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Old 08-12-2008, 06:53 PM   #1
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Joist on slab?



I bought a house with an existing addition on the back, a sun room. Because we wanted another bedroom, we converted the sun room to a bedroom and even built a closet. The floor is the patio slab and would get cold during the winter. My contractor attached floor joist (I believe 2x8s) going into the room, brought in a duct tube and placed insulation. He then placed a plywood sub and finished it with carpet. I want to now sell the place and was told by an FHA appraiser that it’s a crawl space and needs to be vented and have access. There is no crawl space – it’s on a slab. They said I have duct work so the space will need to be vented. Is this true? Can you not place floor joists on a slab effectively raising the floor? Any idea how I could vent this? If I cut a vent I would need to cut the joist. With two feet of snow against the vent in the winter it would soak the wood and insulation within the space. Help….

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Old 08-12-2008, 07:58 PM   #2
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Joist on slab?


Although it isn't a crawlspace due to dimensional constraints, it is effectively the same thing and the same codes must be applied. It is a shame it was even built that way.

The code requires vents as the inspector said. But, the duct that is down there has nothing to do with it. The vents serve the purpose of keeping good airflow in a space that might otherwise stay moist and allow mold to grow.

If it were an accessible crawlspace, I'd suggest running a duct down there to pipe heated/cooled air to it, which would satisfy the code as an alternative to vents. You'd have to insulate the perimeter as well.

As for the appraiser/inspector requiring access to the space...That is ridiculous. If the joists were 12" above the slab, I'd agree with him.

I wish I had a solution for you, but I don't think there is one.

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Old 08-12-2008, 08:24 PM   #3
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Joist on slab?


Thank you....Off the existing duct vent could I cut a hole either on the bottom or side to allow a portion of the air flow in there?
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:40 PM   #4
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Joist on slab?


I think you could. Given the situation, you should run it by the FHA inspector that you're dealing with to be sure they'll buy it. I'd be concerned if there was no way for air to flow from joist space to joist space. The only other hickup might be that the code requires a vapor barrier on the "floor"...You have concrete, which isn't a vapor barrier. A vapor barrier would be as simple as poly sheeting (not really simple since the joists are on the slab).
The outer rim would need to be insulated as well.

Code reference FYI: 2003 International Residential Code section R408.2 exception 5...................

"Ventilation openings are not required when the ground surface is covered with an approved vapor retarder material, the space is supplied with conditioned air, and the perimeter walls are insulated in accordance with section N1102.1.7."
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Old 08-12-2008, 11:57 PM   #5
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Joist on slab?


Yeah I think I'll ask him. Hey thanks for the replies. One more big issue I think I have is the fact it's on patio slab. Is that an issue with FHA or any other inspectors for that matter?
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Old 08-13-2008, 07:52 AM   #6
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It would be an issue for me, yes. Since you're in a cold wintertime climate, habitable space of the home must be supported by frost footings. If the room simply bears on the patio without footings of any kind, major corners were cut.
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Old 08-13-2008, 12:10 PM   #7
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It would be an issue for me, yes. Since you're in a cold wintertime climate, habitable space of the home must be supported by frost footings. If the room simply bears on the patio without footings of any kind, major corners were cut.
You think!!

That's what he gets for doing things without permits. Now he wants advice how to fix it.
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Old 08-13-2008, 12:30 PM   #8
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Joist on slab?


The structure was there. WE didn't do it incorrectly. We simply wanted another bedroom and had a contractor say he could convert the room. We bought the problem so now we're trying to rectify the issue instead of tearing the structure down.
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Old 08-13-2008, 12:52 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jimbo773 View Post
The structure was there.
Yes, the existing patio with a slab was there.

Quote:
WE didn't do it incorrectly. We simply wanted another bedroom and had a contractor say he could convert the room.
Quote:
My contractor attached floor joist (I believe 2x8s) going into the room, brought in a duct tube and placed insulation. He then placed a plywood sub and finished it with carpet.
So, you hired a contractor to do all this work without permits. That structure wasn't there, you hired someone to put it in and now it's wrong. So you did add something to the existing structure, right?


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We bought the problem so now we're trying to rectify the issue instead of tearing the structure down.
You bought a house that had a patio with a slab, you didn't but a house with a patio that you can convert into a bedroom.

You can't just throw a room on top of a slab without the proper footing and everything else that you would need to present to the town for permits and proper inspections.
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Old 08-13-2008, 04:22 PM   #10
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Relax Joe. The OP didn't ask for your sympathy or your criticism, and you're being unnecessarily harsh. I'm sure he now knows that whoever did it should have done it correctly and secured the required permits. If you don't want to give him advice to help him rectify the situation he's in, don't post. Chastising and scolding is generally unproductive.
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Old 08-13-2008, 05:06 PM   #11
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Relax Joe. The OP didn't ask for your sympathy or your criticism, and you're being unnecessarily harsh.
Really, and should I sugar coat things for people here when they do things that aren't code or at least have a professional look at their house that they are going to do something structural too, and don't do things with permits like your doing?

This is a DIY''er forum and I wouldn't be here if I wasn't willing to help soemone here. DIY'er have to play by the rules just like the pro's do. There are many pros out there that don't do the right thing and then ask what they should do. They get no sympathy either.

Quote:
I'm sure he now knows that whoever did it should have done it correctly and secured the required permits.
One minute he says that he had joists installed and the next minute he says he didn't do anything that the structure was there.

Quote:
If you don't want to give him advice to help him rectify the situation he's in, don't post.
If you want to sit there and sugar coat things for people who post here that do things without professional advice and do things without permits that's illegal, then you shouldn't post here either. I'm trying to let people know that they should always get a professional opinion from an Architect or Engineer FIRST instead of just doing whatever they want and having to rip it out or it falling down.


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Chastising and scolding is generally unproductive.
Sugar coating things that are done without professional advice and without getting permits is also unproductive. I'd rather be harsh and wake some people up here than see them do something that could get someone hurt or do the wrong thing.

Are we 10 years old here and more worried about feelings being hurt or do you want to give professional advice so that people here don't get hurt and do the right thing first.

Your not helping anyone here by not addressing what they did wrong first. Let them know it and then help them out. Hurt their feelings instead of letting them hurt themselves or someone else.
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Old 08-13-2008, 06:51 PM   #12
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Joe, take a look at my posts on this site and you'll see that I don't sugar coat anything. I call it like I see it, and as a building inspector I certainly advocate for doing things legally and using the correct methods.

You think you're doing people a service by being harsh and not sugar coating things as you put it. Go ahead and keep thinking that. I'm sure you'll get a lot of "thank you" messages for that kind of help.
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Old 08-13-2008, 07:04 PM   #13
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Joist on slab?


Most days I would say "wow that Joe Carola is a d#ck." I kind agree with him on this one though. My brother in law did the same thing on his house, Tooks us three days and a thirty yard dumpster to rip it down. This was after the town beat him up for doing it without permits and inspections.
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Old 08-13-2008, 07:21 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
Joe, take a look at my posts on this site and you'll see that I don't sugar coat anything. I call it like I see it, and as a building inspector I certainly advocate for doing things legally and using the correct methods.
Your a building inspector?!!! Could've fooled me.You of all people should be agreeing with me and forgetting about hurting feelings.

Quote:
You think you're doing people a service by being harsh and not sugar coating things as you put it. Go ahead and keep thinking that. I'm sure you'll get a lot of "thank you" messages for that kind of help.
I could care less about getting thank you messages. Al I care about is helping people do the right thing and not destroying their homes or possibly hurting themselves or soemone else for building something illegally on their home or taking out walls/girders.........etc. I might get a thank you for helping them before they do something dangerous.

I'd rather be harsh/tough on someone here to open up their minds who did something stupid and have other people come here BEFORE they do something stupid and get professional help from an Architect or Engineer FIRST.

I've read many, many many times here where people do structural work to their homes without any professional advice or getting permits and having inspections that could cause severe damage to their homes and no one here addresses that.

What kind of message is this forum sending to people about not addressing this type of thing??? Is that what this forum is about?

Is it about DIY'ers doing things themselves STRUCTURALLY to their homes without any professional advice and permits and when something bad happens, they want advice on how to fix it?????

I've been a framing contractor close to 25 years now and I still don't know everything about framing. I would never tackle a project as a DIY'er that has something to do structurally on my home with seeking professional advice. It's just common sense. How the hell does DIY'er know what to do structurally on their home and then go ahead and do it without asking HOW to do it FIRST???
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:25 PM   #15
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Joist on slab?


OK...I'm so sorry to have posted this in the first place. Joe, I thought really hard if I even wanted to reply. But....I can't resist. I can tell, and it's almost like being there watching you read these and typing, you're a very bitter person that's peeved at the world for some reason. Who pooped on your life?

Just a few words. When you hire a person, a "professional" or so you think, to do a job, there's a certain amount of belief that he knows who, what, where, when and how. You pay for that "professionalism". And, sometimes you get screwed. Period, and I know that. It happens everyday. As a professional, should he have known it needed inspection and permits? I think he should, as a professional. You're in this biz and you know these thing. The addition WAS there when I purchased the house but the flooring (laminate and whatever else) was sitting on the slab. That's a cold situation in the winter. The contractor told me he could lift the flooring by placing the joist, duct and insulation. Let me clarify AGAIN so there's no confusion.....JOE, the only thing I did or rather the contractor did was lift the flooring off the cold slab. Are we clear? It's like you think I'm being deceptive or sneaky with my posts and being the bitter, pooped on person, you're jumping on it unnecessarily. This is my last word, thekctermite, thank you and I'd love to have someone tell me how to remove this thread.

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