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Old 06-15-2009, 02:27 PM   #1
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Cutting Board for Ductwork


We need to run 3 6" inch ducts to the other side of our center support beam in our basement. Is it safe and code-approved to cut a hole in the 2" x 10" where the red circle is located? There is actually two 2" x 10" back to back where the red circle is.

Below are two pictures. One shows the desired hole (red circle) to be cut and the other shows the center support beam and floor joists.




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Old 06-15-2009, 02:39 PM   #2
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I haven't figured out what you've got there. I see a Weyerhauser microlam, and then your red dot. Not sure what the stuff between those two are. It actually looks a gap. What's up with the microlam, is it supporting those joists?

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Old 06-15-2009, 03:05 PM   #3
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I wish I had a better picture showing the entire basement. The first picture shows the floor joist running to the center of the house where the main support beam is. This support beam is about 16' long and 20" tall. The second picture shows the support beam. There is a gap between the support beam and the 2" x 6" (or something like that) that is horizontal with the floor directly above the support beam. Then the floor joist sit on top of the 2" x 6" above the support beam. The 2" x 10" we would like to cut a hole in is at the end of the floor joists (the board with the red circle in the first picture).

The house was a modular house which came in 3 pieces. Two of the pieces come together right there in the middle. The beam was used in the part of the basement so we could have a 16' long opening with out a support post.

Does that make sense?

Last edited by Build; 06-15-2009 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 06-15-2009, 03:07 PM   #4
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I'm trying to figure out why you've got what looks like a double rimboard in the middle of your house sitting on a flat 2x10 that is supported by flat 2x6 shims spaced at 4 ft oc over the central beam. Is this one of those manufactured houses that comes in two halves that are joined together on-site?
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Old 06-15-2009, 03:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jogr View Post
I'm trying to figure out why you've got what looks like a double rimboard in the middle of your house sitting on a flat 2x10 that is supported by flat 2x6 shims spaced at 4 ft oc over the central beam. Is this one of those manufactured houses that comes in two halves that are joined together on-site?
Yes it was a manufactured house. Here are some additional pictures. The first picture shows the support beam before the house was set. That is the support beam in the first pictures. To the back of the house there are support posts every 8'. The beam was used so in the front of the house we would not need a support post.



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Old 06-15-2009, 03:33 PM   #6
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Important question: is the joint between the two sides sitting directly over that microlam? In other words, are the shims supporting both rim joists?

Also, I would have a real problem with this, if this was my house. Somebody didn't do a good job. No reason for a 3-1/2" gap between the top of the microlam and the bottom of the prefab structure. Somebody screwed up. Did it pass inspection?
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Old 06-15-2009, 03:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Aggie67 View Post
Important question: is the joint between the two sides sitting directly over that microlam? In other words, are the shims supporting both rim joists?

Also, I would have a real problem with this, if this was my house. Somebody didn't do a good job. No reason for a 3-1/2" gap between the top of the microlam and the bottom of the prefab structure. Somebody screwed up. Did it pass inspection?
Sorry to sound ignorant but what is a "rim joist"? So you are saying that the bottom of the prefab should have been sat right on the microlam (center beam)?

There has not been an inspection. Should we just get an inspection and ask them if cutting the desired hole is ok?
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Old 06-15-2009, 04:38 PM   #8
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I'm referring to the marriage line running along that microlam, where the two sections of the house came together.

My advice is to consult with the builder and the company that made the modular home. Bring up all of the issues: the gap, location of the marriage line relative to the microlam, and where you want to make a penetration. They're taking liability for the design and construction. They should be the ones that are consulted.
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Old 06-15-2009, 05:05 PM   #9
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Yes the marriage line is in the middle of the microlam. There is actually 3 microlam beams side by side which make up the center beam. Then there are 2 or 3 pieces of 2" x 8" (you can see two in the pictures) which sit on top of the microlam beam. Then the sill plate of the prefab house sits on top of the pieces of 2" x 8".

We talked to the company and they said we should talk to a home inspector about the hole.

Are there any guide lines to go by when picking an inspector? Any certain certfication is look for - ASHI, NACHI, ICC, etc...?

Thanks for all the help!!
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Old 06-15-2009, 05:33 PM   #10
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Build, the inspection is not for the hole, it is because that is a lame way to connect the floor system together over a bearing beam. The Inspector would be from the Building Department to OK the building for final occupancy. The mess you have would not pass inspection. To back fill an 8' basement without bracing inside as they did is not to the minimum safety code. Without braces, the fresh concrete walls could easily crack from all the dirt (clay) compacted from the bobcat).

Page 3- 1st para.- General: Do not install back fill 4ft. and over until walls anchored to floor [404.1.7] IRC (1838.1) UBC
http://www.codecheck.com/cc/images/CC5thEdSample.pdf

The beam appears to be about a foot in the wrong location. It looks like it's only holding up this side (picture side). What is holding up the other side of the mod's floor? Another beam? Be safe, G
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Old 06-15-2009, 06:28 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by GBAR in WA View Post
Build, the inspection is not for the hole, it is because that is a lame way to connect the floor system together over a bearing beam. The Inspector would be from the Building Department to OK the building for final occupancy. The mess you have would not pass inspection. To back fill an 8' basement without bracing inside as they did is not to the minimum safety code. Without braces, the fresh concrete walls could easily crack from all the dirt (clay) compacted from the bobcat).

Page 3- 1st para.- General: Do not install back fill 4ft. and over until walls anchored to floor [404.1.7] IRC (1838.1) UBC
http://www.codecheck.com/cc/images/CC5thEdSample.pdf

The beam appears to be about a foot in the wrong location. It looks like it's only holding up this side (picture side). What is holding up the other side of the mod's floor? Another beam? Be safe, G
The beam is in the middle and it supports both both sections of the house. I know that much. The angle of the picture makes it hard to tell that.

If a home inspector can't tell us if it is safe to make the holes in the joists then who should we contact?
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Old 06-15-2009, 06:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBAR in WA View Post
To back fill an 8' basement without bracing inside as they did is not to the minimum safety code. Without braces, the fresh concrete walls could easily crack from all the dirt (clay) compacted from the bobcat).

Page 3- 1st para.- General: Do not install back fill 4ft. and over until walls anchored to floor [404.1.7] IRC (1838.1) UBC
http://www.codecheck.com/cc/images/CC5thEdSample.pdf
Good catch.
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Old 06-15-2009, 07:01 PM   #13
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Any help on who to contact about the desired holes?
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Old 06-15-2009, 07:14 PM   #14
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If a home inspector can't tell us if it is safe to make the holes in the joists then who should we contact?
This is my humble opinion, but I don't think the building inspector will want to bless a hole there if he ever knew the company that manufactured the structure told you to call the inspector for his blessing. I think the inspector will want something from the company saying it's ok to make a hole through the marriage line there. The inspectors in my area wouldn't make that call. (Put it this way, I had to write a letter last week and seal it with my stamp to bless a contractor's idea to go from 1/2"x3.75" wedge anchors to 5/8"x7" chem anchors - obviously a safe bet, but the inspector wanted zero liability.)

I still think that since this is brand new construction, the question has to be answered by the guy that designed and manufactured the structure. The builder may say it's ok, but then he's taking some liability there. As for the gap, I think the inspector might want to weigh in on that: he might say it can stay if you get me a signed and sealed letter from the manufacturer, otherwise I'm not passing it.
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Old 06-15-2009, 07:23 PM   #15
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Ok so have an inspector inspect the beam and gap.

As for the hole for the ductwork, forget about it and drop the ductwork down below the beam and back up the other side to get to the trunk.

Does that sound reasonable?

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