Author Topic: Horizontal joist ran into concrete foundation?  (Read 502 times)

EricEng

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Horizontal joist ran into concrete foundation?
« on: May 21, 2020, 01:36:44 PM »
Parents newly built house has some odd, exposed joists we can't figure out (see attachments).  They have horizontal joists coming out from the siding that extend down into the concrete foundation.  Other models of this exact house in neighborhood do not have these.  They are only on one side of the house in about a couple dozen spots.

They are coming up on their 1 year warranty period in a couple months, so we want to raise issues before that is reached.  It seems bad to have exposed wood frame that gets rain, snow, bugs, and ice.  As you can see it is already crumbling the concrete around it after one winter.

Edit: Better pictures attached.  Turns out it is horizontal beams.  Not sure your run of the mil inspector would be qualified for to make a judgement on this.

« Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 04:22:39 PM by EricEng »

Kem

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Re: Vertical Joist ran into concrete foundation?
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2020, 02:29:37 PM »
I have never seen that before
In their shoes, I'd drop $300 on an inspection - using their inspector (not the builders).

Compile a list of everything that needs to be corrected and submit it to the builder well in advance of the 1 year period.  Make sure this process is documented and copies are kept. 

AardvarkPuppies

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Re: Horizontal joist ran into concrete foundation?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2020, 05:11:56 AM »
When I was selling a house with a wonky basement I hired an engineer to look at it and write a report about the structural integrity.  Cost me maybe $150. That's what I would do here.

NaN

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Re: Horizontal joist ran into concrete foundation?
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2020, 08:30:45 AM »
Wow, very interesting. I can't believe this is how a new house is built. Yes, hire a certified structural engineer and get a report. I am not one, but my degrees are in a very related field and my first gut reaction was "what the hell!" It seems totally wrong to me.

You are right the joists are exposed to weather, and that is not good. But, even further, from a cursory look around the webs, in general this is not a common building practice (search floor joists embedded in stem wall concrete). Concrete absorbs water. The key structural members are in contact with the concrete. You might have tons of issues down the line (termites, rot, etc.). If those joists ever need repair, it is a big hassle. Yes, there is some protective paint, but that paint can always chip off down the line.

Typically the joists sit on a sill board on the foundation wall. Yes, that wood is in contact with the top of the concrete, but much less of a load carrying member and more of a barrier. The tips of the joists are then covered with a perpendicular running board. Then the outside is covered with siding down below the where the boards sit.

How were the other houses built? It is possible they were built with the same joists in concrete, but they stopped the joist an inch or so away from the edge and were covered completely? Or they have some other covering? I highly suggest figuring this out (maybe even with the structural engineer). If they were built completely different (the proper way) then this is a huge problem for you.

Best case is that this method of construction is okay by the engineer, and all you need some protection from the elements. That might involve some kind of covering on the outside. The builder would hopefully cover that addition.

Worst case, this method is unacceptable and should never have been approved (or was not even what was approved on the official drawings by the city). You will then be hiring a lawyer as this is not an easy fix. Your builder/warranty will push back.

Worst-worst case are all models are built like this and it is all wrong. Then, this likely means class-action lawsuit (I've seen this a few times).

I am hoping for the best case for you.

NaN

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Re: Horizontal joist ran into concrete foundation?
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2020, 08:59:58 AM »
Here are some common photos from the web:

Typical ledger plate constructions are the first two. The other option is to use joist hangers connected to a board against the concrete. There does seem to be some images of "ledger inserts in foundations" in the last photo, but still struggling to find what the 'standard' is. But even then you are looking at it only stopping a few inches in and not going all the way to the outside. The second photo even points to using treated lumber on top of the foundation wall.


b ruff

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Re: Horizontal joist ran into concrete foundation?
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2020, 10:01:57 AM »
Those look too narrow to be joists, 2X joists measure 1.5" thick.
Maybe sleepers embedded into the concrete for nailing off siding, if so they are a little low..
If they are joists? That's bad.

big_owl

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Re: Horizontal joist ran into concrete foundation?
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2020, 10:45:05 AM »
Wow I learned something new today. I never knew this was legal.   But hey, just cover it with some gray paint and you're all good.   Ah geez.

NaN

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Re: Horizontal joist ran into concrete foundation?
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2020, 08:01:41 AM »
Maybe sleepers embedded into the concrete for nailing off siding

I think this is the likely scenario. At first glance it looked like they were spaced exactly at the joist spacing. If I zoom in a little I can tell that the rounded edge on the board at the very right is vertical. That likely means those are not joists. The builder probably just decided to save on siding and paint it gray.

That's good news @EricEng. Way better than my alarm bell raising post. :)
« Last Edit: May 24, 2020, 08:05:13 AM by NaN »

Cadman

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Re: Horizontal joist ran into concrete foundation?
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2020, 12:00:25 PM »
+1 on the sleepers. If these were joists you'd see end grain and the edges certainly wouldn't be radiused like this. I'd also be surprised if the joist system in a house this new wouldn't be using I-joists.

EricEng

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Re: Horizontal joist ran into concrete foundation?
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2020, 02:40:03 PM »
Those look too narrow to be joists, 2X joists measure 1.5" thick.
Maybe sleepers embedded into the concrete for nailing off siding, if so they are a little low..
If they are joists? That's bad.
Thanks, but why would they have them so low?  A lot of the tops are below the siding's bottom edge.  They aren't the same material as the joists on the inside, so it's not a straight shot.  They seem very haphazardly placed.  I'll check next time I'm over to see if siding is secured to any of the higher ones.

NaN

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Re: Horizontal joist ran into concrete foundation?
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2020, 08:12:04 AM »
My guess is they anticipated adding siding. Was your parents house one of the first in the development? It is possible they didn't add them to the other houses because they decided to forgo siding down around the concrete. They builder could probably take them out and fill with concrete? Not sue what the remedies are if anything.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2020, 08:13:53 AM by NaN »

Dicey

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Re: Horizontal joist ran into concrete foundation?
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2020, 05:41:49 PM »
@EricEng, is it typical to paint the foundation in your area? Are the foundations painted on the other houses that you're comparing to??

b ruff

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Re: Horizontal joist ran into concrete foundation?
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2020, 10:22:26 AM »
Those look too narrow to be joists, 2X joists measure 1.5" thick.
Maybe sleepers embedded into the concrete for nailing off siding, if so they are a little low..
If they are joists? That's bad.
Thanks, but why would they have them so low?  A lot of the tops are below the siding's bottom edge.  They aren't the same material as the joists on the inside, so it's not a straight shot.  They seem very haphazardly placed.  I'll check next time I'm over to see if siding is secured to any of the higher ones.

Somebody made a mistake.

EricEng

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Re: Horizontal joist ran into concrete foundation?
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2020, 11:18:49 AM »
@EricEng, is it typical to paint the foundation in your area? Are the foundations painted on the other houses that you're comparing to??
Yes, seems to be common here.

I did check and none of the sticks are high enough to reach the siding.  It looks like something had been hammered into them at one point.  I'm guessing the siding was ran lower at first, then they took it off.  Last piece stops at the horizontal sil plate.  This is CO where 1-2 feet of snow is common and usually don't want your siding sitting in that.  So b ruff might be right that someone screwed up. 

Anyone know how deep these usually go?  We can't tell if they penetrate or not.

Kem

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Re: Horizontal joist ran into concrete foundation?
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2020, 11:55:09 AM »
If it was mine, I would drill into each sleeper to determine depth - you can then plug with glue/dowel if desired.

My fear would be
1 - water penetration -> freezing -> foundation cracks
and/or
2 - easy insect access -> pathway to entire house -> infestation in framework

Maybe flashing slid under siding to a few inches below lowest sleeper would suffice
Maybe cutting out above drip line level and foam filling could suffice

affordablehousing

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Re: Horizontal joist ran into concrete foundation?
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2020, 12:16:34 PM »
Totally agree with Kem. Probably not a big deal. Double check they are really the joists going all the way through and 1.5" thick. Unless your thumbs are big it looks like they might be other wood? The main concern would be protecting the wood from the elements, could be accomplished by exposing or drilling the ends, pumping full of boracare, and covering with flashing or an additional siding board. It doesn't look like it would make the house fall down. The rebar is probably further down the stemwall anyway.