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Code confusion

1831 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Willie T
I live in Ontario Canada and have run into a problem regarding the attachment of wood framing to concrete.
I intend to attach a hand rail post to the concrete deck with a Simpson fitting!
As the project is being done, under the scrutiny of a building inspector, I solicited his advice, as to what would be acceptable for this purpose!
I have been informed that OBC doesn't address the attachment of wood to concrete, so I must have it engineered.
Now it seems to me, that if the law does not address a subject specifically, that I am free to install it as I see fit.
My question being, if the 'code' doesn't mention what must be followed, why does it mean that it must automatically be engineered!
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The answer to this is really quite simple. And if you were being less "homeowner subjective" and more "logically objective", you would see it. But you are vying for your own interest and agenda. And few of us can be truly objective in that position.

To begin with, as I have mentioned, it's highly doubtful that Simpson post base is going to work. And, I'm fairly certain your inspector realizes that. But he isn't paid to get into all the legal hassles about those sorts of decisions. I suspect that you are being placated with polite conversation while left to get your own arse covered legally by having an engineer take the onus of responsibility off the building department.

Common sense has to prevail here. If there is no speed limit posted at a severe curve, would you take that to mean you are free to take that curve at any speed you felt you could push your car? I certainly hope not. And if you slid off into oncoming traffic through a careless and reckless decision to do whatever you felt you could get away with, be assured that you would quickly learn that someone is going to be tasked with taking the responsibility in such an undeclared and unmarked moving violation.

Same thing in construction. Too many variables exist in literally thousands of unforeseen situations and circumstances for that one man standing in front of you, the inspector, to invent rules and make engineering decisions on the spot as to what is safe in this particular incidence, and what is not. And they are certainly NOT going to let every single homeowner make their own arbitrary decisions.

Thus, in cases where such decisions and declarations of rule may be beyond an inspector's realm of expertise, they, the building department officials, have wisely decreed that someone who DOES possess those qualifications make the pertinent decisions. That is, hopefully, an engineer.
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Here is Florida's product approval listing for the base in question...

As you now say, used as the base for an intermediate floor-to-beam post, it is more than adequate. I think the uplift is well in excess of 2,000 pounds. Sounds like the inspector is way off base on this one.

However, used as you initially suggested, as a railing post (That's just "free-standing", supporting a railing, and not extending to an overhead support), it is not sufficient for lateral support.

Saying you are putting in a centered floor-to-beam post makes ALL the difference in the world. Here in Florida, our wind resistance codes make most of the rest of the continent's look like child's play, and the application you described in that last post would be easily approved here.
I have to admit I was having a heck of a time trying to figure out why I just wasn't able to get across that these great support post bases simply don't make acceptable railing posts. :huh::wink::)
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