Another disaster

Discussion in 'Framing and Foundation' started by nealtw, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. Nov 19, 2012 #1

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Went to look at a little repair!! Let me start by explaining what happens with these new houses with all this open space. Everything above these open spaces is held up with engineered beams, steel or wood or engineered girder trusses. The key word is engineered from the people who decide on the design of the roof to the geo-tech that checks the strength of the dirt the footing will sit on and they pay more attention to where the load will land on the footing.
    The homeowners wanted to take a wall down only eight feet long. Contractor #1 determined it was a non-bairring wall and started to remove it. They found a 4ply 2x6 post 2 ft from one side and did some more checking and found a 3ply girder truss sitting on it. They refused to go further without an engineer being involved and they were sent packing as they were just trying to run the bill up.
    Contractor#2 Says no problem and removes the post and installs a 3ply 2x10 beam from the outside wall to the wall beside the staircase 9ft, no big deal. They evan run extra studs in the two walls and went down stairs and added more studs in the staircase wall and solid blocking to the high foundation on that side.
    All sounds good if you say it fast. Over a few monthe beam sagged a little and the doors started to fall out of sq up stairs.
    We found the beam has sagged 1 1/2" but was also out of level so we checked the basement and found the curb wall at the staircase had broke in two places and sunk another inch.
    Contractor #2 is nowhere to be found.
    I suggested putting it back the way it was or calling an engineer, but I was as bad as contractor #1 and just wanted to run the bill up.
     
  2. Nov 19, 2012 #2

    JoeD

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    And the people still think you and contractor one are wrong and #2 is right. Walk away as fast as you can run.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  3. Nov 20, 2012 #3

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

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    Do what Joe said, run don't walk. Some jobs you are better off not having.
     
  4. Nov 20, 2012 #4

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    The running part was never in question. It is scarry what people do to houses.
     
  5. Nov 21, 2012 #5

    BridgeMan

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    Extremely simple remedy would have been for the homeowner to get a competent structural engineer involved from the beginning. That person could have spent a half an hour to determine, that yes, the wall was load-bearing, and should not be removed without providing adequate, alternate load paths. The P.E. who stamped the original plans would probably have done the work for chump change, being familiar with the property and knowing how best to remove the wall/retrofit a new support system.
     
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  6. Nov 21, 2012 #6

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    We have even had engineers willing to move large loads to a curb like this without looking into footing size. We have started drilling holes thru the floor to find footing depth and width both where the load is and where the load is going. One time we found that the plumber had removed footing to run his drain thru. That was after the engineer had aproved the move, he was not happy but now he calls for the holes to be drilled.
    I like engineers, when I make a mistake they talk like I'm stupid, when they make a mistake, well we,re human and we all have to work together to catch mistakes.
     
  7. Nov 23, 2012 #7

    BridgeMan

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    How nice of you to say you like us engineers, neal. But please, no kissing on the lips.
     
  8. Nov 23, 2012 #8

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Engineers are held in higher place because of there education, some just demand respect, others earn it. :p
     
  9. Nov 23, 2012 #9

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    And I have worked with, believe or not, political appointee engineers.
    If they did something right they got credit, if they did something wrong someone else was blamed. These guys did not know how to bias a transistor (and they should have).

    And the Chief Scientist of this company was an anal expulsive character if there ever was one.

    Thank God I got to see that this company did not fare well in the long run. Reality Bites.
     
  10. Nov 24, 2012 #10

    inspectorD

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    The company that went under sounds great...but the reality is those guys are still out there..freelancing off their "Political Crudentials".
    I just went through this with a bid project I oversee...what a bunch of tools these guy's are. I would have done better with a Train engineer...at least they have common sense.
    People are what they are, a degree is a about as useful as toilet paper in certain areas of the world.No matter where you take a S%&T , you always need toilet paper.;)
    But they just don't get it.
    Ok...done with my rant. :D
     
  11. Nov 24, 2012 #11

    BridgeMan

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    And while we're ranting about how inept and totally ignorant engineers are, let's not forget that a good proportion of those people advertising themselves as "engineers" are not actually registered professional engineers. Meaning they either don't possess the required engineering degree, and they don't have documented experience in their field of practice, and haven't taken (and passed) the series of tests required by their particular state or province. The tests are usually 8 or 16 hours long, and quite difficult to pass--knew one guy who needed to take the Colorado P.E. exam 11 times before he passed it.

    When hiring an engineer, one should always do a search of all candidates' registration information in the state or provincial licensing agency website, to determine if the individuals are at least registered as professional engineers (and don't have a ton of disciplinary actions against them for not following the rules).
     
  12. Nov 26, 2012 #12

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    I wouldn't put most down for their faults just some, just like any other profession. I have run into a few DESIGNERS. I don't know what training they have but some of them are scrary.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012

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