Suppose I have a continuous joist supported somewhere in the middle. For ease let's say it's a 24 foot continuous joist, and there's a bearer right in the middle at the 12 foot mark.

Here's a picture I found online.

Image found online

I know I should not notch or bore in the middle 1/3 of the joist. Does a bearer make this joist two spans per this image?

Can I notch between 0'-4', 8'-16', and 20'-24'?

Or 0'-8' and 16'-24'?

1 Answer 1


Answering my own question after a more thorough reading of the spec.

R502.8.1 Sawn lumber. Notches in solid lumber joists, rafters and beams shall not exceed one-sixth of the depth of the member, shall not be longer than one-third of the depth of the member and shall not be located in the middle one-third of the span.

And it includes this very helpful graphic:


So the answer is:

  • A bearer does make a continuous joist into two spans.

  • I can notch between 0'-4', 8'-16', and 20'-24'.

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