What I'm Seeing Now

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Steel Beams With A Great Butt

I love going into a pre-drywall inspection and find things that are excellently done - like, for instance, steel beams with a great butt.

What, you say?  Steel beams have a butt? 

Yes, when they are butted one up against another!

This is a large house, with two steel beams holding up the main level and the load-bearing walls resting above.

It is exceptionally important that when two meet somewhere along the span that they not only butt against each other flush and true, but securely.

It is OFTEN that I see them resting on top of a column with the column ends merely hooked around the bottom of each beam.

In this house the union was terrific!

First, the span of each beam is different, so one is slightly smaller than the other.

That means the tops have to be flush and the bottom needs to accommodate the difference in size.

Notice how this column is attached.

The larger beam is secured to the column with bolts.  The smaller beam rests on a shim. 

To tie the two together everything has been welded to the column.

But, to insure that there is no movement or slippage of the butted ends of the beams, they have  WELDED AND BOLTED a steel plate to both beams, front and back.  That required drilling extra holes.  It also means that the ends are snugged very flush one to the other.

The bulkhead hiding the structural elements is framed accordingly, and will later get drywall.

IT WAS WELL DONE!

Looking at all the steps, including the extra ones, I consider this to be a

Best Practice!

The bottom of the column has its own footer support, and will be surrounded by the concrete slab.

While I am not exactly a butt man, this one impressed me!

My recommendation:  I love pointing out good work to clients who are buying a new house.  They are nervous and any good information from a home inspector is pleasing.  I never miss an opportunity to talk up a home when I get the chance.  We are there, after all, to investigate everything!

 

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 55 commentsJay Markanich • October 18 2013 02:53AM

Comments

Jay: So often all buyers see and hear are the negative issues...so refreshing to know you point out the things done well too!

Posted by Anita Clark, Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA (ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055) about 5 years ago

I try very hard to do that on every inspection Anita, even the houses with lots of issues.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Yes, a rare occasion indeed to find a best practice here on your blog.  Looking forward to reading more.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 5 years ago

That's why I started the Best Practices group a couple of years ago Debbie!  I like posting about that stuff!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

The best thing about identifying a good structural practice is that it always recommends that particular builder. 

I never forget a good home inspection. 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Morning Jay it's always good to see work that makes one glad to have a inspector come in and not worry about what he'll find.

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) about 5 years ago

This is a small, boutique builder Lenn.  Unlike the one the other day, which will get more posts yet.

James - happily on this pre-drywall inspection there was very little to recommend to the client to have the builder correct.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Good morning Jay,

I have to take your word for this.

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) about 5 years ago

It is nice to see good work also from time to time. Also like Lenn said these are the things to remember as in Good Contractor.

Posted by Chuck Mixon, Cutler Bay Specialist, GRI, CDPE, BPOR (The Keyes Company) about 5 years ago
Looks like an excellent job. Nice to see good work exists.
Posted by Bill and MaryAnn Wagner, Jersey Shore and South Jersey Real Estate (Wagner Real Estate Group) about 5 years ago
Jay, I agree! It's nice to see a job well done. No surprises with this one.
Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA about 5 years ago

Well Raymond, it probably looks pretty good to you.  Strong or not strong?  I vote strong!  You can too!

Chuck - too bad this builder isn't building more in the area!

It does Bill!  Which is why I started the Best Practices Group a couple of years ago.

There sure won't be Mike.  Even through the next earthquake!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Too foten in Oklahoma City inspectors are afraid to say anything positive becasue they are so worried about being sued. Thanks for showing that an inspector is an important part of the buying process becasue like the culture of Zappos says, we should deliver happiness.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) about 5 years ago

What liability exists in saying something is well done Joe?  Your inspectors lost me there.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Glad to see you pointed that out.  Does the buyer know this?  It's great to see things done correctly.

Posted by Geoff ONeill (John L. Scott Medford) about 5 years ago

Of course Geoff!  Education is what the inspection is about!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Hi Jay,

At least the contractor didn't end up the butt of the post. Looks like a very solid connection uh "Butt". LOl

Have a good weekend in Bristow.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) about 5 years ago

Wow ... it's really nice to read about a best practice, looking forward to more of these.

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker Serving Sonoma County, CA (Safe Haven Realty) about 5 years ago

Wow! I am usually lucky to see the columbs fastened to the beams at all.

Posted by Juan Jimenez, The Richmond Home Inspector (A House on a Rock Home Inspections LLC) about 5 years ago

I like that, when an inspector makes the buyer feel good about buying the house.

Posted by Dwight Puntigan, Dwight Puntigan (DRP Realty, LLC) about 5 years ago

Looked very solid to me Clint.  When I don't see any connection at all I point it out.

Cynthia - I try to post Best Practices when I can!  I started a group here on AR called Best Practices a few years ago.

I know Juan.  When they aren't I usually recommend a weld tack at least.

That is a part of the process Dwight, at least in my opinion.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

That does look very professional

Posted by Goran Utvic, We Buy & Sell Chicago Houses Fast (606 Homes LLC | Chicagoland Brokers Inc, Chicago IL 60656) about 5 years ago

Jay -- you are right to point this out as a best practice - with the welding and the extra plate and bolts this should be a very secure joint for many years to come.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) about 5 years ago

It looks professional, Goric, because it is!  Well designed.

Steven - it should be secure forever!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

great information here, thanks for sharing your article, and picture

Posted by Sam Lee about 5 years ago

You're welcome Sam!  Stop by anytime!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

It is so important to have an inspector who will carefully examine the property and help the buyers to understand what they actually buying.

Posted by Inna Ivchenko, Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA (Barcode Properties) about 5 years ago

We try to look at everything Inna.  Top to bottom, inside and out!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Woo Hoo attention to BIG detail....and you have more confidence in the attention given to the smaller ones with this kind of work !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 5 years ago

Nice that you are able to show a best practices...seems like most of your teaching moments involve short cuts!

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) about 5 years ago

I try to check it all, S&D, big and small!

Gary - when I can I do!  Which is why I started the Best Practices group on AR.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Wow, so this gets a thumbs up for a best practice? Usually that's not what we see but you have to give them credit for going the extra mile.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) about 5 years ago

It isn't Lyn, but this isn't exactly the extra mile!  This is how it should be!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago
Jay, It's so nice to hear that a house is well-built,even when it's in a hidden spot! It's easy to make things "look pretty" ,but takes a builder with integrity to do the hidden places! Thanks for all your helpful blogs!
Posted by Kathy Opatka, Serving Ocean City, MD, & The Delaware Beaches (RE/MAX CROSSROADS) about 5 years ago

While it looks like a little unsightly, it is apparently just what the code requires! It's nice to see a good job.

Posted by Gerard Gilbers, Your Marketing Master (Higher Authority Markeing) about 5 years ago

As the son-of and brother-of Architects, I too, appreciate excellent workmanship!

Posted by Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Associate Broker, email: Travis@theSOLDman.me / cell: 334-494-7846 (Team Linda Simmons, Enterprise, AL 36330) about 5 years ago

Always makes the purchaser feel more secure about hte entire home when hte inspector points out places where the workmanship went 'above and beyond' what is required.

Posted by Keith Whited (RE/MAX Gateway) about 5 years ago

Just like to add - - There are few things that are better than a great butt!

Posted by Keith Whited (RE/MAX Gateway) about 5 years ago

I would have never known about the best practice in this building project. Thanks for the education.

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) about 5 years ago

Nice, never seen a butt put together so well (at least not in a house).  

Posted by Rafi Footerman, Home Inspector, Mold Inspector, Radon and More! (Mid Jersey Inspections) about 5 years ago

That builder cares! He has some pride in his work. He didn't rely on a couple tack welds; he bolted and welded the 1/4 " plate. I love seeing that detail! It is cool that you pointed that out to your clients!!

Posted by Dana Basiliere, Making deals "Happen" (Rossi & Riina Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Thanks for the informative blog with pictures.  Now I have some idea what to look for, and point out if it doesn't look right!

Posted by Woody Edwards, A Realtor® Who Answers His Phone! (First Choice Realty, Inc) about 5 years ago

This was one informative post!  Great picture to describe what you are talking about.  Love that you explained that the top should be flush with the bottom accomodating.  Learned alot, thanks!

Posted by Des & Spiro Kouridakis, - North Orange County Experts (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices CA Properties) about 5 years ago

Agreed. It is good to point out the good with the not so good. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 5 years ago

Thanks for  your great posts! Keep 'em coming!

Posted by Dora Griffin, NMLS 6380 (D A Griffin Financial.LLC) about 5 years ago

That is one of those little things that could be done poorly and no one would notice.  Great post.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) about 5 years ago

And, Kathy, after drywall installation this would be hidden forever.

Gerard - not sure if the code requires this, but I am interested in Best Practices, which certainly exceed the codes.

Travis - then you would appreciate this!

Agreed, Keith, on both comments!  Oooh, did I say that?

Kimo - well, this would be very representative of a Best Practice!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Rafi - this was a good one!  I have seen a number of good ones...

Dana - for sure this is above and beyond.  My client was appreciative of my pointing it out.

Woody - things have to meet, and be flush, for most strength.

Despina - things have to rest on the top, so it must be level across the entire house.

It is good Jim, which is why I am sure you point out well-done stuff too!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Thank you Dora, and I intend to!

That's right Gene, and once it would be covered up with drywall it is hidden until a problem springs up!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Jay, but, butt, butte, oops wrong but. So a missing bolt or two is not good ; ) 

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) almost 5 years ago

Isn't that a great connection Don?  I really thought it looked good.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 5 years ago

Jay, it looks like someone knew what they were doing on that job.

Posted by Bob Miller, The Ocala Dream Team (Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty) almost 5 years ago

I think they did too Bob!  This was excellent work, in my opinion.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 5 years ago

The quality of those welds does not look all that good to me. Maybe they are strong enough.

Posted by Wayne B. Pruner, Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI (Oregon First) almost 5 years ago

I understand that to be called tack welding Wayne.  To see welding at all is unusual!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 5 years ago

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