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  1. #1
    flyguy26's Avatar
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    Default Supports in an old addition

    I was crawling under a house that a buddy is considering buying. The home was built in 1970 and a master bedroom addition was put on about fifteen years ago (he was told). The floor joists are sitting on a beam that is resting on PT 6x6's and joined by nailed by 2x4's.

    Photo: http://www.vawaterfront.info/Public/postandbeam.jpg

    Clearly this doesn't adhere to current building practices, but os it possible that it was allowed in a rural Virginia county fifteen years ago?

    What's the best way to advise him on what to do. There isn't any apparent shifting.

    Thanks,

    Mitch

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Supports in an old addition

    What is your concern?
    That's the way it's done here. Shoot, 15 years ago it wasn't required to use the 2x4 to "join" them together.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Supports in an old addition

    Agree with Brandon.... and fwiw - that's not a PT post - I'm hoping at some point your friend is looking into a professional home inspection.


  4. #4
    Paul Johnston's Avatar
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    Default Re: Supports in an old addition

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    Agree with Brandon.... and fwiw - that's not a PT post - I'm hoping at some point your friend is looking into a professional home inspection.
    Looks like a PT post to me. See the green tint to it. That being said, with out the manufactures tag who knows if it is ground contact or not.


  5. #5
    flyguy26's Avatar
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    Default Re: Supports in an old addition

    So nobody sees a structural concern here and there's no need for him to expect to have to put in concrete block piers at a later date?

    Thanks.


  6. #6
    Paul Johnston's Avatar
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    Default Re: Supports in an old addition

    Quote Originally Posted by flyguy26 View Post
    So nobody sees a structural concern here and there's no need for him to expect to have to put in concrete block piers at a later date?

    Thanks.
    There maybe concrete piers that the photo does not show.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Supports in an old addition

    The 2x4's were used to resist lateral and rotational movement of the beam. If you look at the picture the 6x6 post looks very much like SYP, which is often used for PT applications. Without a grade stamp or tag it's difficult to know whether it's suitable or not (but really, most lumber yards around here don't have non-PT 6x6 posts - and they're almost always rated for ground contact).

    Based on the 1/2" shim in the picture I expect they used a similar shim on the other side and the beam is built up from three 2x members. The relevant metal fastener for this application would be the Simpson Strong-Tie BCS2-3/6 post cap but it would not resist rotation as well as the 2x4's. I've used a combination of the two when not using LVL beams (for which I've used the PC66 to make the beam/post connections).

    Also, I've enhanced the picture somewhat to show the background a bit. Not sure what the clearance from grade is for those studs and sill plate.

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Supports in an old addition

    Quote Originally Posted by flyguy26 View Post
    So nobody sees a structural concern here and there's no need for him to expect to have to put in concrete block piers at a later date?

    Thanks.
    Why? You said it wasn't moving. Where is it going to go? Looks to me to be more solid than a jack post. Can't tell from the pic, is the bottom of the post fastened?

    Randy Gordon, construction
    Michigan Building Inspector/Plan Reviewer

  9. #9

    Default Re: Supports in an old addition

    Mitch,

    The reason I asked what your concern was, is that I don't see what the problem could be. When I run into something I either haven't see before, or looks unusual, I think to myself "self, what bad things can happen, if any". Why would concrete piers be better than a post in this instance? There's a concrete pad supporting the base of the post isn't there?

    In response to Matt stating that it doesn't look like PT......
    In this area, PT wood has the typical marks (can't think of what they're called) on the wood, whereas it sounds like this is not the case in other areas. About the only treated wood that doesn't have the marks is outdoor wood, not rated for direct ground contact.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Supports in an old addition

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Whitmore View Post
    In response to Matt stating that it doesn't look like PT......
    In this area, PT wood has the typical marks (can't think of what they're called) on the wood, whereas it sounds like this is not the case in other areas. About the only treated wood that doesn't have the marks is outdoor wood, not rated for direct ground contact.
    Are you referring to the scoring marks on some pressure treated wood? Out here PT hemlock usually will have them whereas PT SYP usually will not.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Supports in an old addition

    Brandon,

    No, there's not a concrete pad underneath. There is soil contact, but I don't know if there was a footer used.

    I guess my concern is (eventually) termites.

    It's solid otherwise. Just thought I'd throw it out there to see if there's a consensus.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Supports in an old addition

    Funny thing is, as Corn Walker's "cleaned up resolution" re-post of your own photo shows two other supports in background sitting on some sort of masonry support/block/footing.

    You provide no real information, fact sets seem to be difficult to EXTRACT and are suspect changing, too much DIY.

    Hire a professional inspector, hire additional professional consultants as deemed necessary, review the addition plans at the building office, etc. A "rat slab" woudn't support compression from a 6x6 beam supporting post.

    Review building codes and construction techniques. Since this is not a DIY site, and you provide insufficient data on everything including location soil type, topography (ledge, slope), provide no wide shots or structural specifics, perimeter, orignal foundation, what its supporting, etc., and bring up new questions again with no details, find the entire exercise pointless.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 08-02-2010 at 11:33 AM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Supports in an old addition

    Are you referring to the scoring marks on some pressure treated wood? Out here PT hemlock usually will have them whereas PT SYP usually will not.
    Corn,

    Yes, score marks-- thanks.
    There's no SYP around here.............


  14. #14

    Default Re: Supports in an old addition

    No, there's not a concrete pad underneath. There is soil contact, but I don't know if there was a footer used.

    I guess my concern is (eventually) termites.
    If there is no pier pad below, it's an issue.
    Soil contact doesn't matter if the post is rated for burial/ direct ground contact.
    Will the buried PT post rot over time? Possibly, but that doesn't mean it isn't allowed.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Supports in an old addition

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Whitmore View Post
    If there is no pier pad below, it's an issue.
    Soil contact doesn't matter if the post is rated for burial/ direct ground contact.
    Will the buried PT post rot over time? Possibly, but that doesn't mean it isn't allowed.
    Brandon is right there needs to be a footing with a pier block on it, 4x6 post nails to top of pier block on the underside of the 4x6 girder


  16. #16

    Default Re: Supports in an old addition

    David,

    Unless I am missing something, that diagram is wrong. Protection against decay clearance requirements are 12" for beams, and 18" for floor joists per the IRC (R319 in the '06 version). Clearances can be reduced if naturally durable or treated materials are used.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Supports in an old addition

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Whitmore View Post
    Corn,

    Yes, score marks-- thanks.
    There's no SYP around here.............
    Looks like I need to get out of town more often....


  18. #18
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Supports in an old addition

    Here is what the NC code says about wood post. May not apply to your state.

    SECTION R407
    COLUMNS
    R407.1 Wood column protection.
    Wood columns shall be
    protected against decay as set forth in Section R319.


    R407.2 Steel column protection.
    All surfaces (inside and outside)
    of steel columns shall be given a shop coat of
    rust-inhibitive paint, except for corrosion-resistant steel and
    steel treated with coatings to provide corrosion resistance.


    R407.3 Structural requirements.
    The columns shall be
    restrained to prevent lateral displacement at the top and bottom
    ends. Wood columns shall not be less in nominal size than 4
    inches by 4 inches (102 mm by 102 mm) and steel columns
    shall not be less than 3-inch-diameter (76 mm) standard pipe or
    approved equivalent.


    Exception:
    In Seismic Design Categories A, Band C columns
    no more than 48 inches (1219 mm) in height on a pier
    or footing are exempt from the bottom end lateral displacement
    requirement within underfloor areas enclosed by a

    continuous foundation.



  19. #19
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    Default Re: Supports in an old addition

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Whitmore View Post
    David,

    Unless I am missing something, that diagram is wrong. Protection against decay clearance requirements are 12" for beams, and 18" for floor joists per the IRC (R319 in the '06 version). Clearances can be reduced if naturally durable or treated materials are used.
    Yes, Brandon you are right. i was just trying to show a picture of the footing,pier and post up to the 4x6 girder. This was probably not the best illustration


  20. #20
    flyguy26's Avatar
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    Default Re: Supports in an old addition

    Thank you everyone. I get the gist of it and will pass on the link to the discussion.

    While I understand this is not a DIY site, and I didn't ask about constructing anything, merely wanted to know everyone's opinions on what I saw, I'm always struck by those members who are happy to try to help and those that prefer instead to gripe about the question. If H.G. Watson wasn't interested by the question or was somehow insulted by it, why take the time to try to dress down someone who is a stranger. Wouldn't it just be easier to ignore it and go on your merry way H.G.? H.G.: I'm sorry I didn't include more detailed photos, or soil type, or location, or, well whatever it is that made it impossible you you to be constructive in your response. I will certainly do my level best to craft better questions so long as you promise to get off your high horse once in awhile.

    As for everyone else: thank you very much indeed, I really appreciate you taking the time to help.
    Regards,

    Mitch


  21. #21

    Default Re: Supports in an old addition

    Yes, Brandon you are right. i was just trying to show a picture of the footing,pier and post up to the 4x6 girder. This was probably not the best illustration
    David,

    I figured as much, but you never know who will look at it and walk away thinking it's correct.
    Anyone know if there are or were building codes out there with those clearance requirements? If not, I'd hesitate to use any of that artists illustrations for training purposes, etc.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Supports in an old addition

    mitch,
    there should have been blocking between the floor joist over the girder! fyi


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