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Old 02-18-2016, 02:23 PM   #1
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Jack posts - what's the deal?


This is a crawl space on the lowest level of a 3-level split. The floor above is where the foyer meets the living room.

The joists are maybe 5 feet above the slab. As you see, there are two jack posts; they've been there since the house was built in 1966. Do they serve a purpose? Are they left over from the original construction and someone forgot to remove them? Are they keeping the entire house from collapsing?

A recent prospective buyer's inspector said they need to be replaced by permanent columns with concrete footings. I'd like to know whether this is a real concern.

Thanks.
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Old 02-18-2016, 03:03 PM   #2
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I believe those are temporary posts, and not intended to be permanent. Nobody can safely determine from pictures whether they can be removed. I would guess not. Due to the age of the house, it's very likely someone just "got away with it" for very long. Some information:

http://www.octoberhome.com/articles/...ustcolumn.html
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Old 02-18-2016, 03:08 PM   #3
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It's a bit strange to have a post under a single joist. Is there a beam directly above the duct? Maybe somebody bumped them over when they installed the ducting. That would be bad for obvious reasons.
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Old 02-18-2016, 03:24 PM   #4
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A lot of homeowners put them in over the years to stop a bouncy floor or sagging joist.If they are needed they should be under the beam and have a footing under them.
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Old 02-18-2016, 03:27 PM   #5
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Yeah, there's a beam above the duct. It runs parallel to the front of the house, and it's at about the point where the foyer stops and the living room starts. Each post is under a joist that's perpendicular to the front of the house.

Let's assume they used to be under the beam. Why? What do they do that the rest of the construction doesn't do? (Forgive my ignorance; I'm new to this.)
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Old 02-18-2016, 03:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchie99 View Post
Yeah, there's a beam above the duct. It runs parallel to the front of the house, and it's at about the point where the foyer stops and the living room starts. Each post is under a joist that's perpendicular to the front of the house.

Let's assume they used to be under the beam. Why? What do they do that the rest of the construction doesn't do? (Forgive my ignorance; I'm new to this.)
They need to be directly under the beam. They're needed because a typical beam can only span between 8-13' without any posts. I'm guessing they got moved at some point to place the ductwork there, but it certainly wasn't right to do so. By today's standards, we're forced by code to pour them into the concrete floor so people who don't know any better don't attempt to do something like this.
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Old 02-18-2016, 05:13 PM   #7
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You need to know what is above them. They could be transferring point load from above down to the foundation. How does the inspector know there is not a footing under them? Does he have xray vision.

It seems odd to have them there and not under the beam but only a structural engineer can tell you for sure.
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Old 02-18-2016, 06:31 PM   #8
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I see lot's of scary things there that would make me pass on this house.
Post not under the main beam being just one of them.
What's the deal with that wooden 4 x 6 looking thing just hanging in the air?
No pressure treated bottom plates in that wall looking thing.
All those copper pipes sticking out of the wall with what looks like no sleeves.
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Old 02-19-2016, 12:52 PM   #9
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It's a real concern for a couple of reasons:

1. Those are tele-posts, and most of the tele-posts out there on the market are not code-compliant solutions for permanent use. (Although there are some that are compliant.)

2. I see no lateral restraint anywhere at the tops and bottoms of the tele-posts. Someone with enough force and not enough attention could pop one out of position.

3. They clearly lack footings, so you risk punch-through of the crawlspace topping slab (which by itself is not a structural element).

4. Home inspectors and engineers get paid to assess conditions and advise clients on risks while trying to not get sued. And I don't know any who'd say a footing-less tele-post with no lateral restraint was 'ok' in their book.

As a home inspector and a PE, I always call these out and explain the risks involved. If I see a manufacturer's sticker with a load rating and the correct compliance language, and proper lateral restraints and evidence of a footing, I let them go. If I don't see those things, the post gets called out and we discuss the risks.
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Old 02-20-2016, 10:47 AM   #10
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You have plenty of room for work. That is a good excuse for min $5000 off the house price. For a beam support, you just need 24x24x12 deep footing and 6x6 wood post. Rental saw and mix the concrete outside, carry in by amounts comfortable for you. Time is on your side, and cold joints in that footing doesn't matter. Add 4 - 1/2" rebars, crossed at the last 3" of the concrete. That is simple, basic footing for most of the load called on a single family house, 2 floors.
I thought those were blocks between the long joists and the steel posts were added for bouncy floor. If it is a beam that lands on nowhere, it probably means there is no load at that point and supported joists were carrying the beam load - whoever did that work got lucky.
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Old 02-20-2016, 10:47 PM   #11
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Guys, I believe the OP is the one selling this house, not looking to buy it.
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