To make a long story short, please check the picture that I took. There are 2 vertical load bearing studs are not parallel. The contractor moved one of the studs to the left at the bottom.

enter image description here

Is that OK to be like that? Or it will be a potential problem in the future?

Thanks in advance!

  • I would say its fine, it is strapped to prevent lateral movement, but i am not an engineer. For peace of mind you could just put another stud in, bottom up against the other and use a level to make it plum and true. Toe nail in place. Sleep well. – Alaska Man Jul 28 '20 at 19:05
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    I'd take a big hammer and whack the top of the stud over to match the bottom before I'd put more lumber in. Toenail the top. Also, I believe that strapping is for the ducts, not the framing. – isherwood Jul 28 '20 at 19:17
  • @isherwood The straps may be for the ducts but they do serve to limit movement of the studs. I would not whack the top of the stud over because that would leave the double top plate hanging unsupported- ish with a joist above not properly supported. – Alaska Man Jul 28 '20 at 19:27
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    You say "several", but only show us one. Is this representative of the lot, or did you get carried away somewhere? – FreeMan Jul 28 '20 at 19:28
  • The leaning stud I'm looking at needs to be moved away from the gap in the plates. The distance it needs to be moved wouldn't cause a support problem for the joist above. – isherwood Jul 28 '20 at 19:41

While the world won't end if it stays, the top of the stud should also be moved. It's easy to do and lazy not to. There are a few reasons:

  • When locating the stud later for mounting photos or whatever a person would be led astray after finding the stud at one height and then trying to hit it at another.
  • Any electrical or other hardware attached to it will also be (slightly) askew.
  • Drywall hangers might be frustrated if their sheet ends on that stud or their screws don't hit in the field as expected.
  • It's technically less strong at a slant, though practically speaking it's not a problem.
  • It looks shoddy. No contractor I'd hire would leave it leaning simply as a matter of pride.

More concerning are the places where joists rest on unsupported plates (due to the plates being cut completely out). Studs should be added against the duct cutouts to support those areas.

  • What about the end of the double top plate that is supporting the end of a joist? I think it would better to add a stud rather than have that top plate/joist slightly cantilevered unsupported. No? – Alaska Man Jul 28 '20 at 19:30
  • You're right, but that wasn't the question. The issue you raise has to do with the plates being cut out. I'll revise to mention that. – isherwood Jul 28 '20 at 19:39
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    @AlaskaMan Good eye. But I think there are three joists supported on cantilevered top plates: the one between the ducts and two more to the right of them. (I'm giving a pass to the other joist between the ducts since it is almost on top of a stud.) It seems the HVAC contractor has made a real mess of things and there are substantial framing repairs needed. – Greg Hill Jul 28 '20 at 19:40

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