Quality issue with LVL header in basement?

Hi all,
I hired a general contractor to replace a load-bearing wall in my basement, and I have a couple of concerns about the work (in progress, almost finished). The structural engineer proposed a 14" LVL header supported by two columns composed of 3 2X6's. So that's what the contractor has installed.
Here are my concerns. On one side of the new header, there are 3/8" - 1/2" gaps between the joists and header. (On the other side they're flush) And at one end of the beam, there is some major notching in the header, right above the support post.
( 3/8" - 1/2" gaps between joists and header:
http://i10.tinypic.com/33ynjsy.jpg ) ( notching at end of LVL beam:
http://i18.tinypic.com/2em1xyf.jpg )
Here's a few other bits of information. Before starting work, I verified that the contractor has an active general contractor's license with no disciplinary action on record. The structural engineer was suggested by him, but he works for a medium-sized firm. I sent him the pictures today and called to follow up, but he was gone for the day. Naturally, I'll be calling him first thing tomorrow. The work is not finished, and I have not paid anything so far.
So the question is, do I have anything to be concerned about here? If there are issues how should I address them?
Thanks in advance.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Good photos....not the worst work I've seen but it ain't any where near the best.
Did the SE do a site visit?
Looks like the floor plywood is taking the load at the header rather than the joists...one of the joists looks like it has a joist hanger but not the others?
All that notching isn't great, if your GC does that sort of work....I'm now concerned about the built-up post....how did he interface it with the basement floor? So it can wick moisture & rot?
Let's see what your SE says......I would suggest slapping two more 2x6's so you can get some header bearing under the area beyond the notches.
As for the joists...how about a piece of OSB sistered to the LVL (full depth) & add some joist hangers...might want to jam a temporary supoprt (2x4, floor to josit) under the joist while installing the hangers.....use nails longer than the normal joist hanger nails so you can get into the LVL
but really you should get the "fix" from your SE (& your GC should pay, if there are any charges)
cheers Bob
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He did, but before the old wall came down. He hasn't seen the new work, unless he's read his email recently.

The work is in progress.. only a few of the joists have hangers so far. There are still temporary support walls in place on both sides of the header. As far as the plywood taking the load (necessary due to extensive wiring), this is supposed to be addressed with shims. (hopefully that's ok, the SE said it should be)

I think this was done well, see photo here (
http://i18.tinypic.com/4h86tfk.jpg ).

That's kind of what I was thinking.

If that's structurally sound, then great... we can all get out of this without too much trouble. The temporary wall is still in place so this should not be too difficult.

Thanks for your help.
- S
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

S-
Ooops! I missed the support wall in the first photo...that make me feel a lot better as does the post base.detail.....I take back 1/2 of my comments :)
Now the only thing troubling me is the notched beam end
Depending on the load & what your SE says, more support under the beam end might be needed.
Per Bob M's comments......the 3/8 to 1/2 joist end gap will be taken up by the joist hangers and an OSB fillers trip is overkill but if the GC is going to shim them & the work will not be visible then I guess you can forget about it.
cheers Bob
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In a previous post snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote...

In general, I go along with BobK's suggestions. The only thing that gave me pause was the (3) 2x posts and the notches. A couple of additional 2x's should fix the problem. I suggest that a Simpson LCE post cap be added to connect the beam to the built-up post.
The 3/8"-1/2" gap doesn't bother me very much. The joist hangers will take care of that problem as long as the joist is fully supported in the hanger. It looks like a Simpson "LUS" type hanger was used. If the situation concerns you, your contractor might consider using an "HUS" series which has a longer support shoe for the joist (3" vs 1-3/4").
--
Bob Morrison, PE, SE
R L Morrison Engineering Co
  Click to see the full signature.
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Why would you not just add a couple more 2 x 6 to the new post and use 2 x 6 pressure treated under the post instead of that flimsy looking bracket? Looks to me like the rest of the remaining wall is regular 2 x material sitting right on the concrete. Also seems like you would be putting quite a load where that new post is replacing an entire bearing wall. Would there be a problem there with that point loading?
wrote...

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bitternut wrote:

So I talked to the SE on Friday (after he got the photos), and he said that the 3 2x6's should be OK. I'm having him make a site visit on Tuesday for another reason, but I'll have him take a look in person just to triple-check. Regardless, I think I'll still do what you said and add a couple of 2x6's with pressure treated underneath, and then I'll have total peace of mind, on this issue at least ;)
He also researched the joist hanger issue and talked to the manufacturer. He thinks the LU210 hangers should be fine due to the fact that the calculated load is less than half what the hangers will handle. He did suggest using 16d nails in the joist for some extra strength. Looking at Simpson's website, I see that the HUS210 hangers are a lot stronger... I wonder if I should have him use those instead? Or could that be a problem (other than increased cost)? We do live a block away from an active faultline.
Thanks to everyone for your help on this issue.
- S
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Dear S-
If your house is a block away from an active fault & it let's go, I really doubt that a heavier joist hanger is going to make a difference.
I like the HU series...none of those silly cutouts just nice uniform edges
I'm not a huge fan of large nails....in my experience 16d commons are too large for nearly all commonly used residential timbers.
At .162" diameter & not pre-dillled, 16d commons (IMO) do more harm than good.
Who pre-drills for joist hangers? Even though there is a buried note (note J) in the Simpson catalog that comments on nails that split the wood & suggests considering pre-drilling
IMO the best compromise is the 10d common (.148) or any of the reduced size 16d's
Bigger ain't always better if you don't pre-dill. In most SImpson connectors the nails are so closely spaced that you're bound to get a lot of wood damage esp with the larger nails.
Use the 10d's & be happy.
cheers Bob
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