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  1. #1
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    Default Re: Squash Blocks with Engineered Joists

    I see homes sometimes with engineered floor joists but with missing, or no "squash blocks". I have read a few of the manufacture instillation requirements and so far every one I have read shows the "need / requirement" for "squash blocks" at all "load bearing points". I'm sure most seasoned inspectors know about this.
    My question is; Does anyone know if there is a "code reference" relating to the "requirement of squash blocks"?
    Thanks

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Squash Blocks with Engineered Joists

    The code requires that all engineered products be installed in accordance with the engineering.

    That engineering includes squash blocks and a lot more.

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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Squash Blocks with Engineered Joists

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The code requires that all engineered products be installed in accordance with the engineering.

    That engineering includes squash blocks and a lot more.
    Yes Jerry. I am very familiar with most manufactures requirements, but are there any "code references" that you know? That is, other than..... "Engineered lumber is to be installed per the manufacture's requirements"


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Squash Blocks with Engineered Joists

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The code requires that all engineered products be installed in accordance with the engineering.
    This code requirement is applied to many products. It's like assembling something - you don't follow the manufacturer specs than a warranty there ain't - code or no code.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Squash Blocks with Engineered Joists

    You don't need a code reference.
    You can usually find a series stamp on those joists along the run, series 230, 270, 3xx whatever. Take a pic of the series & manufacturer label, go to the Manuf. website, download the manual for that series, (they all have them), read it and then reference the page numbers in your report where it shows what they should have done, you can put a link in your report to the manual or include it with your report as a PDF addendum.
    (I link to the Hardieboard manual because its too big to add as a PDF)

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Squash Blocks with Engineered Joists

    The key here is the single word - engineered.

    In most cases, home inspectors are not engineers and, therefore, do not know when/where squash blocks or web stiffeners are required. the engineer decides that. As a result, you have a couple of options.

    One is to look and see if there is any indication of problems because of a lack of squash blocks/web stiffeners. If you see crushing or related issues, report them and defer to a structural engineer.

    The second is to state that this is an engineered floor support system, that you expected to see squash blocks and/or web stiffeners, but did not; are not an engineer and recommend they have the floor support system evaluated by the engineer of record to verify that everything was done to the engineering specs.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Squash Blocks with Engineered Joists

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    You don't need a code reference.
    You can usually find a series stamp on those joists along the run, series 230, 270, 3xx whatever. Take a pic of the series & manufacturer label, go to the Manuf. website, download the manual for that series, (they all have them), read it and then reference the page numbers in your report where it shows what they should have done, you can put a link in your report to the manual or include it with your report as a PDF addendum.
    (I link to the Hardieboard manual because its too big to add as a PDF)
    Thanks Marcus, Good idea!!!


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Squash Blocks with Engineered Joists

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Sumen View Post
    Yes Jerry. I am very familiar with most manufactures requirements, but are there any "code references" that you know? That is, other than..... "Engineered lumber is to be installed per the manufacture's requirements"
    Rich,

    That code section IS THE code section.

    It's like the NEC saying that listed and labeled items shall be installed in accordance with the listing and labeling ... the NEC does not say how many screws are needed or where they go.

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

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Squash Blocks with Engineered Joists

    See IRC Section R502.7 for lateral restraint at supports for floor joists, however, if the wall is not required for support of the joists (i.e., it's a non-bearing wall) the blocking is not required. It looks like a pretty flimsy wall (studs 24" oc, no double top plate, etc.) so I doubt that it is a bearing wall. You can check the span charts for the I-joist from the manufacturer's website for the allowable span of the member to see if bearing is required at that wall line. If bearing is required then the wall appears to be inadequately constructed AND the lateral bracing is missing.

    Thom Huggett, PE, SE, CBO

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Squash Blocks with Engineered Joists

    The requirement for squash blocks generally applies when there is a load bearing wall above. Since the joists are bearing on a steel beam, it is a bearing point, but there may be an opening above that area and then squash blocks would not be required. I believe that depending upon the joist depth and the load there are other cases where squash blocks would not be required even though the general installation instructions call for them. Those cases involving engineered design are the reason why you cannot say with certainty that something is wrong.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Squash Blocks with Engineered Joists

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    This code requirement is applied to many products. It's like assembling something - you don't follow the manufacturer specs than a warranty there ain't - code or no code.
    Eric, Kudos to you.
    I know I have allot to learn and miles of road ahead of me but I have said that for years. Manufactures hold the liability to the product they produce, the builders follow the instructions.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Squash Blocks with Engineered Joists

    Also check your local codes: In Massachusetts and ICC these engineered joists need to be fire proofed. Use Gyp board over the webs, intumescent paint (some manufacturers now include this)
    or Roxul on wires. Verify the system is acceptable in your jurisdiction.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Squash Blocks with Engineered Joists

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Manufactures hold the liability to the product they produce, the builders follow the instructions.
    ... the builders ... (are supposed to) ... follow the instructions.

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

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Squash Blocks with Engineered Joists

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    ... the builders ... (are supposed to) ... follow the instructions.
    Ha ha ha, Yes I concur.
    You think flippers read?

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.

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