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AppleMac*Fit 08-07-2012 04:55 PM

Load bearing section - gap in studs
Hello all,

My wife and I are building our dream house in which we hope to live forever. :thumbup: Quick question about how a defect was repaired...

There was a gap in between the shoe plate and the studs supporting the main beam for the great room/kitchen. The main beam is approximately 6" thick and 12" tall. Thank you ASHI-certified home inspector for catching this!

To show you the beam, and the studs.

The gap in the studs & inspector's report

Below are pics of how it was repaired (with wood shims and CS strapping). Is this repair correct?


The builder said they stand by this repair and will place a picture of it in our file. Also, there's a 10-year structural warranty. I don't want to nag the builder (and I'm not), but I want to be certain it is correct. The inspector recommended cutting out the studs about 10" up and in its place put in 2x10s (like header studs) to bear the weight. The builder says no--that repair would be a bad idea, they did it correctly. I turn to your great knowledge! :notworthy:

Thank you in advance for your help!

tony.g 08-07-2012 05:12 PM

What's the stuff under the studs? It looks like shaving foam gone off,and the straps look like kitchen foil.

GBrackins 08-07-2012 05:24 PM

depends on the warranty, if it means they will come back and fix anything that goes wrong better hope the company is still in business ....

agree tony, not sure what the straps are for, other than to hide the splintered wood shoved under the load bearing column, haven't seen that one before ..... don't understand why they didn't cut the studs to allow another plate to fit under the studs and on top of the sole plate. don't like the inspector's suggestion, but that could just be me

just my humble thoughts .....

AppleMac*Fit 08-07-2012 05:25 PM


Originally Posted by tony.g (Post 983705)
What's the stuff under the studs? It looks like shaving foam gone off,and the straps look like kitchen foil.

The wood under the studs are shims. The metal things are Simpson CS strapping.

Is this sufficient?

sixeightten 08-07-2012 05:28 PM

That is pathetic!!!

They should have either removed the whole jack assembly and cut it correctly, or at the very least cut 1 1/2" from the bottom and driven a 2x4 plate in there.

mae-ling 08-07-2012 05:30 PM

Ask your inspector.

I would not have done it that way.
Why is there a gap? Are those studs the same length as other studs?
If they were just cut short (which seems wierd) I would replace them with correct length studs.

Just My 2cents

sixeightten 08-07-2012 05:37 PM

Your "builder" needs a new profession. It would probably take less than an hour for one man to fix that correctly.

AppleMac*Fit 08-07-2012 05:40 PM

I just received word that the builder is going to place an additional 2x4 on either side of this cluster of 2x4s to support the load. I hope this is good enough... I suppose they will have to back pull the Romex cable in order to get the new studs in.

Just wish it would have been done correctly the first time. I suppose for a cripple stud above a doorway a gap is tolerable, but for supporting the main load-bearing beam in a great room?

Any structural engineers here?

sixeightten 08-07-2012 05:46 PM

It would be incredibly easy to prop the load up temporarily, cut 1 1/2" from the bottom of the whole assembly, and drive in a new 2x4 plate. No wires to move!

I bet they just notch around the wires. You wait and see.

Gary in WA 08-07-2012 11:34 PM

Because the studs are not flush on the bottom, they are not flush on the top. Simply cutting 1-1/2" off and sliding in a plate will not work. The tops are still 3/8" off flush (reverse of bottom) and depending on how long the stud fasteners/strap fasteners hold, the floor-loaded beam will settle over time and pop drywall fasteners/tile backsplash later. It may also have a roof load on it, creating many pounds concentrated pressure on the higher sistered studs. Let them do this; pull siding (if needed), cut side-driven fasteners between studs, remove straps, remove all shims, remove sheathing fasteners in affected studs, then the studs will level-out with the existing load it has, re-fasten all. No sisters to take the load designed for others. Encourage drywall installers to skip fastening to the built-up post (ganged studs) for no problems later. Check for bearing below all bearing points, as discussed, in the floor joist area below each and down to foundation/slab in the levels below.
Whoops, appears you are on a slab, belay the last....

CoconutPete 08-08-2012 08:46 AM

Wow, what a hackjob!

hand drive 08-08-2012 09:52 AM

a long sawzall blade and sawzall with an 1 1/2" taken out of the bottom of the gang studs as well as the 2 studs either direction and a sufficient length bottom plate ( about 28") put in there that expands over the hole in the plate to the left and all the way back to the next stud to the right. that will allow full bearing and nothing else should be needed. The way the inspector mention would work but seems to place the lateral load 10" higher than now and for lateral stability the header would have to nail really well at the studs to the left and right...

I'm thinking the idea of the builder to put studs in at either side is to try and hold his funky shim work from pressing out of the sides!

Is there any possibility that those ganged studs and beam lifted/heaved or did the previous builder just forget to put the ganged studs down to the bottom plate when building the wall??

mae-ling 08-08-2012 10:22 AM

Why are they short?
Gap on bottom and top? or only one?

Daniel Holzman 08-08-2012 05:28 PM

The installation is very sloppy. It appears that the studs are out of plumb, possibly they were not cut square. The use of Simpson strapping is novel, but performs no evident structural function. The use of shims is also unusual, and suggests that the carpenters (if that is what they were) did not understand how to install plumb, properly cut studs.

The installation may well be strong enough to support the load with the fix, however the overall incompetent nature of the installation suggests the obvious question, namely what else is wrong with the house framing? If it were my house, I would insist on removal of the hacked up studs and replacement with properly fit studs. It really is not too difficult to measure the required length, cut square studs to fit, and install the studs with appropriate fasteners. Certainly it is not too much to ask in new construction.

As to the warranty, I routinely discount the value of any builders warranty. They may go out of business, they may dispute the cause, they may argue that they only owe the depreciated value of the claim, they may simply choose not to do the work. The only warranty of any value, in my opinion, is properly designed, properly installed construction.

robertcdf 08-08-2012 06:25 PM

I think what we're looking at here is... Incompetence... Brought on by cheap labor that is likely not here in a "legal" manner.

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