Here in the Pacific Northwest we have lots of new earth quake code for
residential construction. My house plans calls for a bunch of shear walls
and HDU5 hold downs. I have never used these but just taking a look at
them gives me a shudder. How are you going to locate the hold down bolts
into the slab footings in just the exact place where they will be up against
a stud/s. I usually don't even do the final building squaring until the
concrete is set and I can snap lines.
I understand you can drill in the bolts after the wall is up but I can see
that as being an exercise in misery, especially with rebar in the forms.
They make templates out of sheet metal. I have many. They hold the bolts
in placement making it a fairly "sure" fit after foundation is poured. The
main trick is to locate the templates properly with framing in mind. that
was my hurdle and I did have good success.
I have many in my basement and save them for the time I need to use them
You can "borrow them"
My foundations are generally within an 1/8"
I have purchased templates from simpson that represent bolt pattern and you
put the bolts in them and cast in place. remove the template.
a l;ittle fudging works........
I don't recall the exact Simpson hold downs we used in our house and
garage, but we had to accurately place the bolts before pouring our
foundation walls. I bought all the parts I would need ahead of time so I
wouldn't have any suprises later with unavailable supplies, and could
make accurate measurements for locating bolts.
Our garage walls bolted right to the top of the perimeter foundation, so
we only needed to locate the bolts somewhere between the studs.
On our house, the bolts had to extend up through the floor framing and
tie into posts in the wall framing. So, I had to really plan ahead there,
locating where the floor joists and studs would be before we even started
pouring concrete. It's not a huge effort, but it does mean thinking ahead
a few steps.
I simply screwed a 2x2 across the tops of our forms and drilled a hole in
the middle for the anchor bolts/hold downs. I screwed the nut on to keep
the bolt from falling down, which also helps clean the concrete off the
threads after the pour by simply unscrewing the nut. This made it easy to
locate the hold down accurately, while holding everything securely during
We built our house back in 2003/2004 here in Washington state, and all of
our rebar, anchor bolts, etc. had to be in place and tied securely before
we could even pour the concrete. Same with any water pipes or electrical
I'm pouring a small sidewalk in a few weeks that will need four bolts
located accurately for deck posts. I'm planning to use little pieces of
scrap plywood with a hole in them to accurate locate the bolts. Simpson
makes special little plastic brackets to do this, but for small jobs like
mine it's easy enough to use some kind of scrap to hold the bolts in
place during a pour.
Use a new clean sheet of 3/4" form plywood, use a table saw to cut into
12"X 12" squares, using a framing square scribe a vertical and a
horizontal cross hair at midpoint of both sides of 12"X 12" template.
Using a transit level + batter boards set instrument over slab edge
located on batter board and shoot template cross hairs in required planes
attaching template to edge forms or otherwise securing same. You've
previously set anchors in template now you have line and grade. Pour it!
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If you haven't gotten too far into the construction, you might
factory prefabbed shear panels.
I'm not affiliated with the company but I know the father son team
that developed & manufactures the panels.
They are experienced framers & truss builders AND brilliant
designers / developers.
Unlike most manufacturers of shear panel products, these guys have
years of construction experience.
The practical realities of construction have driven their designs.
Instead of templates or jigs to help with placement of bolts,
these panels have embeddable base plates that assure correct
check them out
As jloomis suggests accurate concrete work is key.
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