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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    Posts
    585

    Default Post and Beam Floor support system.

    This Post and Beam house was built in 1970. (almost 50 years ago) The floor joists are all supported on top of cleats nailed to the girt beam or ledger.

    Although this house has withstood the test of time, showing no visible signs of stress or movement, this is obviously not what would be done today. Is this something that would be grandfathered and should go without comment or is this something that requires repair at what looks like could be a substantial cost.

    What recommendation, if any, would you give to your client.

    Looking for some help here.

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    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,615

    Default Re: Post and Beam Floor support system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    This Post and Beam house was built in 1970. (almost 50 years ago) ...
    Keep in mind that "almost 50 years ago" no longer has the same meaning as it did in the 1970s.

    "50 years ago" in the 1970s meant 'around the 1920s'; whereas "50 years ago" now (the 1970's) means that the knowledge level of building structures had advanced to 'modern standards' ... not the same standards as the 1920s (when almost no codes existed for construction).

    That said, though, "Post and Beam" is an old style of construction which, to some minor extent (speaking relative to most other types of construction) is still done today, and is still in the codes today, and is now under "heavy timber" as the type of construction.

    The floor joists are all supported on top of cleats nailed to the girt beam or ledger.
    The key (to me) would 'how are they attached to the girders'? The ledgers supporting the floor joists typically only support the gravity loads, the floor joists need to somehow also be attached to the girders, toe-nails?

    Is this something that would be grandfathered and should go without comment ...
    I wouldn't use the term "grandfathered" for that anymore than for a conventionally framed 1970s house. I also wouldn't leave it without comment either. That could be post and beam, or it could be timber frame, similar types of construction. I would check with contractors in your area as to which it most likely is, and the pluses and minuses of each in your area.

    I would point out that it is post and beam or timber frame (sometimes called 'heavy timber' as post and beam is constructed using 'heavy timbers', not to be confused with "Heavy Timber", Type IV, type of construction in the building code), then relate the pluses and minuses to your client.

    I am not a post and beam/timber frame guy so I don't have specific comments on the good, the bad, or the ugly https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1PfrmCGFnk .

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    136

    Default Re: Post and Beam Floor support system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    This Post and Beam house was built in 1970. (almost 50 years ago) The floor joists are all supported on top of cleats nailed to the girt beam or ledger.

    Although this house has withstood the test of time, showing no visible signs of stress or movement, this is obviously not what would be done today. Is this something that would be grandfathered and should go without comment or is this something that requires repair at what looks like could be a substantial cost.

    What recommendation, if any, would you give to your client.

    Looking for some help here.
    Ledger supported joists, common practice and still an acceptable form of construction in today's building code. Today's modular homes are typically constructed in this manner. I have pics someplace of units set in my jurisdiction with this exact same practice. Similar design to a ribbon-strip, which is referenced here:

    http://www.ashireporter.org/HomeInsp...Bearings/15257

    Current 2017 FBC, R reference which should mirror the IRC version:

    R502.6 The ends of each joist, beam or girder shall have not less than 11/2 inches (38 mm) of bearing on wood or metal and not less than 3 inches (76 mm) on masonry or concrete except where supported on a 1-inch by 4-inch (25 mm by 102 mm) ribbon strip and nailed to the adjacent stud or by the use of approved joist hangers. The bearing on masonry or concrete shall be direct, or a sill plate of 2-inch-minimum (51 mm) nominal thickness shall be provided under the joist, beam or girder. The sill plate shall provide a minimum nominal bearing area of 48 square inches (30 865 square mm).[/COLOR]

    Last edited by Robert Sheppard; 01-06-2019 at 08:02 AM.

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