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  1. #1
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    Default Beam cut out for stairs

    I had never seen this before, the beam was cut out to make room for the stairs. The beams were supported by steal posts. There was 2 different girder beams, one at 12 ft. on center and another 12 ft. on center (house was 36 ft. wide). The framing around the stairs was a single 2x10's, not doubled and the floor above was squeaked really bad. Should I be concerned, Any thoughts on this issue?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    If the loads above are being carried down to columns it might be okay, but did you notice any slope in the floors above, out of plumb door frames, cracks in the walls?

    How old is the house?


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    How do you know the beam was cut out, instead of it being constructed that way from the beginning?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Looks like R-19 batts with the paper facing left exposed - that's a big no-no.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    If the loads above are being carried down to columns it might be okay, but did you notice any slope in the floors above, out of plumb door frames, cracks in the walls?

    How old is the house?
    House was built in 1993, no slope, no framing out of plumb, only minor crack above door. Only thing was the floor squeaked really bad.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    How do you know the beam was cut out, instead of it being constructed that way from the beginning?
    Couldn't see, the insulation was covering the floor joist (I know, the insulation was wrong)


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Morris View Post
    I had never seen this before, the beam was cut out to make room for the stairs. The beams were supported by steal posts. There was 2 different girder beams, one at 12 ft. on center and another 12 ft. on center (house was 36 ft. wide). The framing around the stairs was a single 2x10's, not doubled and the floor above was squeaked really bad. Should I be concerned, Any thoughts on this issue?
    The "Steel Post" ( screw jacks) shown are not intended for permanent repair support. And this is installed to be Very Temporary!! Yes Be Very Concerned. Adjustable Steel Columns

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    Last edited by Billy Stephens; 01-12-2015 at 05:38 PM. Reason: added link
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    The "Steel Post" ( screw jacks) shown are not intended for permanent repair support. And this is installed to be Very Temporary!! Yes Be Very Concerned. Adjustable Steel Columns
    Billy,

    I must be missing something in your link - that is not a telescoping or sectional column, and your link says that telescoping or sectional columns are deemed temporary ... it did not say (unless I missed it in the link) that adjustable columns (with screws) are temporary - in fact, the link implied that adjustable columns (with screws) are permanent.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    If the columns have footings this is probably fine. I have seen it many times. Should be double 2x at the stairway opening to support the walls above. Also, better practice (and often required by manufacturer) is to install these columns with the screw at the bottom encased in concrete.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Billy,

    I must be missing something in your link - that is not a telescoping or sectional column, and your link says that telescoping or sectional columns are deemed temporary ... it did not say (unless I missed it in the link) that adjustable columns (with screws) are temporary - in fact, the link implied that adjustable columns (with screws) are permanent.
    The Holes in these "Columns " suggest they are telescoping.

    Telescoping Adjustable Columns
    Should Not Be Used As Permanent Support In the U.S.


    Telescoping adjustable columns are also known as "tele posts," "sectional columns," "double-sectioned columns," "jack posts," or "jacks." They come in two or more hollow steel tube sections that are assembled on site. A smaller diameter tube is fitted into a larger diameter tube and the sections are held in place with steel supporting pins which pass through the pre-drilled holes of both tubes. Telescoping adjustable columns are regularly used in construction to adjust or level a structure before installing a permanent column. Or, they're used as temporary supports during the course of a building repair. But many inspectors in the U.S. encounter these telescopic columns in permanent use.
    This is a defect because no telescopic adjustable column has been evaluated by a U.S. evaluation firm and none of their manufacturers cite an engineering report to prove these columns' ability to carry a specific load. Also, according to the IRC, a steel column has to be at least 3 inches in diameter. All telescopic columns are all less than 3 inches in diameter. You must therefore assume that these adjustable columns are not designed for permanent structural use. Think of these telescopic columns the way you would think of a car jack. They only exist to temporarily "jack up" a part of a building and should be replaced with a permanent column when the jacking up is done.



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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Telescoping Columns, The Akron Products Company? Canada
    - "Perfect for permanent or temporary support applications under beams, stairs, porches, decks, crawl spaces* and heavy load areas. Fully adjustable telescoping columns come with double carriage nut and bolt for added safety."

    http://www.akronproducts.ca/images/A...%20Catalog.pdf
    - "use as permanent support for new or remodeling projects."
    - also see last two pages of the catalog for the CA-108 adjustable telescoping column

    Not sure if the above listing is acceptable in the US as it is for CA?

    Blanket statements are always something to be wary of ... I try not to make blanket statements unless I can provide supporting documentation for those statements, and even then "exceptions" may apply ...
    - from your link "You must therefore assume that these adjustable columns are not designed for permanent."

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    The floor jack is a temp. The fixed and adjustable are permanent. Welding the permanent is good and required in some places.

    Lally (Lolly Lollie) Column –permanent
    Mono Post (adjustable) – permanent
    Floor Jacks – temp
    Price differences : Floor Jack $50 and Lally/Mono Posts $170

    Try a look at the following:

    TAPCO M AND H SERIES MONO POSTS & STANCHIONS


    Technical Specifications: view PDF file
    Installation Instructions: view PDF file


    8-ft 3-in to 8-ft 7-in Steel Adjustable Building Column

    • Compliant with ICC, IRC, IBC building codes

    4-in x 8-ft Steel Fixed Length Building Column


    • Compliant with ICC, IRC, IBC building codes



    Tiger Brand – Fixed and Adjustable - compliant

    http://www.icc-es.org/Reports/pdf_files/ESR-1766.pdf
    Floor Jack – non compliant
    The Tiger Brand Jack Post Super "S" 8 ft. 4 in. Jack Post can adjust from 4 ft. 8 in. to 8 ft. 4 in. It has a compression load range of 18,000 lbs. at its lowest setting and 9,100 lbs. at its highest setting. It is ideal for correcting sagging floors and basement beams and providing secondary support for room additions, remodeling projects, porches and decks.


    ASHI
    Inspecting Adjustable Steel Columns | The ASHI Reporter | Inspection News & Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors
    …………according to the IRC, a steel column has to be at least 3 inches in diameter. All telescopic columns are less than 3 inches in diameter. You must, therefore, assume that these adjustable columns are not designed for permanent structural use. …………..

    ……four companies that manufacture telescopic columns for use in the United States ……..Three of the four say “temporary” in their marketing material …….

    Last edited by Garry Sorrells; 01-13-2015 at 04:35 AM.

  12. #12

    Question Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    If the columns have footings this is probably fine. I have seen it many times. Should be double 2x at the stairway opening to support the walls above. Also, better practice (and often required by manufacturer) is to install these columns with the screw at the bottom encased in concrete.
    Mark is the only one that considered footer support. These locations most likely do not have footers,(IMHO), unless there is evidence that the floor has been patched around the columns suggesting that footers were placed prior to installation. Any further thoughts?


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    In MHO I assumed there would be footings, while in your humble opinion you assumed there are no footings.

    Also I don't see hand rails, and I don't like heavy (looks like shag) on stairs.

    Also as a courtesy could you please put on your profile where you are located?

    Thanks.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Another item I see is what appears to be romex wiring on the stair stringer.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Everyone repeating unsupported claims that steel columns are required to be minimum 3 inch diameter in the IRC needs to check the IRC for what it actually states.

    A lot of misinformation is unintentionally put forth and then is passed on from person to person - I say unintentionally because I am sure there was no intention to put forth misleading information ... some people have problems with the codes saying what the codes say when they think it should say something different.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Everyone repeating unsupported claims that steel columns are required to be minimum 3 inch diameter in the IRC needs to check the IRC for what it actually states.

    A lot of misinformation is unintentionally put forth and then is passed on from person to person - I say unintentionally because I am sure there was no intention to put forth misleading information ... some people have problems with the codes saying what the codes say when they think it should say something different.
    I haven't read the instructions for every telescoping Lally manufacturer, but of the instructions that I've read, they warned that their posts were for temporary use. If some other manufacturers make more robust Lallys and don't have that warning and are IRC compliant, then great, but I've never seen labelling on a Lally describing whether it is compliant or not. In any event, I've seen AHJs sign off on their permanent use even when the instructions for those Lallys said that they were for temporary use. And I've never seen a Lally failing.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    [QUOTE=Jerry Peck;252637]Telescoping Columns, The Akron Products Company? Canada
    - "Perfect for permanent or temporary support applications under beams, stairs, porches, decks, crawl spaces* and heavy load areas. Fully adjustable telescoping columns come with double carriage nut and bolt for added safety."

    http://www.akronproducts.ca/images/A...%20Catalog.pdf
    - "use as permanent support for new or remodeling projects."
    - also see last two pages of the catalog for the CA-108 adjustable telescoping column

    ........

    From he Akron Products link above, go to Telescoping columns Installation Instructions under Notes• Telescoping posts should be used as additional support, not the primary means of

    support.




  17. #17
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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Cook View Post
    From he Akron Products link above, go to Telescoping columns Installation Instructions under Notes• Telescoping posts should be used as additional support, not the primary means of support.
    Yep, it does say that - I missed that in there.

    This is what the IRC says about columns: (red, underlined, bold is mine)
    - R407.3 Structural requirements. - - The columns shall be restrained to prevent lateral displacement at the bottom end. Wood columns shall not be less in nominal size than 4 inches by 4 inches (102 mm by 102 mm). Steel columns shall not be less than 3-inch-diameter (76 mm) Schedule 40 pipe manufactured in accordance with ASTM A 53 Grade B or approved equivalent.

    - APPROVED. Acceptable to the building official.

    If there is a signed and sealed engineering letter, the building official usually "approves" it.

    If there is an independent testing lab which provides certification for it - the building official "approves" it.

    Thus, the steel column *is not* "required" to be 3 inches diameter.

    The steel column is only required to be 3 inches diameter AND be Sch 40 ASTM A 53 Grade B steel pipe IF not an approved column (no engineering and/or no third party testing and certification).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    The floor squeaks are probably due to inadequate support/connection of the top end of the stairway stringers to the upper floor. There should be doubled floor framing around the stairway opening at the upper floor level, which would support the stringers, and be supported by the 12' o.c. beams. The columns are probably meant to only be used in temporary situations, as has been posted by others, however they appear to be adequately supporting the floor loads in the pictures.

    Thom Huggett, PE, SE, CBO

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Yep, it does say that - I missed that in there.

    This is what the IRC says about columns: (red, underlined, bold is mine)
    - R407.3 Structural requirements. - - The columns shall be restrained to prevent lateral displacement at the bottom end. Wood columns shall not be less in nominal size than 4 inches by 4 inches (102 mm by 102 mm). Steel columns shall not be less than 3-inch-diameter (76 mm) Schedule 40 pipe manufactured in accordance with ASTM A 53 Grade B or approved equivalent.

    - APPROVED. Acceptable to the building official.

    If there is a signed and sealed engineering letter, the building official usually "approves" it.

    If there is an independent testing lab which provides certification for it - the building official "approves" it.

    Thus, the steel column *is not* "required" to be 3 inches diameter.

    The steel column is only required to be 3 inches diameter AND be Sch 40 ASTM A 53 Grade B steel pipe IF not an approved column (no engineering and/or no third party testing and certification).
    In the mean time. ( see link ) But many inspectors in the U.S. encounter these telescopic columns in permanent use. This is a defect because no telescopic adjustable column has been evaluated by a U.S. evaluation firm and none of their manufacturers cite an engineering report to prove these columns' ability to carry a specific load. Also, according to the IRC, a steel column has to be at least 3 inches in diameter. All telescopic columns are all less than 3 inches in diameter.

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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    This is a defect because no telescopic adjustable column has been evaluated by a U.S. evaluation firm and none of their manufacturers cite an engineering report to prove these columns' ability to carry a specific load. Also, according to the IRC, a steel column has to be at least 3 inches in diameter. All telescopic columns are all less than 3 inches in diameter.
    You've missed the point of what the code says, and why I posted it.

    It is not a defect IF it is approved ... by the building official.

    Seems to me that the solution would be to check with the local building officials and see if they approve those or not - THEN you'd have your answer.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    You've missed the point of what the code says, and why I posted it.

    It is not a defect IF it is approved ... by the building official.

    Seems to me that the solution would be to check with the local building officials and see if they approve those or not - THEN you'd have your answer.
    Jerry,

    They are Not Approved...... By Anybody.

    You Missed this one. Please find something else to naw on.

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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    Jerry,

    They are Not Approved...... By Anybody.

    You Missed this one. Please find something else to naw on.
    Billy,

    You've checked with every building official everywhere?

    I did say that I missed the telescoping note - however, i am referring to what the code REQUIRES and ALLOWS ... and the code ALLOWS - *ANY* - steel column which has some sort of approval AND/or which *ANY* building official may approve.

    Oh, wait, I forgot ... any metal column also requires the approval of Billy Stephens too ... , your Highness, I forgot you have to approve every steel column before it is permitted to be used.

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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Billy,

    You've checked with every building official everywhere?
    Nope. I'm waiting on you.

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  24. #24
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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    First lets make a distinction between the USA and Canada. The USA has it own codes and Canada has it own codes. What may be OK for Canada may not satisfy the US market. So using a Canadian reference that a floor jack or a telescoping jack meets US standards or is compliant is a fallacious argument. Bad reference...

    Then we have different people trying to make a point using words of different meanings.

    Manufacture testing uses the word "compliant" in their reports. Which is different than approved.

    Such as:"The Fixed Column and the Adjustable Column Compliant with ICC, IRC, IBC building code." Which in turn provides the Local Code Official with the supporting data which is used to approve the use in an application.

    Using the logic that approval denotes compliance is also fallacious. We all know that something that does not comply with a standard/code can/has been approved for use. Also we know that something that complies with code can be not approved (rejected) by the same authority.

    I know that many here will dig their heals in and argue a position to death using any fallacious or circular logic that can be created.

    Locally I find that a Fixed Column or an Adjustable Column (with weld tack) has been the approved norm of the columns that are in compliance with the different codes. Locally I have not seen a Floor Jack/Telescoping Column accepted for permanent use.

    The manufactures do not use the terminology of "approval" in their marketing. They either say that it is compliant or they say nothing on compliance to codes. They may make a comment that a column can be used for different applications and yet not mention any compliance. The manufacture may list load bearing data for the column and still not mention anything about compliance.

    Why do they(manufactures) not use the term "approved"? They know every local and authority will conjurer their own set of code definition and how they think it applies. So they (manufactures) just keep out of the fight and only state compliance to a code and let the jailhouse lawyers fight out the battle and expend the time and money over APPROVAL of what is compliant. Ain't English grand, maybe that is why they have a problem with it in Canada... .... Ne est pas Anglais grand, peut-être ce est pourquoi ils ont un problème avec elle au Canada. For them that speak spanish.

    Compliant,accepted,approved,allowed all have qualified interpretations and though similar they are different.


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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Some good points, Garry not Gary.

    For the record, French is the official language in that there part of Canada because the British were unable to completely defeat the French, so they formed a kind of alliance. The British General Wolfe was killed in the last big battle, so it was a weak victory for them.

    They should have chosen one good language like Spanish or Esperanto but they were too (two, to, tu) stubborn.
    Even today we have French Members of Parliament who are separatists but are lined up to the same trough as the rest of them.

    I would mention the use of temporary posts, having bolted telescoping sections, and the lack of doubled joists. I would look for signs of foundation issues at the bases of the posts. We can't always tell if there are proper footings, but we can see cracks or depressions. Missing handrails.
    The squeaks are probably or possibly unrelated bad framing. Might be a loose seam in the subfloor.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 01-13-2015 at 02:34 PM.
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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    . Might be a loose seam in the subfloor.
    If it is "Then it Could be Code Compliant " if AHJ gives it the Okey Dookey.

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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Garry,

    The fallacy of your argument is that the code itself bestows on the building official the power to "approve" (i.e., "approved" is past tense, "approval" is the action itself) things, and the code itself, in the section I posted for columns, SPECIFICALLY states that an "approved" equivalent IS permitted. Thus a building official MAY "approve" ANY steel column he/she deems equivalent.

    That "approval" may be based on testing, engineering, empirical evidence, or other basis.

    We have all, I am sure, seen things which have been "approved" that we think should not have been "approved", sometimes we are right and sometimes we are not.

    The difference between what I am saying and what you and Billy are saying (and others may be thinking) is that *I* am recognizing that the building official is empowered by the code itself to "approve" things ... and you are not recognizing/acknowledging that code given power that the building official has.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    *I* am recognizing that the building official is empowered by the code itself to "approve" things ... and you are not recognizing/acknowledging that code given power that the building official has.
    - APPROVED. Acceptable to the building official.

    If there is a signed and sealed engineering letter, the building official usually "approves" it.

    If there is an independent testing lab which provides certification for it - the building official "approves" it.

    Thus, the steel column *is not* "required" to be 3 inches diameter.

    The steel column is only required to be 3 inches diameter AND be Sch 40 ASTM A 53 Grade B steel pipe IF not an approved column (no engineering and/or no third party testing and certification).

    You got any of this "Stuff?"

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    You got any of this "Stuff?"
    You should be asking the inspector who did the inspection.

    Were you there? Did you verify the lack of documentation? Did you check with the building official at that AHJ to find out what they accept/approve?

    I suspected as much - nope, you didn't.

    Until you are the one there and find those things out ... you are just spewing hot air about what YOU think and what YOU want.

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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    You should be asking the inspector who did the inspection.

    Were you there? Did you verify the lack of documentation? Did you check with the building official at that AHJ to find out what they accept/approve?

    I suspected as much - nope, you didn't.

    Until you are the one there and find those things out ... you are just spewing hot air about what YOU think and what YOU want.
    Gosh,

    That would make Two of Us.

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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    I looked at the photo showing the top of the post and it looked like a typical approved adjustable column. I did not notice the hole in the other photo. I have not come across any telescoping columns that are approved. Many permanent columns have ESR approvals because many common columns are 3" diameter 11 gauge, which is a thinner wall than Schedule 40 pipe.

    Although I do see telescoping columns used for original support in some old buildings (likely before these were not permitted by code or where there was little code enforcement) many are added after the fact. I am more inclined to think this was an alteration now that I see the telescoping columns. That takes me back to my concern about a possible lack of footings.


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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Some good points, Garry not Gary.

    For the record, French is the official language in that there part of Canada because....
    For all of our northern neighbors, please never take anything as an intended insult to Canada. I may jest a little, but it is not personal nor an attack. I do find it interesting to what extent requirements have been instituted. Which is why I questioned the logo in French as a requirement and the fact that I have not seen one in French.

    Over the years I have found it interesting how the attempt of a dichotomy of the languages has taken place not to mention the nation itself. My first intrusion into Canada about 40yrs ago I was was made aware of the severity that some hold to making French the only language and the desire to separate. Demonstrated by a large group that would go out of their way to discriminate against anyone speaking English.
    Out of self preservation I did learn some French. Aaaaaah the good old days.


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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    The purity of the air in Canada is without doubt due to the fact that the people never open their windows!


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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Garry,

    The fallacy of your argument is that the code itself bestows on the building official the power to "approve" (i.e., "approved" is past tense, "approval" is the action itself) ............ and you are not recognizing/acknowledging that code given power that the building official has.
    Jerry, You missed my point. Which is what you are reiterating. The AHJ will do what they want. If they would accept 6 monkeys holding up the beam then it would be approved.

    Thinking that because the column may have been approved because AHJ can do what they want is the wrong tact to take.

    You chided Billy with "You've checked with every building official everywhere? " which was a little uncalled for. It may have been his use of words or his lack of qualification of his words that you took exception, yet I think the underlying meaning was correct.

    If presented with a temporary telescoping jack column I would make sure to point it out. In the real world I believe only a very very few would try to chase down the the permits, drawings or the inspector to qualify that the column was approved. Really surprised that you would make that statement.

    The fact that the manufacture is only willing to offer that the fixed and adjustable column complies with some standards would suggest that there may be an issue in the use of the telescoping column. The fact that there is silence with the telescoping column is sufficient cause to prudently question it every time that it is encountered.

    If you had a "Yes or NO" question on a test that was: "Are Fixed, Adjustable and Telescoping Columns code approved by the manufacture for use?". The answer would be "NO". The reasoning would be that the manufacture has stated that some are compliant to certain codes. Manufacture does not state they have been approved. You can not interject the what if senario to answer the question, else you will fail standardized testing.

    So, you may want to go on a Quest, think not, but others should call into question non-compliant columns. And I believe you would (should know to) question telescoping columns, unless you know in fact that in FL they have been approved by all AHJs. The exception does not make the rule.

    And remember that "compliance" does not equate to "approval" which is the basis of my point. Compliance would only reasonably suggest probable approval.

    Maybe something of an apology.
    It just dawned on me that for the most part Florida houses are not built with basements. Sink holes yes, but not basements. Which explains the need/desire to rely on manufacture documentation and links to provide what is missing from field construction experience. Not a chide but a revelation, sorry. Which also answers why you questioned of how do you know if the steps had been moved or were built that way. Is it original or is it MOREX?

    Looking at he pict from OP it would appear that it could have been either original or altered at some time. Why? It would appear that the steps would not leave much landing room at their present rise and run if they were at the point that the joist were cut. If the steps are original they may have been moved back causing the need to cut the beam/joist and move the steps back. Or the original steps were much steeper and the joist was not cut at that time. The present step design were not original and moved back to reduce the rise on each step. A lot of what ifs I know and maybe many other scenarios possible. Personally from what I see I would think that the steps are original and the steps were cut loose and just moved back away from the wall at the bottom landing. Interesting no one nit picked with a question of the rise or run measurements.

    Last edited by Garry Sorrells; 01-14-2015 at 07:28 AM.

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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Move to Canada, they are approved up here, then there would be no problem.


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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Move to Canada, they are approved up here, then there would be no problem.
    There are several ways telescoping metal columns could reasonably and rightly be approved in the US too.

    First and foremost is the some are hung up on the 3 inch minimum size, or the minimum Sch 40 wall thickness (which they willingly and readily set aside for 11 gauge), while not considering that there may be a manufacturer which uses a 3 inch column for the smaller one.

    Or that a manufacturer may use a 2-1/2 inch smaller column with thicker wall, or other variations which legitimately allow the building official to "approve" the telescoping column, and the that the "approved" telescoping column is "compliant" with the code.

    Maybe the air in Canada is better because no one there opens their windows ... while down here there are seems to be a problem caused by people not opening their minds.

    (The 3 inch size is no more rigid and absolute than the Sch 40 wall thickness ... yet they readily and willingly accept a lesser wall thickness ... but insist that the 3 inch size is the holy grail.)

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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Morris View Post
    House was built in 1993, no slope, no framing out of plumb, only minor crack above door. Only thing was the floor squeaked really bad.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Couldn't see, the insulation was covering the floor joist (I know, the insulation was wrong)
    The squeaking floor is usually result of the nails used to secure the subfloor have worked up and are rubbing on the subfloor when walked on .


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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    There are several ways telescoping metal columns could reasonably and rightly be approved in the US too..........
    Jerry, I preface the questions with "no what ifs or could bees, maybe, would of, could of".

    1) If you walked up on the telescoping column in the OP pictured application. Would you make a comment about the column itself or just keep on walking?
    2) If you encountered a telescoping column in general with no stickers, stamped drawings, signed off permit, no previous contact with the builder or contractor, just the column, would you raise any question in a report?


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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Jerry, I preface the questions with "no what ifs or could bees, maybe, would of, could of".
    I don't, and can't, consider "no what ifs or could bees, maybe, would of, could of" with the unknown information provided - doing so only leads one to give an answer which does not consider the unknowns, and it is the unknowns which make it either "compliant" or "noncompliant".

    1) If you walked up on the telescoping column in the OP pictured application. Would you make a comment about the column itself or just keep on walking?
    First, I'd wonder where to heck I was ... there are no basements here ... that said, I'd want to know more about the metal column and not outright send it to damnation simply because it did not meet my perceived notion of what a metal column should look like - again, the code says "or" as in 3 inch Sch 40 steel pipe "OR" an approved column - and no one here seems to have a problem accepting the "or approved" part because all are jumping on 11 gauge steel instead of Sch 40 wall thickness.

    To me, not only is the telescoping column to be looked at, but the through bolts need to be looked at as plain bolts may shear through quite easily, Grade 5 would be stronger, and Grade 8 would be even stronger - but NO ONE mentioned anything about the bolts ... even for temporary use.

    2) If you encountered a telescoping column in general with no stickers, stamped drawings, signed off permit, no previous contact with the builder or contractor, just the column, would you raise any question in a report?
    See answer to 1 above.

    Immediate condemnation to eternal damnation is not required, and is unprofessional (to say the least) - one needs to know more about the columns, and if absolutely NO information is known, then someone needs to find out about it.

    Think of it like a door between a house and its attached garage, it has been painted, all 6 sides (which is rare in and of itself), and there is a painted over label on the hinge stile of the door .. "could" that be a 20-minute rated door? Sure, but with that painted over label there is no way that I will say it is. And without that 20-minute label and with the door being a 1-3/4" thick 4 panel fiberglass door (which measures to have 3/8" deep recesses around the panels, leaving the door as only being 1" thick) ... I am not going to approve that door as being compliant with the code as it does not meet the code requirements. Now, if that label had not been painted over ... we may have the information we need.

    Like those columns ... not enough information is known.

    However, unlike those columns, the code is specific about that door - a 1-3/8" solid wood door is okay, a 1-3/8" steel covered foam core door is okay, and a 20-minute rated door is okay ... and that door does not meet any of the three options the code gives. The steel columns, on the other hand, are provided with an additional option ... the building official may "approve" them based on information which convinces the building official that the columns are suitable - information that we do not have. Those steel columns MAY be okay, or, those steel columns MAY NOT be okay - more information is needed.

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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    .......... Those steel columns MAY be okay, or, those steel columns MAY NOT be okay - more information is needed.
    After all of that doesn't it boil down to your last sentence.

    Point is that the typical column that is used are either the Fixed Column or the Adjustable Column. We see them every day as standard building practices.

    I said nothing about "outright send it to damnation". What I hoped you would say was that would question its use and recommend verifying that it was approved for this application. Short and sweet.

    Personally, just from the pict, I would note several reservations about the OP pictured column and stair construction. A picture and being there are two different things.

    What I would hope that others reading the forum might gleam out of this discussion is that when confronted with this type of column (telescoping) it would be wise to take note of it and make a discerning (showing insight and understanding) comment in the report.

    People work from what the see and what they know. The hard part is not knowing what you do not know and for many admitting it.

    The column that we have seemed to be fixated on has many uses. What we know is that no US manufacture mentions/states telescoping as compliant to U.S.A. code, I am not addressing approved is situational. Seems kinda of simple starting position to work from if you see one..

    Why do you think Canadians have so many windows that don't open???? Is it that they don't have screens???


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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post

    Originally Posted by Jerry Peck
    .......... Those steel columns MAY be okay, or, those steel columns MAY NOT be okay - more information is needed.


    After all of that doesn't it boil down to your last sentence.

    The hard part is not knowing what you do not know and for many admitting it.
    Least we all get carried away with what if's and personalities as installed "These" columns are not even acceptable as Temporary Supports.

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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Based on the picture and info from the OP - I would put in my report:

    "Altered framing in basement appears to be non-standard construction with questionable post/footing support for the cut beam. Non-standard, possibly inadequate, and/or temporary framing/support methods may have adverse consequences or fail. Framing alterations typically require approval and permit from local municipality. Recommend evaluation by a qualified structural engineer and repairs as necessary."

    What I would not put in the report is: "Mr seller - prove me wrong if you can with approved engineering drawings, permits or other documentation."


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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    I said nothing about "outright send it to damnation". What I hoped you would say was that would question its use and recommend verifying that it was approved for this application. Short and sweet.
    .
    .
    .
    What I would hope that others reading the forum might gleam out of this discussion is that when confronted with this type of column (telescoping) it would be wise to take note of it and make a discerning (showing insight and understanding) comment in the report.
    The position of most posts here has been immediate rejection.

    I agree with your last statement as you are not immediately rejecting it - too much unknown information to do that.

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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The position of most posts here has been immediate rejection.

    I agree with your last statement as you are not immediately rejecting it - too much unknown information to do that.
    So You Saying These Columns need Further Evaluation by bla,bla bla you pick your preferred trade and or expert?

    * just Poking Here.

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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    ...........What I hoped you would say was that would question its use and recommend verifying that it was approved for this application. Short and sweet. ......

    Personally, just from the pict, I would note several reservations about the OP pictured column and stair construction. A picture and being there are two different things.

    ............when confronted with this type of column (telescoping) it would be wise to take note of it and make a discerning (showing insight and understanding) comment in the report.
    ......
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The position of most posts here has been immediate rejection.

    I agree with your last statement as you are not immediately rejecting it - too much unknown information to do that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    So You Saying These Columns need Further Evaluation by bla,bla bla you pick your preferred trade and or expert?

    * just Poking Here.
    Many here may not have the building experience using columns, installing stars and modifying existing structures. Which is why I was suggesting taking a less harsh approach to the wording that may be used such as "several reservations". I think that to many HI who do not know what they are looking at would make unfounded suppositions to the installations just for the benefit of their ego. As apposed to taking the "Further Evaluation" route because you just don't know, but know enough to say you don't know and are not going to stick your neck out to get whacked.

    Frankly on the basis of my experience installing columns for permanent structural support and all of the drawings and spects that I have worked with I would reject the OP pictured column and maybe/probably much more of the OP stairs installation. I would give the reasons for my rejection and add a caveat to provide supporting documentation from some authority that would reverse my opinion. The bent 12p nail would be enough to get me going as a start and it would be down hill from there.


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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    ..............
    First, I'd wonder where to heck I was ... there are no basements here ... that said, I'd want to know more about the metal column and not outright send it to damnation simply because it did not meet my perceived notion of what a metal column should look like - ...............
    ........
    Immediate condemnation to eternal damnation is not required, and is unprofessional (to say the least) - one needs to know more about the columns, and if absolutely NO information is known, then someone needs to find out about it.......
    I thought that the majority of FL did not have basements due to water table. That only a very small minority have a functional basement. Sorry if I was wrong...

    I would like to hear how you would word "Immediate condemnation to eternal damnation" . I never thought of such wording, but it would drive home a point in a report... not to mention give it a little flair.

    Maybe I have to find a HI that is also a Baptist Minister to get a little "hell fire and damnation" verbiage.


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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Why are you guys trying to engineer this thing - even if you are an engineer?
    As a home inspector, I would call for SE to look at it because it looks wrong.
    We don't need to get too carried away with 'this part right' , 'that part maybe' , or 'another part wrong'.

    I would like to hear from Sam. By now, Sam surely has prepared and delivered his report. What say you Sam?


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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Weekly View Post
    Why are you guys trying to engineer this thing - even if you are an engineer?
    As a home inspector, I would call for SE to look at it because it looks wrong.
    We don't need to get too carried away with 'this part right' , 'that part maybe' , or 'another part wrong'.

    I would like to hear from Sam. By now, Sam surely has prepared and delivered his report. What say you Sam?
    I am a structural engineer, but some guys like to learn what is wrong and what is not and not just automatically refer everything to a structural engineer.


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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Yes, hello Mark. I have appreciated your input (and many others) in these forums and recognize your experience. I, too, wish to learn, add to my knowledge, improve my inspection abilities, and find the forum great for these things. I think that this cut-beam/stair situation appears to be non-standard construction - in a number of areas - framing integrity being # 1.
    As an engineer, would you agree that my comments in post # 42, as a home inspector, are valid?
    My intent with that comment is to offer an example of what the OP might want to state in his report.
    Get the report out...but keep learning.


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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    So You Saying These Columns need Further Evaluation by bla,bla bla you pick your preferred trade and or expert?

    * just Poking Here.
    Nope.

    Those columns do not need "further evaluation", those columns have already been evaluated ... those columns just need documentation as to their suitability for that use.



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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Nope.

    Those columns do not need "further evaluation", those columns have already been evaluated ... those columns just need documentation as to their suitability for that use.

    Sorry, There is None .
    just plain unsuitable.

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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    Sorry, There is None .
    just plain unsuitable.
    So .... if those columns were 4" for the larger size and 3" for the smaller size, with 3/8" thick walls and grade 8 bolts and were installed with the approval of an engineer who issued a signed and sealed letter - *you* are stating that those columns as "just plain unsuitable" ... because you were there and inspected those columns?

    Oh, wait, *you* were not there ... and, oh, wait, *you* did not inspect those columns ... and, oh, wait, *you* know more than the engineer who inspected them knows - got it. I will now have to send in to 'Ask Billy' ... for all my engineering questions.

    Yeah, right, I'll do that when .

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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    So .... if those columns were 4" for the larger size and 3" for the smaller size, with 3/8" thick walls and grade 8 bolts and were installed with the approval of an engineer who issued a signed and sealed letter - *you* are stating that those columns as "just plain unsuitable" ... because you were there and inspected those columns?.
    None of that stuff is real. If your going to Imagine something I like Bacon Sandwiches.

    We even heard from a poster in Canada where some styles of telescoping jacks are approved that the ones shown are not approved in Canada.

    Now if this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M18e6u2qjek andthis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfIUY5m_nRs happened within a 48 hour period along with a note it might be Okey Dokey.

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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    None of that stuff is real. If your going to Imagine something I like Bacon Sandwiches.

    We even heard from a poster in Canada where some styles of telescoping jacks are approved that the ones shown are not approved in Canada.

    Now if this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M18e6u2qjek andthis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfIUY5m_nRs happened within a 48 hour period along with a note it might be Okey Dokey.
    This coming from someone who WAS NOT THERE and does not SPECIFICALLY KNOW exactly what is or is not existing ... and is not providing THE CODE PERMITTED leeway for the building official to approve things that Billy does not approve of.

    I would reach down to try and pull you up out of that hole you've dug yourself into ... but you've already dug it too deep for me to reach you.

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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    This coming from someone who WAS NOT THERE and does not SPECIFICALLY KNOW exactly what is or is not existing ... and is not providing THE CODE PERMITTED leeway for the building official to approve things that Billy does not approve of.

    I would reach down to try and pull you up out of that hole you've dug yourself into ... but you've already dug it too deep for me to reach you.

    Oh Excuse Me " The Code Permitted Leeway."
    * guess if all the made up stuff is not enough then Da Code Guy could of......

    Just Reach Up Brother.

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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Jerry,
    How many of these temporary telescoping columns have you seen in use and have been approved by anyone (SE, AHJ, local permit inspector, the Pope) as a permanent column? Have you ever seen even one that was approved????


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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    I am a structural engineer, but some guys like to learn what is wrong and what is not and not just automatically refer everything to a structural engineer.
    Mark,
    What is your position on temporary columns???? Have you ever suggested using one as a permanent column, as apposed to a fixed or an adjustable column?


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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Jerry,
    How many of these temporary telescoping columns have you seen in use and have been approved by anyone (SE, AHJ, local permit inspector, the Pope) as a permanent column? Have you ever seen even one that was approved????
    Garry,

    As I said originally ... if I saw columns ... I'd wonder where I was.

    I've only seen a couple of basements in Florida and none had steel columns. There were carved our of solid coral and had wood columns. Were used by "Rum Runners" back in those days.

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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Looks like R-19 batts with the paper facing left exposed - that's a big no-no.
    As we were not there these batts could be treated with a Fire Retardant have a Signed Sealed Engineering Letter, Variance from the Fire Marshal Green Tagged by AHJ to "Code Permitted Leeway."

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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    As we were not there these batts could be treated with a Fire Retardant have a Signed Sealed Engineering Letter, Variance from the Fire Marshal Green Tagged by AHJ to "Code Permitted Leeway."
    And, with alternate methods and materials, the roof could be left off, provided it was approved by the building official.

    If you are going for extremes, then let's go for extremes ... don't need to walls either (because there is no roof which needs to be supported).

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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    And, with alternate methods and materials, the roof could be left off, provided it was approved by the building official.

    If you are going for extremes, then let's go for extremes ... don't need to walls either (because there is no roof which needs to be supported).
    Yeah,




    Now We're Talking.

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    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Mark,
    What is your position on temporary columns???? Have you ever suggested using one as a permanent column, as apposed to a fixed or an adjustable column?
    I do not specify them because of the concerns about only being rated for temporary support. I have approved them in cases where loads are light (i.e. supporting a couple joist ends). Remember, 4x4s or doubled 2x4s do not have ESR reports either.


  63. #63
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    I don't care if something was approved by the AHJ. If we know something was installed incorrectly and in a manner that is not compliant with the manufacturers installation guidelines, we should call it out. How many times have all of us inspected a new construction house, observed the signed code inspection sticker on the service panel, but still found improper double taps, 20 amp breakers with 14 gauge wires, etc. Just because a licensed official signs off on something doesn't render the manufacturer's installation guidelines moot.

    This staircase and ceiling structure modification reeks of DIY and should be called out for repair. Is it going to go anywhere? Maybe not. But is sure isn't right.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  64. #64
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    How many times have all of us inspected a new construction house, observed the signed code inspection sticker on the service panel, but still found improper double taps, 20 amp breakers with 14 gauge wires, etc. Just because a licensed official signs off on something doesn't render the manufacturer's installation guidelines moot.
    Typically ... ... the above assumption is made by people who do not understand that a 'signed off inspection', nor even a Certificate of Occupancy, is not stating that 'all is well and good'.

    All a signed off inspection means is that the inspector did not see anything which was not in compliance with the code (or, for most inspectors, was not in their comfort range of being close to compliance).

    A Certificate of Occupancy does not mean that 'all is well and good' either.
    - From the 2012 IRC:
    - - R110.5 Revocation. - - - The building official shall, in writing, suspend or revoke a certificate of occupancy issued under the provisions of this code wherever the certificate is issued in error, or on the basis of incorrect information supplied, or where it is determined that the building or structure or portion thereof is in violation of any ordinance or regulation or any of the provisions of this code.

    It it well recognized and accepted that code inspector DO NOT inspect EVERYTHING. Code inspectors make spot check inspections - no one would be willing to pay the permit cost needed to hire enough inspectors to check EVERYTHING, and no contractor would put up with a building department which insisted on inspecting EVERYTHING, so, being as code inspectors DO NOT inspector EVERYTHING ... the code recognizes that inspections do not mean that 'all is well and good' and that when something is found to be noncompliant, the code provides the AHJ the means with suspend or revoke a Certificate of Occupancy, and without a Certificate of Occupancy, the AHJ now can remove an 'approved inspection' and 'disapprove' the inspection.

    Suspending a Certificate of Occupancy is rare (I had it done 2-3 times over about 18 years when I did home inspections, and I am sure that I am not the only inspector who lead to a Certificate of Occupancy being suspended) ... but when the need arises, the means and option is there - IF the building official is willing to use it (and the building official is the key to it all).

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

  65. #65
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Beam cut out for stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    I don't care if something was approved by the AHJ.
    I should clarify this too: When a building official "approves" something which is not in strict compliance with the code, the building official makes a written record of it (a good building official will make a written record of it and a savvy contractor will keep a copy of that 'approval' in his permit file), and that written record will state why the item was approved.

    Do not assume that something is 'approved' just because the inspections have been signed off or because there is a Certificate of Occupancy - you know what "assume" means ... I presume.

    See my previous post for further explanation if any is needed.

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

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