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bing16 04-18-2009 08:25 PM

Finishing Basement - notch in joists?

I live in Surrey, Vancouver (Canada). I'm finishing my basement and run into a problem. Our house builder has put some water pipes below our ceiling joists and we have trouble putting our drywall. I'm planning to cut a notch in the joists, push the water pipes into the notch and cover it with steel plates. Would anyone know if the BC Building Code allows us to cut notches into joists? We have a buiilding permit for the basement and want to avoid failing the inspection.

Thank you in advance for your advice.


Gary in WA 04-18-2009 09:50 PM

NO!!! Do not notch the bottoms of the joists in certain areas! The floor joist needs the upper and lower portions of the wood for strength.


And: Be safe, GBAR

Chemist1961 04-19-2009 06:59 AM

Most often a good plumber can reroute those pipes paralell to a beam and raise them bewteen joists as well.
As Gbar said it is not a good practise to notch joits. While a small notch may pass code your joists should not be altered structurally. There are also codes for maximum hole size through a joist. However water lines should be no issue if they are 1/2 or 3/4. If they are larger there will be a way to move them. Post a picture and more info, dimensions, etc if you can.
On the other hand if you are dealing with small pipes you may also want to consider firring off your joists and dropping the ceiling by an inch or two

bing16 04-22-2009 12:48 AM

Thank you Chemist1961/GBAR for your advice. We also found out that it's be against the BC Building Code. So, we are dropping the idea and will drill holes through the joists instead. Wish us luck! :)


dtrimmer 12-30-2010 12:16 AM

According to the "International Residential Code for One and Two Family Dwellings 2006" page 103:

R502.8.1 Sawn Lumber. Notches in solid lumber joists, rafters and beams shall not exceed one-sixth of the depth of the member, shall not be longer than one-third of the depth of the member and shall not be located in the middle one-third of the span. Notches at the ends of the member shall not exceed one-fourth the depth of the member. The tension side of members 4 inches (102 mm) or greater in nominal thickness shall not be notched except at the ends of the members. The diameter of holes bored or cut into members shall not exceed one-third the depth of the member. Holes shall not be closer than 2 inches (51 mm) to the top or bottom of the member, or to any other hole located in the member. Where the member is also notched, the hole shall not be closer than 2 inches (51 mm) to the notch.

R502.8.2 Engineered wood products. Cuts, notches and holes bored in trusses, structural composite lumber, structural glue-laminated members or I-joists are prohibited except where permitted by the manufacturer's recommendations or where the effects of such alterations are specifically considered in the design of the member by a registered design professional.


epson 12-30-2010 12:20 AM

You can nail strapping to the underside of your joists and then apply the drywall to the strapping.

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