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Thread: LVL picture

  1. #1
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    Default LVL picture

    I took these at a draw inspection...

    What would you report if you were doing this pre-drywall?

    This is a triple LVL beam that holds 2nd level floor joists and 2nd level wall.

    Each end of the same beam is pictured.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: LVL picture

    It's been awhile since I've looked this up but I believe minimum support at ends is 4". I have an LVL brochure I'll try to find.
    Other ...
    - LVL improperly supported at ends with scab pieces of lumber. Supporting members to be continuous from floor to beam. Splitting and cracking of scabs may occur under load.
    - Scabbed pieces not sufficient to prevent twisting or buckling at top connection. Beam failure can occur due to improper support
    -replace with full length lumber or wrap with appropriate material as signed off by licensed structural engineer. (I've seen guys wrap this type of problem with 3/4" plywood)

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: LVL picture

    I would report that I just called the county building inspector . Then tell the client they better have it looked at by a engineer Most companys who supply these beams will send an engineer


  4. #4
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    Default Re: LVL picture

    I would report further evaluation by SE. Just curious, has the county building inspector inspected the framing.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: LVL picture

    I'm curious why everyone thinks an engineer needs to look at it? A good framing contractor would be able to take care of it.

    It is hard to tell from the photos, without seeing the entire room and the upstairs framing. But just looking at the end supports and bearing, it looks like it is around 6" of bearing if you count the width of the supporting lumber. The short sections on the ends are transmitting their load to the horizontal piece and then that is being supported by the vertical members. I can't really tell how they are attached to each other.

    As for racking. It looks like it will have joist attached to it, if that is a ledger board along the side of it. The joist would keep it from racking.


    A major concern that I would have would be what those end supports are resting on and where they are transmitting their load.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  6. #6
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Talking Re: LVL picture

    Most LVL literature to include the ICCES states something to the effect that "minimum bearing length and anchorage of "XYZ"LVL shall be as specified in the applicable code, as indicated in this report, for solid sawn lumber.

    APA Engineered Wood Construction Guide states the obvious that "LVL shall be furnished and installed as shown on the approved building plans and in accordance with the specifications of the LVL manufacturer.

    IRC R502.6 Bearing.
    The ends of each joist, beam or girder shall have not less than 1.5 inches (38 mm) of bearing on wood.


    Depending on the species of wood being used and the specific manufacturer's instructions the bearing could range between 1.5" and 5.5" for 3" girder.

    http://www.swi-joist.com/Superior_4.pdf
    http://www.rfpco.com/pdfs/EWP_DG/Page%2047.pdf

    Need joist hangers in there somewhere too.

    Aaron




  7. #7
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    Default Re: LVL picture

    Scott, I would call for the SE so that the contractor can't try to bullshit his way out of it, not because a competent carpenter can't handle it. If the carpenter on the job is willing to do that type of work and the GC is willing to sign off on it, then it's time to have an SE start looking around, or of course for additional charges have the HI look up and provide the relevant Code/Manufacturer documentation to back up the obvious.
    Is anything really going to happen considering all the other lumber nailed together and around it, probably not, but if it does I don't want it to be my phone that rings.

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  8. #8
    Brandon Chew's Avatar
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    Default Re: LVL picture

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I'm curious why everyone thinks an engineer needs to look at it? A good framing contractor would be able to take care of it.
    I agree. It doesn't need an engineer. It needs a good framing carpenter to tear those jacks out and do it right.

    It looks like a case of "gee boss, I cut it three times and it's still too short"!

    A guy probably misread the plans or the tape and cut a bunch of lumber too short, then decided to use it anyway.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: LVL picture

    It's new construction. Why not look at the plans? The attachment detail should be in there.

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

  10. #10
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: LVL picture

    It's new construction. Why not look at the plans? The attachment detail should be in there.
    Gunnar:

    You may live in some sort of Shangri-La where all builders are just deliriously happy to abide by the code requirement to maintain a set of construction documents on site. Where I work that is most certainly not the case. The occasional real custom home may have a partial set of plans, I've even seen a full set or two in the past 11 years, but most have nada.

    And for those of you who believe in the existence of multiple "competent carpenters" residing in any one general locale simultaneously, you are also not referring to the land of the carpentieros down here just south of mightily-sucking Oklahoma. If they can even read the plans they more often than not lack the skill to reproduce the desired results.

    Now I've seen some pretty lame engineering out there too, but given the choice between having my client depend on the perspicacity of a bolero-lovin'-low-rider-drivin'-quasi-legal-carpentiero and the haughtiest most egotistical know-it-all engineer, my money's on the man with degree.

    Deference to experts seems to be something that a lot of HIs are ready to avoid just because the noobs and the lazy over use it. Is it perhaps because you think YOU know it all? Give that some thought.

    Aaron


  11. #11
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    Default Re: LVL picture

    Looks to me like an after thought, They apparently it moved it up. Maybe they were going to run joist over the top. If it were left in place the king stud would be nailed to the LVL and a 2nd top plate run over the top of the LVL.

    Last edited by Kirk Kloepfer; 03-11-2008 at 08:12 AM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: LVL picture

    Since it is a triple thick LVL, the bearing surface needed would typically be more than 3 inches. It has 3 on one end and about 5 on the other.
    Without looking it up (don't have all the onsite spans etc anyway) I think 4.5 inches of bearing would be typical of a correct installation.

    I agree, the support jacks should be continous lumber.

    Also, triple LVL's should have a staggered bolt pattern.
    Maybe some can be just nailed but it has to be over 120 nails to obtain anywhere near the recommended nail pattern on a beam like this so bolting makes more sense.

    They have a new screw designed for these but I doubt you will see them used for awhile. They are too expensive and not many AHJ's are enforcing manufacturers requirements on engineered home components anyway.

    I would guess within the next few years the builders will be learning a lot more about LVL's and holes in I-joists etc. New stuff usually gets enforced after a few rounds of classes are atttended by the AHJ's and they hire a few more or as the building boom slows down.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: LVL picture

    Aaron,

    Depending on what is desired for a draw inspection, the plans should be available. Of course, this is California and the building departments are pretty strict about having the approved set reasonably accessible. If the loan company just wants to know if the frame is up and does not care whether or not it was done properly, then looking at plans is not necessary. If they are looking for some level of quality control, then it is expected that the plans be located on-site. Same with an official building inspection.


    And, yes... California is Shangri-La. Primarily because I am here.

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

  14. #14
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    Default Re: LVL picture

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    If the loan company just wants to know if the frame is up and does not care whether or not it was done properly,
    All of the draw inspection I did were for that purpose, how much of what has been done.

    They specifically did not want 'quality or code' addressed unless it was 'horribly bad'.

    On one large motel I did, I 'mentioned' that the slab would only be 3" thick when poured based on the string lines (documented with photo showing string line height above the compacted earth, no moisture barrier yet, no steel yet).

    Construction kept progressing and I kept doing draw inspections, then someone apparently noticed my comment on slab thickness and all of a sudden it was a 'big deal' - had to met the contractor, architect, engineer, etc., out there to measure the slab depth.

    The architect had the contractor drill a hole through the slab, bent a piece of steel rod (small rod) so it had a 90 degree hook on one end, stuck it down the hole and pulled it back up until it caught on the bottom of the slab, turning it around until it was on the thickest area, marked the rod and pulled it out - 3". This was repeated at several locations.

    Was supposed to be a 6" slab.

    After that, I was never called back to finish the draw inspections on that motel.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: LVL picture

    Isn't it amazing how that works? I've had the same issues with banks and developers. They say they want a good inspection but they sure don't want to hear about any problems. I was never called back for another draw inspection after I photo'ed and documented the problems with the framing in a Condo building. Most of the carpentry was good ... the carpenters were putting a bead of construction adhesive on the back of wood 2x2 and then nailing those onto the cement block exterior walls.
    From what I've been told a lot of it has to do with time. Addressing such issues can bring a project to an extended standstill, especially once the lawyers are called in.

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

  16. #16
    Brandon Chew's Avatar
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    Default Re: LVL picture

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    Gunnar:

    You may live in some sort of Shangri-La where all builders are just deliriously happy to abide by the code requirement to maintain a set of construction documents on site. Where I work that is most certainly not the case. The occasional real custom home may have a partial set of plans, I've even seen a full set or two in the past 11 years, but most have nada.

    And for those of you who believe in the existence of multiple "competent carpenters" residing in any one general locale simultaneously, you are also not referring to the land of the carpentieros down here just south of mightily-sucking Oklahoma. If they can even read the plans they more often than not lack the skill to reproduce the desired results.

    Now I've seen some pretty lame engineering out there too, but given the choice between having my client depend on the perspicacity of a bolero-lovin'-low-rider-drivin'-quasi-legal-carpentiero and the haughtiest most egotistical know-it-all engineer, my money's on the man with degree.

    Deference to experts seems to be something that a lot of HIs are ready to avoid just because the noobs and the lazy over use it. Is it perhaps because you think YOU know it all? Give that some thought.

    Aaron
    Funny post. I am an engineer. The first thing I would say after I arrived on site and saw that LVL would be "let me see the plans". After I confirmed my initial reaction that there's no way in hell the designer detailed the support that way, the next thing I'd say would be "have a framer who knows what he's doing rip those jacks out and do it right".

    This is the kind of defect that shouldn't need an engineer to call out as wrong. The GC or site foreman, or the code inspector, should catch it if either is competent and doing their jobs. An HI that caught it, could support his position, and who stood his ground when challenged should be enough to get it corrected.

    I'm not familiar with field conditions in areas subject to rapid growth in residential construction. We don't have large production builders cranking out new homes up here, or an acute shortage of construction workers that would result in a huge number of incompetent workers. All that is to say that it's not too hard to find a competent framing carpenter around here, and if you screw up often enough or bad enough, you get fired.

    You describe a state of residential construction where the builders have no desire to produce a product that meets "minimum requirements to safeguard public safety, health and general welfare" along with communities that have no desire to do a reasonably competent job to ensure that it happens. Please tell me that the state of affairs down there hasn't sunk so low that the only way a homeowner has a chance of having a decent home built is to hire an engineer to babysit the job for them?



  17. #17
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    Default Re: LVL picture

    I someone asks me to just confirm that some aspect of the construction is present I will still comment if I see problems. No way do I want a reputation of wearing blinders. I've heard too many excuses from contractors who say they're not paid to point out problems. I have no respect for such attitudes or those that display them. Sorry, but no apologies if I stepped on toes here.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  18. #18
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    Default Re: LVL picture

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Chew View Post
    I'm not familiar with field conditions ..

    We don't have large production builders cranking out new homes

    You describe a state of residential construction where the builders have no desire to produce a product...

    Please tell me that the state of affairs down there hasn't sunk so low that the only way a homeowner has a chance of having a decent home built is to hire an engineer to babysit the job for them?

    Brandon,

    I think you are starting to see (But it's just the tip of the Iceberg.)

    As long as it's Fast, Cheap but Looks Pretty it's done.


    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
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  19. #19
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: LVL picture

    As long as it's Fast, Cheap but Looks Pretty it's done
    I knew a guy back in the early 80's that was a conractor for one of the big builders. His motto was, and I'm paraphrasing a bit: "It it looks good from the bedroom, nail it!"

    Aaron


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