What I'm Seeing Now

head_left_image

They Were All Shelved And Shimmed, But They Weren't All Stuck.

They were all shelved and shimmed, but they weren't all stuck.  And they should all be stuck.

What?  Really, what?

Obviously this steel beam, and all the steel beams in in this new construction in fact, is resting comfortably.

The steel beam support code is simple.  It says that a steel beam should rest on a "corbel," a fancy word for a shelf or jutting support made of solid material, that is two thirds as deep as the beam is wide.

This beam is 6" wide.  Therefore its corbel, or shelf support, should be at least 4" deep.  And all over the house the beams were well supported.

Because foundation walls are poured with fairly rough framing, areas may not be exactly of the proper height for the top of the beams to be level with the surrounding locations.

To gain a more exact, and proper, height, so that everything in the house begins on a level plane, the beams are shimmed.

The most common shims I see are metal.  Small, metal plates, in fact.

They are literally shoved in there with each other and the beam is laid on top.

But things can move!  An earthquake can shift things dramatically.  And a corbel is defined as SOLID material.  So the shims must be tack welded to each other, and to the beam.

 

 

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 13 commentsJay Markanich • April 27 2015 03:35AM

Comments

Good morning Jay another day of learning here in the Rain.  Thanks we all appreciate the information you provide to us.  

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) about 4 years ago

Thank you James.  So now you going to go listen to "Shimmy Shimmy Koko Bop?"

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

These shims are easily visible, even when they're not present and a beam may be clearly out of level. 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 4 years ago

This makes a lot of sense Jay, especially the welding of the shims.

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) about 4 years ago

That makes a lot of sense, but is something I wouldn't even have thought about until seeing your post!  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) about 4 years ago

It may be Lenn, but this one looked pretty good.

Tom - that is the practice.  I have not read it in the code, but maybe.  Columns used to be bolted to the beams, but now, mostly, they are welded.

Kat - it does make sense!   And columns should be attached at the base.  On garage walls they should be bolted.  I always look.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

Clever to run a weld bead on the outside of the shims. Was the beam bolted to the concrete?

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 4 years ago

As Fred said, that beam would not fly out here because it might fly away.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 4 years ago

No Fred.  The concrete is bolted to the ground.

Charlie - when pigs fly steel beams will fly.

By the way, how do you like the weld beads on this downspout?

Think it will fly away?

Very, um, artsie fartsie - Post Modern Upscale, don't you think?

I guess the glove is to practice safe downspouting.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

Wow, it could be that the ground is bolted to the concrete you know... the tin man says it all

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 4 years ago

Maybe the bolts are how the house gets electricity, kind of like Frankenstein's monster?

The house and electrical system are grounded after all.

Haha...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

Jay,

That is some questionable work.  Is it normal to have a beam support so close to the edge of the foundation?

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) about 4 years ago

Yes, Stephen, required.  The steel beam in this case needs to be inserted 4" into the foundation wall.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments