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Ricky D 06-02-2007 11:02 PM

Shimming Trimmers to Pass Framing Inspection?
Quick background - my wife and I have been Owner-Building a mountain cabin over the past year and had the local Building Inspector up last week to sign off the Big 5 (framing, gas lines, water lines, DWV and rough electrical).

All of the mechanicals passed with flying colors...but we "failed" the framing inspect because we had not shimmed the cripple studs underneath the window sills and above the window headers????

Our inspector said that because the house sat unattended over the winter months, the cripples (trimmers) had pulled away from from the sills and the headers by 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch. He says that "code" requires us to shim these gaps prior to insulation and drywall.

For the life of me - I cannot find this "code" in the UBC book - any pro framer or carpenter aware of the reason behind this request?


P.S. I'm not joking about the 1/16 to 1/8 inch - I asked him to "show me" the proper repair technique with a cedar shim - he could only get the barest tip of the shim into these "gaps".

send_it_all 06-03-2007 02:04 PM

All you can really do is play ball with him. Its probably a bad idea to fight this as he will only become more picky through the rest of the job. How long could it take to do this shimming...4 hours? if the shims don't quite fit, flatten them with a hammer on a concrete surface.

Longtooth 06-03-2007 02:36 PM

Those guys love re-inspections when they are slow. I gives them an excuse to get out of the office. :)

Ricky D 06-03-2007 03:08 PM

Probably right about the reinspect-cause-it's-slow idea. He did mention that things have cooled off lately and even ended up spending another half hour or so gawking at the scenery and talking about fishing.

But come on - the best you can come up with is "shim the trimmers"?

I promise - I'll be nice.

My wife said it best - "Don't fight with the bureaucrat...let's just get the final and be done with it."

joasis 06-03-2007 06:55 PM

I suppose it could be interpeted from the basic premise all framing connections are "tight", with no allowance for any "gaps"......the fix is less hassle then even asking him for a reference.

robertcdf 06-03-2007 09:50 PM

Buy a box of metal shims... We used to have to do them on houses that sat for a little bit before the frame inspection. Just beat them in with a hammer.

Ricky D 06-03-2007 09:55 PM

YEAH - problem is solved.

The Missus and I spent less than 4 hours total to hammer shims around all 29 windows and 6 doors - all sill crips and headers (even with Simpson HH hangers already in place).

Got Inspector Gadget coming up next Tuesday to sign off the framing - need to get insulated and rocked sometime this year!

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