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Old 07-26-2010, 01:20 PM   #1
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Shoddy work - drywall screws used to secure joists


We are new homeowners with a 1950s townhouse and recently had the basement completely gutted due to what appears to be ongoing termite issues.

The gut revealed shockingly bad structural remedial work that the previous owner had the exterminator do. Amongst the many offenses were the fact that he used DRYWALL screws to put everything he replaced together.

We are pretty handy but is there any way to salvage these atrocities without replacing everything? We could temporary support these joist and remove the screws but I imagine the hole is now too big for nails to be hammered through?

The contractor had also chiseled off HALF of the thickness of the joist (for the stair opening) because he obviously did not have the right size joist hanger (and of course proceeded to use drywall screws.) Does this whole joist need to be replaced now?

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Old 07-26-2010, 01:46 PM   #2
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Shoddy work - drywall screws used to secure joists


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Originally Posted by smoochas View Post
We are new homeowners with a 1950s townhouse and recently had the basement completely gutted due to what appears to be ongoing termite issues.

The gut revealed shockingly bad structural remedial work that the previous owner had the exterminator do. Amongst the many offenses were the fact that he used DRYWALL screws to put everything he replaced together.

We are pretty handy but is there any way to salvage these atrocities without replacing everything? We could temporary support these joist and remove the screws but I imagine the hole is now too big for nails to be hammered through?

The contractor had also chiseled off HALF of the thickness of the joist (for the stair opening) because he obviously did not have the right size joist hanger (and of course proceeded to use drywall screws.) Does this whole joist need to be replaced now?
You should post pictures of each of the issues. Close enough to see the connections but not too close. Near and back a little should do.
Ron

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Old 07-26-2010, 03:53 PM   #3
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Shoddy work - drywall screws used to secure joists


Hi Ron,
Okay I'll try. Here are some issues & illustrative pics - if you need any more pictures, just holler.

Our townhouse is 21ft wide and I understand there is probably issues to getting a whole piece into the basement. I don't understand the hodge podge selection of which ones to replace, the missing hangers, the screws used to attach the hangers and the new intermediary pickup joist that rests above the lintel on the front of the house.


This second picture shows the replacement of a main beam (2 are sistered but there is no joining plates or bolts, bolting the sistered beams to each other.) When they attempted to re-attached the stair opening joist, they obv did not have the right size hanger. As a result wood has been chiseled out to force a fit - I would say an indention of 1-inch in the worst part which is the top of "C1" area.
The other end of the stair opening is also compromised by similar chiseling-out as well but not as badly.
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:08 PM   #4
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Shoddy work - drywall screws used to secure joists


A1---- install a hanger.

A2--- Install a LUS (shear) hanger, to help make up for the missing wood.

A3 -- install a pressure treated post with a positive tie at top, bottom and possibly a new footing, depending on slab thickness and load above.

Pic. B --- remove and replace screws, ONE AT A TIME, with nails.

C1 and C2 --- are 3-1/2" wide hangers on 2-- 1-3/4" or 2" wood joists. Not the correct hanger!
Replace the hanger after supporting the doublers with a temp post 12” back. It may take a LUS28-3 or triple member hanger with a filler next to the two joists. (Depends on the load above) A 2x8 or? Short rim could be attached (HOW?) with the doublers cut 1-1/2”shorter on length, then the hanger, this would give you clean new wood without chamfers. Again, depends on the load and IF you need shear hangers or not. An on-site inspection would help by a Structural Engineer to accept all liability. (That no one on this forum wants…)
http://www.strongtie.com/products/ca...ce_mnt_ss.html


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Old 07-26-2010, 06:30 PM   #5
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Shoddy work - drywall screws used to secure joists


1st - are you sure those are actually drywall screws (#6) and not deck screws (#8)?

2nd - don't replace with nails, Simpson now makes special screws just for connector hardware. Makes placement real easy, especially on old hard wood.
http://www.strongtie.com/products/co...-loadrated.asp

These are #9 and #10 sized screws. There is a list somewhere on the site where you can go though the connectors you have and match them up with the correct screw. They are driven in with a 1/4" hex driver, though you can even use just the hex shank opening of your cordless driver in a pinch for a tight space.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:06 PM   #6
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Those are non-structural, if a Phillips head.

Either a deck screw or a drywall screw, they need to be replaced.
Under “new products”: http://www.strongtie.com/fasten/index.html
Some also use a special bit, a T40.


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Old 07-27-2010, 05:25 PM   #7
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The guy probably tried to nail a #9 into that hardwood and after the first hour, gave up and used deck screws.... lol
They make fastener specified hex-head screws that will work and are accepted.

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Old 07-27-2010, 05:27 PM   #8
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Shoddy work - drywall screws used to secure joists


The gut revealed shockingly bad structural remedial work .

I have inspected hundreds of houses damaged by flood, wind, rain etc., and tell you the truth, the work you show is actually better than a lot of the framing I have looked at. You accurately note that the wrong type of fastener was used, and in some cases the wrong hangar was used, and in some cases the framer hacked part of the joist away, but this type of work is very common. Not to say it is good, but it is far from shocking.

Most importantly, you did not mention any evidence of excessive settlement, cracking, or other indication of structural failure. I don't know if the termite problem is in any way related to the framing, but judging from the pictures, those joists haven't moved, the hangars haven't twisted, and the whole setup looks pretty solid.

GBAR has posted some reasonable suggestions as to replacing the screws with nails (or Simpson approved screws), installation of appropriate hangars, and possibly a new post. All good ideas, but if you haven't had any framing issues up till now, there is a good chance you would not have any in the future, even if you left everything as is.
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Old 07-27-2010, 07:14 PM   #9
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Shoddy work - drywall screws used to secure joists


Thanks for the replies guys!
Is anyone bothered by the lack of a plate where the beam/joists are split above a post?

Gary: what is the difference between a regular hanger and a shear hanger?

I've since discovered the issues of the missing/notched joist hangers - it has to do with the fact that the original joists are closer to 3-in in width while the new replacement ones are 2-5/8 in width. I assume, someone still makes hanger that can accommodate the 3-in width from the olden days or is the trick to size up to the next size (3-9/16-in width) and add some wood for shim?




So some of the missing hangers you see are due to the original wider (3-inch) issue... I guess they just said eff it and just put drywall screws?? BIZARRE.

At C1/C2, the support is TWO 3x10s - total width is 6-inches. The replacement hanger that tries to tie it at both ends of the stair opening is marked "3x10 (2)" - so undoubtedly they shaved off approx 1-in in width to force the new hangers to fit around the old (2) 3x10.

What is a short rim? If I cut off the notched end of the doubles, I assume somehow the short rim helps extend the length?



At A3, are there any other solutions? We would like to avoid having to install a post - if we must it has to be a steel tube (like the other ones already in place) which required excavating a hole in the foundation to pour a proper footing.

See annotated plan below. Are replacing beams something we could do as DIYers? Hubby really thinks the old beam that was left (while the other half was replaced) looks worst for wear and sounds hollow to him.



PaulCP, EACH and EVERY connecton (hanger or NO hanger) that you see in the pics are attached using drywall screws. I got up on a ladder and took one out of a hanger for confirmation - they are indeed 3-inch coarse-thread drywall screws.
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Old 07-27-2010, 07:26 PM   #10
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Shoddy work - drywall screws used to secure joists


Hi daniel,
I missed seeing our comment. This remedial work was supposedly done in either 2008 or 2009 and no one has been in the house since it was done. I would really like to do all we can to ward off structural failure! The original damage was due to termite. Some joists were selectively sliced and replaced.

I know for a fact the structural replacement work was done by the exterminator. I think its rather odd that happened. Given that its only been a year or so, would you say that if the setup was not solid it would have started to show already? What should be we looking for?

Thanks!
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:00 PM   #11
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Shoddy work - drywall screws used to secure joists


One other thing, we found a splice versa-lam beam at the very end of the house. It looks like its supported by some 2x4 that are being hidden behind the gwb. This is not a good idea for our house since we have an on going termite issue, also I'm pretty sure its against code here. Is there any other solutions other than to dig into the foundation and put a metal post in its place?

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Old 08-10-2010, 03:30 PM   #12
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Shoddy work - drywall screws used to secure joists


Is that brick from the outside of the house... and is that water spotting on that gluelam?
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:46 PM   #13
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Shoddy work - drywall screws used to secure joists


There is brick on the outside of our house. The last owner actually built an enclosed room off the back of the house (which is why there is no window in that opening you see - through there is the underside of the new room.)

There IS spotting on the glu-lam! wow, good eye. I was just thinking, trying to remember if it was like this last yr (when we bought the house.) Then I was trying to wrap my head about the black pipes you see in the picture. That's the drainage for the leader/roof runoff from OUTSIDE the house... its being channeled back inside and I'm thinking maybe that wetness is from condensation (though there really isn't rain in the winter here - lol)

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Old 08-10-2010, 04:00 PM   #14
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Oooo... bad... don't let water drain from outside to inside. What were these people thinking?
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:21 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by xxPaulCPxx View Post
Oooo... bad... don't let water drain from outside to inside. What were these people thinking?
I don't know but now that I see it, its really bothering me. I'm starting to hate this house... They even went through the trouble of pouring in place these black pipe on the exterior... siigh... oh and that pvc siding cover thing, that bothers the heck of me too!

So what to do? Just take the leader out and connect it to drain down the driveway? What to do with those stupid pour in place storm pipes??



Last edited by smoochas; 08-10-2010 at 04:24 PM.
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