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Old 02-19-2009, 09:38 PM   #1
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garage sill is not pressure treated


Hi there;

I recently bought my residence knowing that the garage was sub-standard. The garage is huge (30x40) and is composed mostly of 2x4's with a decent design and construction. The problem however is that the sill is not pressure treated. The bottom frame is typical douglas fir that bolts directly to the cement floor

the only solution I can think of is to jack portions and slip some type of metal sheathing or something to keep the untreated sill from touching the cement.

Anybody have any ideas and/or solutions?

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Old 02-19-2009, 09:56 PM   #2
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garage sill is not pressure treated


suck. are you sure it's not PT? jack up wall, sawzall sole plate loose from studs and anchor bolts, set down sill sealer, set PT plate, attach to slab, set wall on plate, sleeve anchor(redhead) plate to slab, re-fasten studs to plate. If it's really old like mine just say "well, it's made it this long......."

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Old 02-19-2009, 11:32 PM   #3
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garage sill is not pressure treated


You did not mention if there was anything wrong with it, other than it's not pressure treated. Back in the "old days" we used cedar before pt was available. Before then douglas fir was the norm and that was without the use of any other material under it. Millions of homes were built this way and are still standing. If there's nothing wrong with it, leave it alone.
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Old 02-20-2009, 05:53 AM   #4
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garage sill is not pressure treated


if its not broken why fix it?. if it bothers you to the point where you must address it, then I would paint the sills with cuprinol wood preservative. BOB
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:11 AM   #5
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garage sill is not pressure treated


i have a 12x18 shed that was here when i bought this place that has NO pt/foundation grade ANYthing. it is stud-grade pine and is not bolted to the concrete! i see no signs of rot, (seems they tarred the outside perimeter?) but........ eventually, i will need to address it, i'm sure.

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Old 02-20-2009, 06:40 AM   #6
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garage sill is not pressure treated


If they put sill sealer between the bottom plate and the concrete it may never be an issue. I certainly wouldn't try to replace it until it becomes a problem. Building codes used to approve sill sealer and common lumber for bottom plates in leiu of PT lumber. It may still be that way.
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:50 AM   #7
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i don't see any evidence they used anything at all but tar. should i get a gallon or so and do it now?
and what about it not being mounted to the 'crete? it hasn't gone anywhere....yet.....

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Old 02-20-2009, 07:12 AM   #8
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garage sill is not pressure treated


Just some clarification here...

- The garage is only a couple years old, so there is no sign of rot.
- The sill/plate is indeed attached to the cement via lug bolts
- The cement is not sealed.

Here's my dilema... The previous owner never got a work permit and the town issued a stop work order (which he didn't). The town has recently contacted me and for record, I need to "solve" this problem.

The procedure is that I must present a solution(s) for approval. There are other issues with the garage, but nothing is as challenging as this.

Thanks for the responses!
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:33 AM   #9
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garage sill is not pressure treated


From what you've told us, I would ask the town building department what their solution would be. Afterall, this garage went up after they issued the stop order, etc.

I do realize that they could just make you tear it down, but a pleasant attitude and asking questions may get you the answers you need.
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:42 AM   #10
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garage sill is not pressure treated


have you asked THEM what the solution might be? sounds to me like they don't know what to do either, and are expecting you to find the answers for them to submit to someone else for approval. then collect the $$$ from you. ask them if buletbob's idea is feasable. ask if you can loosen the bolts and slip vinyl strips (perhaps cut from old siding) under to stop moisture transfer? or feltpaper?
more than one way to skin a cat....

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Old 02-20-2009, 10:02 AM   #11
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garage sill is not pressure treated


Submit a solution of laying 3 tab roofing between the plate and concrete and see if that flies. It's what we used posts below grade.
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:46 AM   #12
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garage sill is not pressure treated


Like others said the sill plate will be fine as is as long as the exterior siding/weather barrier keeps moisture off it and extends a few inches below the sill plate. However you have to satisfy the city's concerns. Make sure you go in as an innocent victim looking for help out of the situation. Here is the order I'd follow for proposals to the city. Offer only one option at a time and stick with it till they say no three times:

1) I would start with the argument that the weatherbarrier will adequately protect the sill from decay.

2) I'd fall back to applying a treatment liquid as Bob suggests. You should be able to brush it on and let it seep between the plate and the concrete. If need be you could try to inject it between the plate and concrete with some king of needle but seepage should be enough.

3) Jacking up ever so slightly and inserting a barrier is possible but would be a pain. but if 1 and 2 aren't acceptable that's my next choice.

4)The last thing you want to do is have to jack up the garage and replace the sill. That would be a royal pain. If they are adamant about replacing the sill I'd brace it in sections and only "jack" it to the point of relieving pressure on the plate. Then sawsall off the plate bolts flush with the concrete and the plate from the bottom of each stud in that section. Remove the plate, slide in the new one, toenail the studs to the plate and drill new holes through the plate and into the concrete for epoxy installed bolts. The bottom of the studs will suffer from all the new nailing adding to the previous nail damage and you likely will damage the exterior sheathing/weatherbarrier/siding where it is nailed to the bottom plate. All reasons why it is better left as is or just treated with liquid.

Hope you get a reasonable inspector to deal with.
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:51 AM   #13
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garage sill is not pressure treated


Dangermouse, Two things:

1) You probably ought to bolt down your shed, the epoxy in bolts aren't two bad. The Titen HDs also work ok without the need for epoxy (just make sure you drill deeper than the bolt and clean the hole well before trying to put in the bolt).

2) Apparently I'm dyslexic cause I could read your footer.
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:29 PM   #14
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garage sill is not pressure treated


OK, so when I met the inspector a couple days ago, here is how it went...


I suggested that #1, I would insert metal flashing between the foundation and the exterior siding to prevent moisture and #2, I would pour a creosote type treatment on the sills.

The on-site inspector immediately shot down my solution. He said the problem is that the pine sill can not contact the cement. He gave me the name of his colleague as he might have some other ideas.

Jogr; you mentioned a pragmatic approach.... I like it.
Mop In hand; you mentioned 3 tab shingles... I like it.

Thanks for the great ideas
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Old 02-21-2009, 08:25 PM   #15
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garage sill is not pressure treated


Get some green stain and go to work on the bottom plates, tell em' it has been replaced with PT...... J/k.

It shouldn't be too difficult to replace the bottom plates with PT.

Run the sawzall along the side to cut any nails from the sheathing.
Unbolt plate
cut nails from studs
get a heavy duty jack to lift the walls
pull out old plates cutting where necessary
Slide new plates in drilling and half notches for the bolts
throw some heavy duty washers on top. or any strapping the officials may want.

1 day project, minimal cost, get it done.

I'll do it for Tree fifty

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Last edited by curapa; 02-21-2009 at 08:27 PM.
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