make sure that nothing is in the way of any future work and trusses need to be relocated to allow for tubs and showers, all kinds of things can get weird and costly quickly if this has not been addressed during the design phase and if this does not get caught until 'this does not fit here' pops up in the field.

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

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Manicone View Post
    Hello everyone I'm having a new home built about 700 miles away so it's hard for me to be there and stay on top of things. Here are some pictures, I'm concerned to say the least but my builder swears itís fine. I'm mostly upset about the roof, but I'd love to hear what you guys think. The thing is, this builder is charging me $100k more than another builder we had because he convinced me the first builder would "cut corners."
    As a Structural Engineer, I agree with the others here. Just about every photo shows problems. About the only photo that may not be a concern was one that looks like aligned splices in a girder truss. If that is what the photo shows, that is not a problem.

    I suggest hiring a local structural engineer, but make sure they are experienced with wood frame construction.


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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    As a Structural Engineer, I agree with the others here. Just about every photo shows problems. About the only photo that may not be a concern was one that looks like aligned splices in a girder truss. If that is what the photo shows, that is not a problem.

    I suggest hiring a local structural engineer, but make sure they are experienced with wood frame construction.
    Thanks for your input, can anyone recommend a structural engineer in the Charlotte NC area?


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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    The problem is your local building inspector has final authority. You can hire 20 structural engineers all saying it needs to be redone. They can't force the builder to correct it, only the local building inspector can.
    Had a few issues (electrical) with the previous house in NJ when it was under construction. The builder stood there and firmly said he wasn't going to correct them. Called the inspector and explained the issues over the phone. When I took a look at the house the next day---they were miraculously fixed. Commercially I have worked with inspectors correcting situations the designers didn't see---then we put it on paper.

    In my in experience working with the inspectors, residential & commercial, if you approach them in a civil manner, they will be glad to discuss and help remedy a situation if necessary. But, I guess in outlying locations, sometimes this may not be the case.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    I love this post. What keeps this job endlessly entertaining is the workmanship issues such as illustrated in the photos. I have been telling a standard joke to all my framing inspection clients for years and it seems to hold true in these series of photos as well. I say, "Do you know what tools you never see on a job site anymore that were indispensable a few decades ago? A level, a carpenter's square and simple square and someone who knows how to use them".

    The theory today is, put enough wood in one area, just nail the hell out of it (with the help of a pneumatic nailer) and it will probably stand. And, it you can't get a nail gun in the area, just forget the nails.

    Sad state we are in.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Based on the photos provided, it looks like this framer does not know how to "cut corners"...talk about amateur workmanship. As a former builder, I would advise shutting the job down, having a qualified engineer evaluate the entire frame, and SEND the bill to the framer!


  25. #25
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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Paul, No slight you, you just didn't know. Hopefully others will learn from you experience. Paying more does not always equate with better outcome.

    This is another example of why a customer/owner having a house built needs his own personal representative on the job with the authority to stop work and have work redone that does not meet a good standard as opposed to minimally acceptable standard. If the builder is good and committed with knowledgeable framing crew there will not be a problem, if not then there will be head butting taking place. A local permit inspector is the last line of defense to poor construction.

    The pictures demonstrate points where things could have been corrected with a little effort and at minimal cost and better oversight. The exception is the roof framing. If you cut a rafter sort the first time it still will be short on the next three times that you cut that same rafter. Especially when you get into cut up roofs with a lot of compound miter cuts. That's when experience and dedication to quality comes into play. Having a framing square and knowing how to read what is on it and then how to implement what it says is quite a difference.


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Paul, No slight you, you just didn't know. Hopefully others will learn from you experience. Paying more does not always equate with better outcome.


    The pictures demonstrate points where things could have been corrected with a little effort and at minimal cost and better oversight. The exception is the roof framing. If you cut a rafter sort the first time it still will be short on the next three times that you cut that same rafter. Especially when you get into cut up roofs with a lot of compound miter cuts. That's when experience and dedication to quality comes into play. Having a framing square and knowing how to read what is on it and then how to implement what it says is quite a difference.
    I agree, but had I gone with the cheaper builder everyone would say, (including me), "You get what you pay for." So after interviewing this builder, checking other homes that he built and was in the process of framing, I didn't see any issues. The problem is, he got so busy because the market picked up, he now has multiple projects going at the same time, and I got stuck with the bad framing crew.

    That's my reasoning as well. The builder keeps telling me that his engineer will provide a letter that the home is designed and built right, but the engineer doesn't actually build it. He can call for specific products and detail their method of installation, but in the end, if the framing crew cuts all of the their lumber short what good is it?

    Thanks for your response and for all of you helping me out. It's great to hear this feedback.


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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Up here building inspectors come out an check the various stages of construction to ensure its to code. Isn't it the same in NY state?


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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Looks like the builder has very little (basic) understanding of how loads need to be carried from roof, wall to foundation. I agree with the advice given here, it is too bad that you are forced to hire an outside engineer to look after your contractor. But I'm also glad you are caught it at this stage.

    The haphazard way the exterior OSB is "slapped" on, says something of general craftsmanship (or possible drug use). Depending on your cladding it will probably see some cosmetic "ghost through" also...especially if stucco.


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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Up here building inspectors come out an check the various stages of construction to ensure its to code. Isn't it the same in NY state?
    Yes, it is the same in NC, but it seems that the building department in NC relies more on the certification of the engineer than their actual inspection. He did say however that there were several code violations and he won't pass it as is. Unfortunately for me though, the inspector said he will have the builder's engineer develop some kind of "bracing contraption" to ensure its safety. It's disappointing because, like the prior post said, the only entity that can force the builder to redo the framing is the inspector and it doesn't look like this is going to happen.


  30. #30
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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Morrison View Post
    Looks like the builder has very little (basic) understanding of how loads need to be carried from roof, wall to foundation. I agree with the advice given here, it is too bad that you are forced to hire an outside engineer to look after your contractor. But I'm also glad you are caught it at this stage.

    The haphazard way the exterior OSB is "slapped" on, says something of general craftsmanship (or possible drug use). Depending on your cladding it will probably see some cosmetic "ghost through" also...especially if stucco.
    Larry I agree 100%. I believe that where there's smoke, there's fire. I told him the OSB was a joke, that it looked like he said to his framing crew, "Here, drink this case of beer, when your done put on this blindfold and then go build this guys house for me." I won't see the "ghost" through the final product though because we're using a brick veneer, but you can see it through the house wrap for sure.

    As for this particular issue, the building inspector said the sheathing gaps are not an issue as long as the house wrap is secure. But it's not really the point, my point is it appears this framing crew takes no pride whatsoever in what they do and it makes me wonder what else I've missed because like I said, I'm 700 miles away and relying on pictures from my neighbor to fill me in.


  31. #31
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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bronner View Post
    I love this post. What keeps this job endlessly entertaining is the workmanship issues such as illustrated in the photos. I have been telling a standard joke to all my framing inspection clients for years and it seems to hold true in these series of photos as well. I say, "Do you know what tools you never see on a job site anymore that were indispensable a few decades ago? A level, a carpenter's square and simple square and someone who knows how to use them".

    The theory today is, put enough wood in one area, just nail the hell out of it (with the help of a pneumatic nailer) and it will probably stand. And, it you can't get a nail gun in the area, just forget the nails.

    Sad state we are in.
    Michael, that's a broad statement to be making. Maybe where you come from......Where I come from there are a limited number of contractors and all of them are very good. Reputation is everything, one unhappy client can put you out of business! I feel for you Paul, but the bottom line is you chose this contractor. Thoughtful research may have spared you this grief. P.S. Michael, nail guns rule!


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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Manicone View Post
    The house is being built in NC. Thanks for your input. There are other issues as well but way too many post. Glad I'm not crazy, but the builder thinks I'm being unreasonable.

    - - - Updated - - -



    If the builder passes his framing inspection, what other recourse will I have? Does the final say rest with the local building department? I will look into a local engineer, any recommendations for the Denver NC area?
    It isnít going to pass the framing inspection!!


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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Mandac View Post
    It isnít going to pass the framing inspection!!
    I hope you're right but I have a feeling that the builder is going to hide all of those rafter cuts with a horizontal piece of wood, which will be anchored to a vertical post. I visited some other homes in other areas, built by other builders too, and it seems that they put this extra piece of wood as "overkill" but everyone really knows it it's also done to hide some of the issues. I'd be shocked if the inspector got on a ladder with a flashlight and squeezed his head up there to actually see the cuts. In fact, he probably won't even be able to because the roof is so steep (one of the roofs is a 10/12 pitch). At least the local inspector is on board and is more than willing to assist me with these issues, the only disappointment is that he believes if the engineer can some how brace it, AND certify it, than I think he'd be okay passing it. I'd love for the AHJ to have final say, but it seems they rely on simply covering themselves with the engineer's report. But thanks for being optimistic and I really hope you are correct.


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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Manicone View Post
    I hope you're right but I have a feeling that the builder is going to hide all of those rafter cuts with a horizontal piece of wood, which will be anchored to a vertical post. I visited some other homes in other areas, built by other builders too, and it seems that they put this extra piece of wood as "overkill" but everyone really knows it it's also done to hide some of the issues. I'd be shocked if the inspector got on a ladder with a flashlight and squeezed his head up there to actually see the cuts. In fact, he probably won't even be able to because the roof is so steep (one of the roofs is a 10/12 pitch). At least the local inspector is on board and is more than willing to assist me with these issues, the only disappointment is that he believes if the engineer can some how brace it, AND certify it, than I think he'd be okay passing it. I'd love for the AHJ to have final say, but it seems they rely on simply covering themselves with the engineer's report. But thanks for being optimistic and I really hope you are correct.
    You should also contact the NC DOI (dept of insurance) Code enforcement, they have jurisdiction over all code departments in the state and they can investigate if needed.

    Jeff Zehnder - Home Inspector, Raleigh, NC
    http://www.jjeffzehnder.com/
    http://carolinahomeinspections.com/

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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Zehnder View Post
    You should also contact the NC DOI (dept of insurance) Code enforcement, they have jurisdiction over all code departments in the state and they can investigate if needed.
    The building inspector also brought this up, saying that there is a question about whether or not one of the walls is braced properly and the builder's engineer must submit his calculations which must be approved by the NC DOI before the local building inspector accepts them.


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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Now, my dad had less than an 8th grade education but even he could compute and make the cuts for a octagon shaped house and roof with exposed beams. He was one of few general contractors in the Tidewater area of Virginia in the the 1950's and 60's that could.

    It wasn't the builder, it was the framing sub. I bet only one guy in the crew spoke American English. And of course, when asked, the builder will always say everything is ok.

    And I would have to ask the code creators - WHY isn't workmanship part of the code? I know the Virginia new home warranty law throws in "workmanship not acceptable to the trades". Why does it have to be after the fact? When I do pre-drywall inspections what I find is largely workmanship problems. Heck, put a few for nails in it and everything is just fine.

    It appears there are very few knowledgeable and experienced contractors, carpenters, trades people in general who 1) know what they are doing and 2) care what they are doing. It's all a paycheck and on to the next job.

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

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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Brooks View Post
    Now, my dad had less than an 8th grade education but even he could compute and make the cuts for a octagon shaped house and roof with exposed beams. He was one of few general contractors in the Tidewater area of Virginia in the the 1950's and 60's that could.

    It wasn't the builder, it was the framing sub. I bet only one guy in the crew spoke American English. And of course, when asked, the builder will always say everything is ok.

    And I would have to ask the code creators - WHY isn't workmanship part of the code? I know the Virginia new home warranty law throws in "workmanship not acceptable to the trades". Why does it have to be after the fact? When I do pre-drywall inspections what I find is largely workmanship problems. Heck, put a few for nails in it and everything is just fine.

    It appears there are very few knowledgeable and experienced contractors, carpenters, trades people in general who 1) know what they are doing and 2) care what they are doing. It's all a paycheck and on to the next job.
    Yes Stuart, that is exactly the problem. Most builders are only concerned with speed, get in, get done and quickly move on to the next house. Very few people take pride in their work anymore. This particular builder's finish work is impeccable. Nice tight miters, flawless crown moldings, etc. And this is what they are selling, they sell the granite counter tops, the hardwood flooring and the custom built ins. I always cared about what the "guts" of the house consisted of, and when I checked his other work, I didn't find any structural problems, but like I said, he got really busy and my house ended up going to the amateur framing crew.


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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    all I can say is that the contractor should put his hammer into retirement. Here in NY the engineer or inspector would laugh his you no what off. Never would pass here. We're did he get his license from Walmart.

    - - - Updated - - -

    That's all I can say that contractor should put his hammer in retirement. Here in NY the engineer or inspector would laugh his you no what off. Never would pass here


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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Paul, amateur crew or not the general contractor should be embarrassed to say the least. that would be the laughing stock around here. And BTW good finish work starts with straight and square framing. Some Contractors hold their crew to a high standard of quality, and some don't. Good luck this guy has obviously decided that short build time with a inexperienced crew will suite him fine. Shorter build time and a under skilled crew equal dollar signs for the contractor, and the result is what you have.......a hack job!


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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    One wonder where pride in workmanship went. I agree with previous comments about lack of quality.

    The blame needs to be equably placed upon contractors, code enforcement officials, and indirectly upon those that write the codes.

    Contractors-----because they do not train and maintain a competent staff. Now there are exceptions. I have see roofers in NJ properly equiped, proper safety equipment, doing a great job with their permanent staff. But, I also have seen HVAC people with their permanent staff do sloppy jobs. It boils down to training and pride in the job you are doing.

    I agree with the language requirement. Because of the difficulty and complexity of Projects, and safety issues, fluent English must be spoken. Not knowing what "STOP" means in English, I have seen a complete building loose it's communications for a day when a small 1/2" fiber cable was cut with a cut-off saw (not it's intended use ) during demo by a non-English speaking worker.

    Inspectors---For whatever the reason----not up-to-date in the discipline, rushed, enjoys a dinner from the builder during the holidays---inspectors should carry the blunt of the responsibility of allowing shoddy construction. In NJ I have dealt with two types of inspectors.

    State, who inspect state projects, and Local for local inspections. By far the state were more knowledgeable in the code, and stringent in the application of the codes.

    Local left a lot to be desired. You would generally need to point out the code issue to them before they would act. One wonders, as the violation was obvious, why didn't they take action.

    The blame should also go to those who write the codes due to their complexly and presentation. A perfect example is the discussions here that occur over a word of phrase. Do they ever correct these "hot spots" in the code? I'm not sure if they do, or if it is done---not in a timely manner.


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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    What I have found to often is that to many of the carpenters on a job do not know how to use (read) a framing square. Most of the answers to the life of a carpenter is found on the square. In practice it seems that less than 5% of framers know what the jibberish on the square actually means and how to use it. Usually only one guy on the job (if you are lucky) knows how to do layout and cutting for roofs. I learned the hard way, forced to understand then explain what I figured out before I implemented it into action (actual cutting of the wood). But I had someone willing to take the time and was interested in teaching me.

    Today it is mostly monkey see monkey do. Plus "! Aqui' ! - Aqui' !" and "! mas rapidio!" also "! andale !"

    Forgot, "! punto !" , "! parar !" and "! parada !" are not spoken on the job.


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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    The persons laungage or nationality has little to do with their skill sets. Unskilled labor can be found in every shape, size and color on just about any job site in the country. The lack of quality is just a good indication of unqualified, unexperienced and unknowledgable supervision. No more, no less....

    Scott Patterson, ACI
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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    The persons laungage or nationality has little to do with their skill sets. Unskilled labor can be found in every shape, size and color on just about any job site in the country. The lack of quality is just a good indication of unqualified, unexperienced and unknowledgable supervision. No more, no less....
    Scott,

    While I basically and mostly agree with you on the above, I disagree on the part you did not actually state, but did imply: if the worker does not know the language then they have a difficult time reading the approved documents - and the approved documents are what tells them what they should be doing.

    Their skill sets, or lack thereof, are what allows them to do, or not be able to do, what they read and understood the approved documents told them to do.

    If a construction person cannot read, write or understand the language, for example here in the States, read and write English, then that construction person cannot be expected to be able to read the code (which is written in English) or read the approved documents (which are also written in English).

    If a construction person cannot understand English, then that person cannot understand what they are being told to do by others who speak English.

    None of the above addresses whether they could, or could not, do the work if they only knew and understood what they should do - that is in those skill sets they have ... or do not have.

    I work with the above conditions on a daily basis, hopefully there is at least one person on the crew who can speak English because my Spanish is limited to 'no hablo espanol' ... and I am not even sure that I say that correctly.

    Well, I also know uno, dos, tres, quadra, ocho (and I know ocho only because of Calle Ocho - when I was in South Florida the main drag through Little Havana was Calle Ocho, or 8th Street.

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

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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    All so true Jerry. I have a big home project that I'm consulting on and it has blue prints in three languages. English, Spanish and the trim work and finish work is specked in what I have been told is Japanese. I have not seen the one in Japanese but I have been told it is on its way. The owner of the home is using a Japanese woodworker to construct two handmade staircases, wine cellar racks and the kitchen cabinets. The woodworker is from Virginia and has been in the USA for many years, he is apparently booked years in advance and brings two workers with him. He is suppose to be on site for around three months starting in April. He uses Japanese saws and tools and does it the old fashioned way from what I have been told. I did see a line item on the cost review for "special blueprints", the cost was $7,000 for what they are calling it "architectural and language translation of blueprints".

    Scott Patterson, ACI
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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Facilities View Post
    all I can say is that the contractor should put his hammer into retirement. Here in NY the engineer or inspector would laugh his you no what off. Never would pass here. We're did he get his license from Walmart.

    - - - Updated - - -

    That's all I can say that contractor should put his hammer in retirement. Here in NY the engineer or inspector would laugh his you no what off. Never would pass here
    If it were my house, I would contact a structural engineer for a report and would pass that report to the builder, local building official, my attorney and Mayor if it's favorable to you to get it the roof and framing fixed. Sometimes the builders hold a lot of political power and I would go around the City by filing a complaint with the State contractor licensing board or whom ever regulates construction in your State and let them investigate the case. Just saying if the builder won't fix the framing and roof. There's also an appeal process if the local building official has his hands tied.


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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Burkard View Post
    ......Sometimes the builders hold a lot of political power.
    Now there's an understatement..... golf anyone?


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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Manicone View Post
    The building inspector also brought this up, saying that there is a question about whether or not one of the walls is braced properly and the builder's engineer must submit his calculations which must be approved by the NC DOI before the local building inspector accepts them.
    The problem you are going to have is: I bet the builder's "engineer" will stamp and sign off on it with minimal changes, if any. I would find an independent person to look it over and not just rely on the builderís guy.

    Not sure what options you have. You might be able to argue you didn't get what you paid for as the roof lines are different from the plans and might have required a change order from you and the architect (if any) to deviate away from the plans, but like Jerry said it depends on the contract language. And, it would be a civil issue if you go that route.

    If you fight, prepare to delay construction, and if you are well off financially the attitudes might be you can afford to fix it, so why fight it, just pay to have it fixed.


    Last edited by Mike Kleisch; 01-23-2014 at 07:35 AM. Reason: Grammar

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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kleisch View Post
    The problem you are going to have is: I bet the builder's "engineer" will stamp and sign off on it with minimal changes, if any. I would find an independent person to look it over and not just rely on the builderís guy.

    Not sure what options you have. You might be able to argue you didn't not get what you paid for as the roof lines are different from the plans and might have required a change order from you and the architect (if any) to deviate away form the plans, but like Jerry said it depends on the contract language. And, it would be a civil issue if you go that route.

    If you fight, prepare to delay construction, and if you are well off financially the attitudes might be you can afford to fix it, so why fight it, just pay to have it fixed.
    Thanks for your input. I'm in the process of interviewing a few engineers right now. Hopefully I will find a qualified PE to go to bat for me. Any recommendations for the Charlotte area?


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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Manicone View Post
    Thanks for your input. I'm in the process of interviewing a few engineers right now. Hopefully I will find a qualified PE to go to bat for me. Any recommendations for the Charlotte area?
    He was a framing presenter at our CE class last year and was infuriated of builders poor building techniques;

    A.Wynn Yates, PE
    Yates Structural Engineering, PA
    3300 Elstree Dr.
    Charlotte, NC 28226

    704-650-5541
    wyates@yseng.com

    Mike Schulz License 393
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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    He was a framing presenter at our CE class last year and was infuriated of builders poor building techniques;

    A.Wynn Yates, PE
    Yates Structural Engineering, PA
    3300 Elstree Dr.
    Charlotte, NC 28226

    704-650-5541
    wyates@yseng.com
    Thank you so much Mike, I just emailed him.


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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    The roof framing is bizarre. There's no fixing that. It needs to be done over....by someone else.


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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    After the original builder is relegated (by court order) to go back to building bird houses, and nothing larger.


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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by BridgeMan View Post
    After the original builder is relegated (by court order) to go back to building bird houses, and nothing larger.
    Your're looking to get an angry email from the Audubon Society!!!


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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    What I have found to often is that to many of the carpenters on a job do not know how to use (read) a framing square. Most of the answers to the life of a carpenter is found on the square. In practice it seems that less than 5% of framers know what the jibberish on the square actually means and how to use it. Usually only one guy on the job (if you are lucky) knows how to do layout and cutting for roofs. I learned the hard way, forced to understand then explain what I figured out before I implemented it into action (actual cutting of the wood). But I had someone willing to take the time and was interested in teaching me.

    Today it is mostly monkey see monkey do. Plus "! Aqui' ! - Aqui' !" and "! mas rapidio!" also "! andale !"

    Forgot, "! punto !" , "! parar !" and "! parada !" are not spoken on the job.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    The persons laungage or nationality has little to do with their skill sets. Unskilled labor can be found in every shape, size and color on just about any job site in the country. The lack of quality is just a good indication of unqualified, unexperienced and unknowledgable supervision. No more, no less....


    Scott,
    Translate back to english and you get the same thing, a prevalent philosophy on many job sites.


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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Thank you all for your input, it's been invaluable and I appreciate the support and the advice. I was reading another thread about floor trusses and now I think I may have spotted something else wrong. Nearly all of the floor trusses in our home are bottom chord bearing and according to the information I've read, the bottom web is supposed to face downward, toward the sill or truss hanger it's resting like these:





    But the floor trusses he installed in our home have their web pointing upward:




    Should I be concerned about this as well? Thank you all in advance.

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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Manicone View Post
    Thank you all for your input, it's been invaluable and I appreciate the support and the advice. I was reading another thread about floor trusses and now I think I may have spotted something else wrong. Nearly all of the floor trusses in our home are bottom chord bearing and according to the information I've read, the bottom web is supposed to face downward, toward the sill or truss hanger it's resting like these:





    But the floor trusses he installed in our home have their web pointing upward:




    Should I be concerned about this as well? Thank you all in advance.
    Hi Paul,

    Pictured are part of a Pr-Manufactured Truss System and appear OK.

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    Hi Paul,

    Pictured are part of a Pr-Manufactured Truss System and appear OK.
    Thank you Billy, this is exactly what I wanted to hear. I can't possibly think of what would need to be done if they were installed incorrectly.




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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    All engineered truss systems will ... should ... come with a truss layout which shows what truss type goes where, and there are drawings on the sheets which show the trusses, the truss bearing points (sometimes only at the ends, sometimes also at intermediate locations) - if the truss drawing shows them as your photos show them ... no problem.

    HOWEVER ... if the truss drawings shown the trusses with the webs different, then the trusses were installed upside down - unfortunately that would not be the first time that has been done, but ... I suspect you will find that the trusses match the drawings and that there is no problem - but you should check to be sure.

    The reason I suspect they are okay is that it looks like the end vertical has a blocking attached to it with truss plates which fits under the band board, hoard to tell as zooming in loses resolution.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  59. #59
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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    All engineered truss systems will ... should ... come with a truss layout which shows what truss type goes where, and there are drawings on the sheets which show the trusses, the truss bearing points (sometimes only at the ends, sometimes also at intermediate locations) - if the truss drawing shows them as your photos show them ... no problem.

    HOWEVER ... if the truss drawings shown the trusses with the webs different, then the trusses were installed upside down - unfortunately that would not be the first time that has been done, but ... I suspect you will find that the trusses match the drawings and that there is no problem - but you should check to be sure.

    The reason I suspect they are okay is that it looks like the end vertical has a blocking attached to it with truss plates which fits under the band board, hoard to tell as zooming in loses resolution.
    Yes, Yes by all means check the plans ( cheap piece of Mind ).

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

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    Default Re: Questionable framing

    If the top and bottom chords of each truss are the same size, it shouldn't make much difference. However, the resolution of the pix makes it hard to say for sure, but it almost appears in the last photo that the top chords are slightly thicker than the bottom chords; maybe it's just my tired old eyes playing tricks on me (again). But if that is indeed the case, the truss manufacturer' technical people should be contacted to determine if the trusses need to be reversed to avoid overstressing them. The most significant difference in the trusses' performance would be that now the stresses in the end diagonals are acting in tension, instead of compression as they were designed for. Since diagonals aren't main stress-carrying members, this could be a moot point. However, the AITC manual shows most common species of construction lumber having allowable compressive stresses parallel to the grain being about 15%-25% greater than allowable tensile stresses. Again, a phone call to the manufacturer would settle the matter.


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