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My new house is being framed. I saw that the frame extends 1-2" from the foundation:

Click photograph for full size
enter image description here

The builder told me it happens often and the city inspector will catch it if this is a problem.

Is this OK? Should I ask a 3rd party inspector to check on this right now?

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Ummm... Wow. Execution at dawn and no blindfold or cigarette provided if this was my contractor's shoddy output. Get the inspector out now and make sure that correcting it doesn't get tacked onto the bill. On the west coast, given the earthquake standards, no way in flaming hell. –  Fiasco Labs Jun 12 '13 at 1:40
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Wait.... are those red things the pins from a Powder Actuated Tool????!!!! Please tell me those sill plates are bolted to the foundation and NOT shot in!!!! –  Gunner Jun 12 '13 at 1:42
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I'm still trying to figure out why that bottom plate on the right doesn't have any studs and why there isn't any structure in the corner. Typically walls are built on the ground and raised up with the studs already nailed in at the proper location. We also pre-attach the exterior sheathing to keep the walls square without using so many diagonal braces. –  BMitch Jun 17 '13 at 19:50
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BMitch is right.. that corner does not look strong at all. –  staticx Jun 18 '13 at 12:26
    
Looks dodgy! And as BMitch points out, why is there no corner? something is wrong. –  Matt Jun 21 '13 at 1:58

4 Answers 4

No, it's not ok. For one thing, by the time the city inspector looks at the fully framed building, it will be a little too late to fix it. Secondly, the builder's attitude seems very questionable. Either his framing crew or the concrete sub messed up. At the very least their job is not done in a workmanlike manner. They shouldn't wait and hope things 'slip' by the city inspector. A good contractor with personal integrity just wouldn't allow something like this to happen in the first place, IMHO. Or if this was truly not a big deal, he would take time to explain why this is ok.

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I would imagine the city will inspect in phases, but by the time they go inspect the framing, sheathing will already be installed and have to be ripped out and redone. –  staticx Jun 17 '13 at 19:21

OK this is easy. The answer is NO.

The construction has issues:

  1. There are no bolts for the sill plates.

enter image description here

2.The sill plates should be spaced on the slab so that wall plus exterior finish meets slab. It looks like this house is getting brick or thick stone given the 3 inches or so from the edge.

I am not sure about your situation. You are having a house built. If it were me I would not pay this person another dime. He should know this stuff if he is building a house. He shouldn't be unsure of this. If he is putting concrete nails in this (which I think is only code if you live in a shed) then what else is he doing?

To fix this situation everything needs to be ripped out. He is going to have to use a hammer drill to drill down into the slab to install anchors. The holes for the anchors need to be on center of your framing. I am not sure your builder could handle this. Also drilling down anchors is really a half-ass way of doing this (in my opinion). These are not as strong as anchors poured in and tend to wiggle.

Get your building inspector out not a 3rd party that could be as bad as your builder. I would also ask the inspector for local code regarding anchoring post-pour. I would personally look into my builders credentials. If I continued using the builder I would make sure the city understands your lack of confidence and that they should be looking at everything closely.

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My answer about the construction is that it depends: In New Zealand for instance, you MUST have the bottom plates beyond the edge of the slab (as some of yours are) for weather-tightness reasons. The cladding is often then run down past the level of the slab.

The idea is that the framing has a waterproof layer (a.k.a "building wrap") then an air gap to the outside cladding. If water gets through any flashings (particularly around joinery) then it runs down the air gap and out through drain holes. By overlapping the slab, the water drips off rather than sitting around your bottom sill plates and rotting them, as it would in the answer given above. Another answer implies that this overlapping has some effect on earthquake stability, I would suggest that wall cross-bracing is more important. Indeed New Zealand is a high-risk earthquake zone, as witnessed by the recent Christchurch earthquakes.

My answer therefor is that there may or not be an issue with what has been done, but there is definitely an issue with the builder not knowing!

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In my answer there is no access for water to sit on the sill plates. The finish would lay flat or extend pas concrete. –  DMoore Jun 16 '13 at 16:14
    
That's wrong Pete. I live in NZ and just had an extension done. The bottom plate did not extend beyond the edge of the slab at all. It was actually directly along the edge of it. My extension was built by some master builders. Flashings were installed between the bottom of the cladding and the concrete foundation so water will drip off that. –  Matt Jun 21 '13 at 1:56
    
True Matt - I over-generalised to make a point (that it isn't necessarily a bad thing to overhang the slab). In NZ There just needs to be a path for any leaks (thanks to the 'leaky homes' saga). If your cladding extends down past the join of plate to slab then that is also fine. For cheaper building (such as kitset garages) it is more cost effective to just overhang the slab a bit than adding the cost of cladding that extends down past the slab. –  petethegeek Jul 26 '13 at 21:47

No, this is not correct. When the slab was poured, the architect should have specified on the blue prints that 1/2" all thread rods should be placed every so many inches (I don't recall what the US Building Code states at the moment, but I think mine was every 18 or 24 inches when I built my room addition). You are then supposed to take a washer and a nut and attach the bottom plate to the concrete foundation. Finally, you will probably require Simpson Strongtie's to attach the studs to the top and bottom plate to resist shearing forces. Again, this may differ depending on the wind rating in your area (it's required in Florida). The city inspector will probably inspect at slab preparation, framing (including sheathing and insulation and electrical and windows), then final inspection. That's the gist of it. I would imagine this wall will slip over time. I wouldn't trust that framing. Call Mike Holmes!

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The metal bands sticking out between the framing and concrete serve a similar purpose to bolts. They aren't as good as a bolt every 18", but they are embedded in the cement, get wrapped around the framing and nailed in, and should pass code in many locations (unless the codes have changed lately). If you have earthquakes, hurricanes, or tornadoes frequently in your location, then bolts will likely be required, in addition to strapping between the floors and holding down the roof. –  BMitch Jun 17 '13 at 19:47
    
I thought this too but I only saw one band supporting on the picture. I have seen metal banding and it was generally supported every 2 feet. I am not positive on minimum code on this but I wouldn't want my house built this way. Also I don't see any banding on the front wall. –  DMoore Jun 17 '13 at 19:55
    
@BMitch: I am in Florida (so my answer was a little Florida centric) and bolts were required with additional hurricane straps. At any rate, the bottom plate slipped off the edge does not pass the smell test. Also, the sheathing wouldn't lay right so I wonder why they did it this way. –  staticx Jun 17 '13 at 20:54
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I think there are reasons you might do it (foundation insulation on the exterior, siding overlap, etc) but I don't think this is one of them, especially with what looks like a 2x4 and some pretty odd framing. I don't disagree with your conclusion, just wanted to point out that straps are valid in some locations. –  BMitch Jun 18 '13 at 0:31

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