Building Inspectors?>*^&%##


I'm gutting my kitchen & dining room, combining them & building an office for me in an 8' slice at the end with access to the outside. No structural walls removed. Plans completed and stamped by me, Contractor signed, we go to town BI. He pulls out his joist span chart and announces that I have to sister all the second floor joists as they are 2X8 and therefore undersized and install a beam at midspan under the 1st floor. It's a bedroom up there and we sleep in it, I know I need to loose weight, but it hasn't broken yet ;-). The house was built in 1886 and has no structural problems for 120 years. I know it's not worth fighting about as ceilings will be opened, but give me a break!!! EDS
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In other words, the clueless dolt doesn't understand that the joist span charts are only valid for currently marketed lumber. What a mar00n
<DIV><FONT size=2>I'm gutting my kitchen &amp; dining room, combining them &amp; building an office for me in an 8' slice at the end with access to the outside. No structural walls removed.&nbsp;Plans completed and stamped by me, Contractor signed, we go to town BI. He pulls out his joist span chart and announces that I have to sister all the second floor joists as they are 2X8 and therefore undersized and install a beam at midspan&nbsp;under the 1st floor. It's a bedroom up there&nbsp;and we sleep in it, I know I need to loose weight, but it hasn't broken yet ;-).&nbsp; The house was built in 1886 and has no structural problems for 120 years.&nbsp; I know it's not worth fighting about as ceilings will be opened, but give me a break!!!</FONT></DIV> <DIV><FONT size=2>EDS</FONT></DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV></BLOCKQUOTE></BODY></HTML>
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Tell him you analyzed the wood to be Eastern Yellow Pine, the hardest, strongest and extinct (except for a few protected stands in Maine) wood species ever used in construction. Then when you go to the span tables, use Douglas Fir +1.2 ratio to find the equivalent strength.
EYP is what all the old brownstones and tenements in NYC were built of in the 1800's. When old NYC buildings burn down, the brick crumble before the timbers do usually leaving a burned heap of rubble with lots of semi-charred timbers laying around.
That way, you'll be over designed and he won't know what to say...
I'm gutting my kitchen & dining room, combining them & building an office for me in an 8' slice at the end with access to the outside. No structural walls removed. Plans completed and stamped by me, Contractor signed, we go to town BI. He pulls out his joist span chart and announces that I have to sister all the second floor joists as they are 2X8 and therefore undersized and install a beam at midspan under the 1st floor. It's a bedroom up there and we sleep in it, I know I need to loose weight, but it hasn't broken yet ;-). The house was built in 1886 and has no structural problems for 120 years. I know it's not worth fighting about as ceilings will be opened, but give me a break!!! EDS
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I'll try, but easier to do than fight. The span is 13'-8" The house was a summer house and built light (2X3 non bearing partitions), but I'm sure the wood is better than the stuff we get now. I don't mind the beam in the basement as the wife now wants to put ceramic tile in the kitchen and dining area. When we had a brick row house in Boston built in 1859, the timbers were eastern yellow pine, 2X12 spanning 13' at 16" max. But that house was built like a tank. I could hardly put a nail into them.

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Pierre Levesque, AIA wrote:

Had to take down an ironwood tree,
http://www.woodworker.org/WoodArticles/Wood%20of%20the%20Month%20-%20Hophornbeam/Wood_of_the_Month-hophornbeam1.htm
I figure I ruined the saw chain cutting it up for firewood, it was only about 5-6" dia. But it's the best firewood I ever used. Ken
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In a previous post eds says...

Remember to tell the inspector that the room is a "sleeping room" which only has a 30 psf live load requirement in IBC2003. Most joist tables are set up for 40 psf. Span can be increased by ratio of loads. So, allowing for 10 psf dead load, the span adjustment factor for strength is (50/40) = 1.25 or 1.25 x 13'-8" = 17'-1"
--
Bob Morrison, PE, SE
R L Morrison Engineering Co
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Bob Morrison wrote:

Question for an engineer that probably doesn't necessarily help the original poster:
Aren't codes for load requirements based on deflection? IOW, there's no risk of the thing falling down if the beams aren't strengthened, but people in the rooms supported by the beams might feel a little bounce in the floor when they walk on it?
Sorry. Just opportunistically trying to get things straight for the structures portion of the ARE....
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Don wrote:

I don't drink beer, it makes me obnoxious.

That would be great, I like resonance. I shake my legs to the characteristic resonant frequency of the floor by habit, (when wifes out) it would be cool to see waves appear on the surface of a hot tub, especially if properly lit to reflect on the ceiling.
My goodness, Don has invented Musical Architecture, but I'm sorry government doesn't allow that either, no matter how interesting the physics is.
Regards Ken S. Tucker
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In a previous post Adam Weiss says...

Don:
GOOD QUESTION! The short answer is "It depends". For short spans, say less than 10 feet, then strength is usually the governing factor, but for spans longer than that stiffness ("deflection") often governs.
In both cases the bending stress and deflection are directly related to the load, i.e., increase the load by 20% and the stress and deflection both go up by 20%. Increasing the span by 20% has a much larger effect. Bending stress goes up by about 44% (1.2^2) and deflection goes up by 205% (1.2^4).
So, the answer I gave in my earlier post was not strictly correct. However, any building official who uses load tables without wanting to know something about the materials involved simply doesn't know what he is doing. My "shortened" explanation was an attempt to give that person a VERY simple explanation of how the span might increase.
It was probably wrong of me to do so in such a simple fashion.
--
Bob Morrison, PE, SE
R L Morrison Engineering Co
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That sounds good, but how do you cash/deposit that retainer check? Government still takes your money unless you only do business through barter or cash under the table. And then you may receive a "lifestyle audit". If you own real estate or a car they will still get thier property tax. Does Florida have sales tax? Seems one can be an individualist in name only.
-SW

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Depending on species, grade, loading and spacing 2x8 can work at 13'-8". Also you also gain more span for older closer-to-nominal dimension lumber. Get him to cite a specific code section and then take your case to the building official under alternative means and methods. Also if you happen to be under the ICC Existing Building Code or a derivative, you do not have to bring un-altered members to current standards.
Essentially, since the Building Official is not condemning similar construction in unaltered buildings as a threat to public safety, he cannot apply a different standard to you unless there is specific legal authority.
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Today we took the rest of the ceiling down and plaster off the walls. There are not any two equal dimensions between studs and joists. Joists vary from 15" to 21" apart. They are a full 8"x2" size. Interesting in that the basement joists are 16" oc, but could be seen. Someone cheated grandpa back in 1886 ;-) I have enlisted a Structural Engineer friend to write a support for leaving the 2nd floor joists alone.
Brudgers has an excellent point as the house next door is the twin of this house. We have a photo of them both near the end of construction, with a worker walking outside with a ladder. First houses on the street, but were built as cottages (2500+ sf) so built light. I grew up in this house and it shakes during nor' easters all winter (no diagonal bracing, we are plywooding the interior under the GWB) as we are high up and less than 500' feet from the Atlantic. EDS
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got a place to park a sailboat? :) not in a nor east'or of course.
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