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  1. #1
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    Default Missing header with no metal lintel ?

    Inspecting a house today built in the 70's. My issue is the opening over the basement garage door. There was no header or metal lintel present. I saw visible sagging in the floor joists and 2x8 rim joist. I will be calling this out, but my question is how common is this., has anyone ever seen this before ?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Missing header with no metal lintel ?

    The first photo of the inside looks straight, the last photo of the outside looks bowed ... why the difference? Both should be the same, shouldn't they?

    It looks like a beam/ledger/rim joist goes across the opening and is carrying the joists ... but I can't tell for sure or what it is like from the photos.

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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Missing header with no metal lintel ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The first photo of the inside looks straight, the last photo of the outside looks bowed ... why the difference? Both should be the same, shouldn't they?

    It looks like a beam/ledger/rim joist goes across the opening and is carrying the joists ... but I can't tell for sure or what it is like from the photos.
    You got it- ledger board/band joist. The deck may be pulling it down. I cant explain why the inside looks fine ? The trim could be casing the illusion ?


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Missing header with no metal lintel ?

    I can see the trim is bowed, but did you put your level on the floor framing? The trim has nothing to do with the floor framing. How much sag was there in the framing?


  5. #5
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    Feb 2008
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    Caledon, Ontario
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    Default Re: Missing header with no metal lintel ?

    I agree with Jack looks like the trim has sagged. Have seen that before.


  6. #6
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    Maryland
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    Default Re: Missing header with no metal lintel ?

    Sam,
    Is it possible that the opening was built originally with a header and that it was removed to accommodate the new door either in width or height?


  7. #7

    Default Re: Missing header with no metal lintel ?

    Couple of times I've seen a similar looking arrangement; when someone thought it would be great to add a big door to the basement and call it a garage. In addition to having structural support problems there are fire separation and carbon monoxide concerns created.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Missing header with no metal lintel ?

    Was anything sagging or out of level besides the trim?
    Lack of fire separation in basement garages is very common in my area in older homes.


  9. #9
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    Apr 2011
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    Bozeman, Montana
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    Default Re: Missing header with no metal lintel ?

    Sam,
    Picture 4 lacks full compliment of fasteners in the joist hangers, typical?
    Mark


  10. #10
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    Aug 2011
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    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
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    Default Re: Missing header with no metal lintel ?

    That ledger board, if properly bearing and attached, may be adequate to bear the load for a single car opening. You'd have to do the math to verify, but that is beyond your responsibility. If you don't have any significant concerns, but you feel that you need to say something, you might note that it is a non standard installation that appears to be performing at this time.

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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Southern Vancouver Island
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    Default Re: Missing header with no metal lintel ?

    You'all are looking at pictures and telling him the floor is not sagging? Huh?
    There is sag in pic 1, just not as pronounced in the picture. Sam, you saw a sag, don't let these guys change your mind.
    Structural flaws are not something to be wishy-washy about. Why, because they generally are expensive to repair. Call it and let the buyer decide if he can live with it or not.

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

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Erwin, TN
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    Default Re: Missing header with no metal lintel ?

    Thank you, good advice


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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    georgia
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    Default Re: Missing header with no metal lintel ?

    Could it be the header was sized for the floor load and installed as part of the band and later the deck was bolted to the header adding additional load the header was not sized for?


  14. #14
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    Mar 2007
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    Plano, Texas
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    Default Re: Missing header with no metal lintel ?

    That is not a 40 year old door. And that is not a proper garage since there is no drywall over the ceiling since there is living space above. Someone at sometime changed the structure.

    I would be confident calling this out as wrong on many levels, sag and all.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  15. #15
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    Mar 2007
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Default Re: Missing header with no metal lintel ?

    Jim and Kevin,
    Both of you are probably making inaccurate assumptions. While I have not seen the house that Sam inspected, it likely was built that way in the 70's.
    Basement garages were not drywalled in many parts of TN until the mid 80's. It's really common to see split foyers, or basement homes without drywall on the garage ceiling. Some times they only have thin wood paneling on the walls, and of course, a hollow core door between the living space and garage.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Missing header with no metal lintel ?

    Kevin,
    Nowhere did I say it was an OK garage, or I didn't care about my clients. Of course, by todays standards its not. In fact, I have a comment in my inspection library that addresses this issue (since I see it a lot).

    I was only pointing out that you made assumptions that are likely inaccurate, when you said....... ("That was probably a bedroom in which all the drywall needed to be removed due to possible moisture issue. What then happened is some not so bright guy, decided to make it into a garage, by taking out a huge old window and framing it to install a garage door.").

    It was probably never a bedroom, no one took out drywall because of moisture damage, and no one took out a window and installed a garage door.


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Plano, Texas
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    Default Re: Missing header with no metal lintel ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Jim and Kevin,
    Both of you are probably making inaccurate assumptions. While I have not seen the house that Sam inspected, it likely was built that way in the 70's.
    Basement garages were not drywalled in many parts of TN until the mid 80's. It's really common to see split foyers, or basement homes without drywall on the garage ceiling. Some times they only have thin wood paneling on the walls, and of course, a hollow core door between the living space and garage.
    Your right Jack I was making assumptions without realizing the local practice.
    But looking at what I see as a block wall with some rework with painted blocks like the ones on the left mixed with ones on the right and the obviously newer door (too shiny and wrong style to be very old) together with the fact of the sagging structure described by Sam, I'm still pretty confident someone changed structure... If they didn't, they should have and installed a proper header while they were at it!
    The drywall, yeah, I saw one here only 10 years old built out in the country.
    Just because there is a rule doesn't mean it will be followed.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

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