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Going beyond CODE?

This topic contains 44 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  kurt@welkerhomes.com 4 years, 5 months ago.

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 45 total)
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  • #84653

    thedude306
    Moderator
    Foam Lake, SK

    So with my research on code books it is quite evident that code is a min standard. And that standard is pretty low. I’ve come to the conclusion that all it means is the next guy that lives in your house won’t kill himself or get killed if the min code is met.

    A familiar theme seems to be “Do you want it right, or do you want to build it to code?”

    So what are some of the things people go beyond code to make sure things are done right? Two things I am looking at right now are floor and roof trusses. Around here code calls for a min of L360 which gives about 3/4″ of flex on a 28′ span and requires very little cross beam support. WHAT? How can that even be allowed? We are going to go to L480 with the intent to reinforce under high traffic areas.

    We are also going with hurricane clips on our roof trusses. Not required by code.

    Brad T
    Self employed Pro since 2014!!

    #84666

    Nyx
    Pro
    Pittsburgh, PA

    I would like to think that structure and electrical are areas that are taken into consideration if you are going to go beyond min code. I dont want my house falling down on me and i dont want it to go up in flames.

    #84669

    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Pro
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    The way a continuing education instructor put it to me once was like this “So I see you built it to code, congratulations, you get a C”

    The code is definitely a minimum standard and nothing restricts you from exceeding it.

    As for floors, our code for deflection is the lesser of L / 360 for the live load and L / 240 for the total Load In a short span that is adequate however in a 28′ span that you are looking at, that would give you some bouncy floors.

    Our code also has a minimum hold down required for all trusses that is 250 lbs I believe. That said, 5 toenails will not achieve that so some sort of supplemental hold down is required.

    There are also a lot of things the code incorporates by reference. It will say you need to meet all requirements of the truss plate institute for example. IF the TPI says hold down they you need them. Our code requires you to meet the requirements of over a thousand additional documents that are not a part of the code but incorporated by reference.

    Some jurisdictions are sticklers for these additional documents some are not.

    #84675

    jkirk
    Moderator
    halifax, nova scotia

    a good portion of the stuff we do is beyond code, be it framing, sealing windows and doors and what not

    for example when we build a stairway if the stair has a close wall we turn the wall into a shear wall by gluing and screwing 5/8 plywood to the studs first. its not required by any means but we do it.. also when sheathing a roof we use 2 H-clips per truss spacing instead of 1, and if its in the budget we will use tongue and groove plywood instead of osb

    heres a tip, dont fart in a space suit

    #84680

    Nyx
    Pro
    Pittsburgh, PA

    Can someone explain this a little? what do those letters and numbers mean. (sorry if this question seems elementary given the topic at hand but its the first time i’ve seen this before and i’m sure our community would be glad to offer feedback) Thanks!

    ” L / 360 for the live load and L / 240 for the total Load “

    #84685

    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Pro
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    they are deflection numbers. It is the length in inches divided by the lower number. So in Brads case, it works like this:

    28 x 12 = 336 divided by the allowable deflection 360
    336 / 360 = .933333 inches.

    This means that a floor joist fully loaded could “sag” .93 inches and be within the limits that code allows.

    L / 480 would be 339 / 480 = .7 inches which still seems like a lot of deflection. but to put this in real terms, to meet the maximum load, you would have to have a 200 lb person in every 5 square feet of the room assuming no furniture in the room. To help visualize, in a 12 x 12 bedroom you would need to have almost 29 people weighting that 200 lbs. most homes are never loaded to the maximum allowable load.

    The code stipulates deflection values for floors, walls, roofs and other portions of the structure of a house.

    These deflections are important to look at especially when installing things like ceramic floors as excessive deflection below the floor can cause the floor to crack of delaminate.

    In truss design programs, these values are entered in and the trusses are designed to meet those parameters.

    #84687

    svensshutters
    Pro
    Colorado Springs, CO

    Thank you for the lesson Kurt.

    #84688

    thedude306
    Moderator
    Foam Lake, SK

    great lesson Kurt,

    The other big one on as Jeff says in door and window installation. Pretty weak sauce if you just meet code. I think they should stick the code writers in a northern SK winter and see if they change their tune. But I guess that’s just because I am on the energy efficiency bandwagon and don’t want to have huge bills if there is a reasonable payback on the initial expense.

    Brad T
    Self employed Pro since 2014!!

    #84691

    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Pro
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    In Minnesota, all energy efficiency is in the energy code which is separate from the building code. the energy code relates to the U values of windows and R values of walls and ceilings. The Building code here does not discuss energy efficiency. In some cases, the building code and the energy code conflict and leave you wondering what to do.

    You have some very good window Manufacturers in Canada that have very efficient window and door options. I would use a minimum R – 5 or U – .2
    window. They are a little more money but i think well worth the added cost in your climate.

    #84736

    ChadM
    Moderator
    East Palestine, Ohio

    Unfortunately, it is very easy to build beyond code requirements. For instance, all my roofs are 16″ o.c. with 5/8 plywood, I like 2×12 FJ’s with 7/8″ subfloor, I flash the crap out of anything that can be flashed, etc…

    It is great that as a DIY’er you realize that code is the bare minimum and that you want to exceed code – I know some “pros” who don’t feel that way.

    Chad

    A Working Pro since 1993

    Member since 12/07/2013

    A Carpenter's Journal

    Housewright Construction

    #84741

    Calidecks64
    Pro
    Anaheim Hills, Cali

    I don’t make those choices, my engineers do. If I make any changes to plans it has to be ran through engineering, the planning department and resubmitted. I don’t see the point unless you don’t trust your engineers.

    Code applies to standards. If your getting things calculated through an engineer it doesn’t matter about the code. As long as it meets the required strength for what its designed for and everything is taken into consideration. Over building is a sign of someone not knowing what their doing to me. It’s a sign that your confident in your engineer. It doesn’t make since to do anything over what’s necessary.

    My point is there is a such thing as over building things.

    #84743

    jkirk
    Moderator
    halifax, nova scotia

    window and door wise we have plenty of options. i primarily install Peter Kohler windows which are manufactured about an hour from me.. from what i understand the kohler windows have about 15-20% of the market in the eastern seaboard of the u.s now as well.. they put togehter a great product..

    heres a tip, dont fart in a space suit

    #84745

    ChadM
    Moderator
    East Palestine, Ohio

    I don’t make those choices, my engineers do. If I make any changes to plans it has to be ran through engineering, the planning department and resubmitted. I don’t see the point unless you don’t trust your engineers.

    Code applies to standards. If your getting things calculated through an engineer it doesn’t matter about the code. As long as it meets the required strength for what its designed for and everything is taken into consideration. Over building is a sign of someone not knowing what their doing to me. It’s a sign that your confident in your engineer. It doesn’t make since to do anything over what’s necessary.

    My point is there is a such thing as over building things.

    I agree that there is such a thing as overbuilding but there are areas where I think building code is insufficient. I don’t believe that 7/16″ OSB on 24″ o.c. trusses makes a good roof. I also believe there are insufficiencies in code regarding flashing/ sealing; a lot of my issues with code may have to do with my area. I primarily work in two counties, of the two only one has a building code enforcement agency and they only inspect footers, framing, electrical, HVAC, and plumbing. In the county with no code enforcement some municipalities have a building department that issues permits but none do inspections. I built a 900 square foot addition in the county seat last year and all I had to do to get it was pay $100 and draw a sketch on the back of the application.

    Chad

    A Working Pro since 1993

    Member since 12/07/2013

    A Carpenter's Journal

    Housewright Construction

    #84781

    redwood
    Pro

    I have always overbuilt beyond code. That said, the code seems to be catching up and getting more stringent. Especially related to connections.

    For eternity, the code did not address flashing connections to the exterior of a structure. That is where most decks fail. Not the connections themselves, but the waterproofing of those connections.

    Mark E.

    Pioneer, CA

    Working Pro 1972 - 2015
    Member since Jan 22, 2013
    www.creative-redwood-designs.com

    #84789

    MRenes
    Pro
    Vienna, Missouri

    I have always overbuilt beyond code. That said, the code seems to be catching up and getting more stringent. Especially related to connections.

    For eternity, the code did not address flashing connections to the exterior of a structure. That is where most decks fail. Not the connections themselves, but the waterproofing of those connections.

    I was just hearing about that from my buddy…

    #84796

    thedude306
    Moderator
    Foam Lake, SK

    Thanks for all the good info.

    We have decided on Loewen windows and doors. Metal clad wood frames. Fairly close to us being made in Manitoba. In Sask we don’t need engineered stamped drawings, just for trusses (both floor and roof)

    Having dealt with MANY engineers over the years, there is plenty that an engineer is allowed to design, but few that are qualified. Not saying that there aren’t good ones, but just because it’s engineered, doesn’t mean it’s designed right. It’s just designed not to fail. And there can be a difference.

    Brad T
    Self employed Pro since 2014!!

    #84801

    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Pro
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    If you overbuild then youare wasting lumber and are not green. Personally I would rather have a better built structure than a green ccertified one.

    #84812

    redwood
    Pro

    So Kurt, you would have us all build to code and save lumber, despite that we know that these are minumum standards and will sag, move, but not break.

    I’m sure that’s not what you mean.

    Mark E.

    Pioneer, CA

    Working Pro 1972 - 2015
    Member since Jan 22, 2013
    www.creative-redwood-designs.com

    #84835

    Calidecks64
    Pro
    Anaheim Hills, Cali

    I know better to not use undersized joists, customers frown on trampolines for decks!

    #84883

    Anonymous

    Ok cool, I learned something today, Thanks for the lesson Kurt. I must admit that much deflection surprises me though, That’s almost an inch. I had no idea they allow that much. I have a bad/good habit of building everything heavy duty. If 1/4″ material is enough I’ll go 3/8″. I’m talking metal of course. I think working for a railroad influenced me on that. But I sleep better at night that way. Especially with hitches and important stuff like that. I’m sure I would be the over build type carpenter until I knew better

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