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Multiple Sill Plates??


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Buyer is concerned with the homes seismic strength on this one. Split level home built in 1989 with the sill bolted to the foundation wall. However there were 6

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50.97 KBadditional 2x4 "sills" installed on top of the sill plate. Is this a huge concern? It doesn't appear professional, but does it pose a serious problem?

It did make the crawl nice and tall however [;)]

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Yep,

I've seen a few hundred of those. The down side is that I've never been able to figure out why they did that (I've got theories) and the upside is that, so far, they'd all been doing pretty well despite the goofiness of it.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Yeah, I've seen it a bunch but never gave it much thought. The buyer came in the crawl with me and was really nervous about the height above the foundation bolts.

I told him that it's pretty common and shouldn't be an issue. I suppose the right size quake can knock anything off its foundation.

Thanks Mike,

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Yeah, I've seen it a bunch but never gave it much thought. The buyer came in the crawl with me and was really nervous about the height above the foundation bolts.

Actually, when you think about it, it's probably more stabile than if they'd tried to frame up a tiny little cripple wall and secure it in the gap below that sill and the foundation.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Really?

You have a copy of the building codes from Everett, WA from 1989? Impressive. Can I call you the next time I'm looking at a 1970's ranch and don't know what the local code authority was requiring back then?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Really?

You have a copy of the building codes from Everett, WA from 1989? Impressive. Can I call you the next time I'm looking at a 1970's ranch and don't know what the local code authority was requiring back then?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Ouch, that should smart a bit.

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Hi,

Well, maybe I was a bit rude, however, there is no requirement for pressure treated wood unless you're close to grade anyway; so, without knowing how high that sill is off of grade, I don't think there's any reason to start sounding off about PT wood.

Bottom line, that's a 20-year old home in a damp environment and that wood looks pretty good. By the way, he wouldn't be worried about subterranean termites in Everett - they don't go up there for some reason. I've never found them around here except for in West Seattle. Maybe they can't get an exit visa; who knows? In Everett, he has to worry more about Pacific Dampwood Termites, Carpenter Ants and Deathwatch Beetles.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Thanks for the info. You're right about those pests Mike. I can't believe how many Realtors say they've never seen or heard of Dampwood Termites in Westen WA. I've had 20 year agents tell me that they've never had them come up on an inspection.

Either they don't have a lot of buyers or someone's been missing something.

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Hi,

Well, maybe I was a bit rude, however, there is no requirement for pressure treated wood unless you're close to grade anyway; so, without knowing how high that sill is off of grade, I don't think there's any reason to start sounding off about PT wood.

Bottom line, that's a 20-year old home in a damp environment and that wood looks pretty good. By the way, he wouldn't be worried about subterranean termites in Everett - they don't go up there for some reason. I've never found them around here except for in West Seattle. Maybe they can't get an exit visa; who knows? In Everett, he has to worry more about Pacific Dampwood Termites, Carpenter Ants and Deathwatch Beetles.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Rude? I wouldn't say that. IMHO your remark was dead on and just my type of humor. Terse....concise

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Really?

You have a copy of the building codes from Everett, WA from 1989? Impressive. Can I call you the next time I'm looking at a 1970's ranch and don't know what the local code authority was requiring back then?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Mike,

Sorry I have not been able to respond quicker, I have been in 6 cities in the last 12 days.

The lumber is in surprisingly good condition with the exception of several stains from apparent water intrusion, I would also be concerned with the staining of the fiberglass batt insulation. It would indicate that there is a bit of air infiltration.

As a matter of fact I do have historic UBC codes with me in digital format back to 1962. The hard copies are in my library at the office. The local jurisdiction code adoptions are a little obscure for me to have since I only carry 500 GB of codes (PDF) and product information on my portable drive. If you would like tomorrow I can send an email to my 6 librarians since I am sure that in one of our seven offices we do have a copy of the codes you mention. (This is the benefit of working for a firm that has 420 Engineers and Architects.) I try to be free with sharing my knowledge to those who ask so if you do need the resources just ask.

As many people have stated this forum helps them learn a lot. My comment about the pressure treated lumber was intended to stir some discussion. Indeed you are a good moderator and I do not doubt your skills or capabilities but until you allow others with an opinion and possibly some insight that might vary from your own to share with those people possibly you should change your signature line to:

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Download Attachment: icon_adobe.gif Codes.pdf

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Rob the original question you asked has been somewhat overlooked. As far as Seismic restraint my SE that I had look at it says that it should be fine assuming that the plates are adequately nailed together and there is positive attachment from the sill plate to the wall. The only issue might be if the wall above is a sheer wall.

P.S. see the 1970 UBC section 2517 note 3 (1988 UBC reads the same

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42.25 KB)about sills in direct contact with concrete. "shall be pressure treated wood" This excerpt did not change through 1988 when the home was built. with 18 years of track record I doubt anyone could deny the applicability of this code not even a local building department.

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So, it appears I put my foot in it. It happens......a lot. You have codes for Everett, WA for 1989? Kewl!

Now magnify the photo to about 150% and take a really, really good look at that sill. You'll see some surprisingly regularly spaced perforation dashes all along the side of that sill and not on any of the others above it. Could it be that it is PT wood after all? Hmm.

The water stain is coming from a dryer duct that's concealed above the insulation in that floor joist bay. If you look closely, you can just see the tinyest bit of galvanized steel peeking out at you.

The gray stuff on the insulation looks like lint and cobwebs. The louvered duct cap probably pulled loose from that duct at some point and they left it open and exposed like so many do and it dumped moisture all over that sill.

With the outlet missing, dirt can blow right through the hole in the rim and onto the insulation - usually when they're mowing the lawn. There's a crawlspace vent right there as well and wind will blow dust through that vent and onto that insulation. It's very typical for around here.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Do you know where I can find the CABO One and Two Family Dwelling Code reference to treated sill requirements for the version that was in use in 1989?

CABO 1986:

Section R-308 – Protection Against Decay and Termites. Page 22

R-308_Location Required…The following locations shall require the use of an approved species and grade of lumber, pressure preservatively treated in accordance with the standards in section 26.308, or decay- resistant heartwood of redwood, bald cypress, black walnut, black locust, or cedars….

3. Sills and sleepers on a concrete or masonry slab which is in contact with the ground.

There are no exceptions for floors or walls only roofs with a imperviose moisture barrier.

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Do you know where I can find the CABO One and Two Family Dwelling Code reference to treated sill requirements for the version that was in use in 1989?

CABO 1986:

Section R-308 – Protection Against Decay and Termites. Page 22

R-308_Location Required…The following locations shall require the use of an approved species and grade of lumber, pressure preservatively treated in accordance with the standards in section 26.308, or decay- resistant heartwood of redwood, bald cypress, black walnut, black locust, or cedars….

3. Sills and sleepers on a concrete or masonry slab which is in contact with the ground.

There are no exceptions for floors or walls only roofs with a imperviose moisture barrier.

Thanks.

The oldest CABO I have is from 1992 and it was in Section R309.

You probably know this--Here in NJ we used CABO or BOCA for single family homes until the 2006 IRC was adopted. Of course NJ has to have their own special edition of the IRC just to complicate things!

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So, it appears I put my foot in it. It happens......a lot. You have codes for Everett, WA for 1989? Kewl!

Now magnify the photo to about 150% and take a really, really good look at that sill. You'll see some surprisingly regularly spaced perforation dashes all along the side of that sill and not on any of the others above it. Could it be that it is PT wood after all? Hmm.

The water stain is coming from a dryer duct that's concealed above the insulation in that floor joist bay. If you look closely, you can just see the tinyest bit of galvanized steel peeking out at you.

The gray stuff on the insulation looks like lint and cobwebs. The louvered duct cap probably pulled loose from that duct at some point and they left it open and exposed like so many do and it dumped moisture all over that sill.

With the outlet missing, dirt can blow right through the hole in the rim and onto the insulation - usually when they're mowing the lawn. There's a crawlspace vent right there as well and wind will blow dust through that vent and onto that insulation. It's very typical for around here.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

1. From the photo I cannot see any perforations. I can see no color change from adjacent lumber which would be very odd for PT from this time frame.

2. I was not there and I cannot extrapolate a moisture intrusion problem from a small piece of sheet metal barely visible in a perspective photo. It would only be a guess on my part.

3. The staining only proves why PT lumber is used at sills. If there was only one sill plate it would have received all of the water and the resultant condition might or might not be different.

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I can see no color change from adjacent lumber which would be very odd for PT from this time frame.

Not odd around here at all. Sometimes the color change is very little, if at all, and one has to look very closely to see the treatment slits.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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"or decay- resistant heartwood of redwood, bald cypress, black walnut, black locust, or cedars…."

Cool, so there was a choice of a $6 treated 2x6, $2-3 per foot for cedar, or $4 a board foot and up for the others. Black locust has such a small native habitat (see map) I can't imagine it being a viable option, and where exactly does one find a black walnut 2x6 anyways? Given the layers in the OP it's no wonder they used SPF.

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Tom

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"or decay- resistant heartwood of redwood, bald cypress, black walnut, black locust, or cedars…."

Cool, so there was a choice of a $6 treated 2x6, $2-3 per foot for cedar, or $4 a board foot and up for the others. Black locust has such a small native habitat (see map) I can't imagine it being a viable option, and where exactly does one find a black walnut 2x6 anyways? Given the layers in the OP it's no wonder they used SPF.

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Tom

I inspected a 1880's farm house near El Dorado KS. The whole house was black walnut from true 2"* 4" wall studs to a 18" * 18" hand hewn main beam even the subfloor and roof decking were walnut.

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