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Author Topic: building a house out of wood we cut  (Read 331 times)

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Offline apeevy

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building a house out of wood we cut
« on: July 10, 2019, 05:52:53 AM »
We are in Va and would like to use our own wood for our house. I know soft wood requires a stamp but can you build with hardwood without a stamp? Any input is greatly appreciated.

Offline Chuck White

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Re: building a house out of wood we cut
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2019, 06:47:45 AM »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum, apeevy!
~Chuck~
Retired USAF (1989), Retired School Bus Driver (2012), and now a Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG2425 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider, Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener and single-tooth setter, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain a Wood-Mizer

Offline Don P

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Re: building a house out of wood we cut
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2019, 07:28:12 AM »
No, the same rules apply.
In the first paragraphs of each chapter of the building code dealing with framing it calls for grading per ALSC's DOC PS-20 for any structural lumber. The tables in the codebook list allowable loads and spans for the most commonly used commodity softwoods. It then goes on to say that if you are using other species they are listed in the document "allowable spans for joists and rafters". For a grader go to the Timber Products Inspections website and hit transient grading services. SPIB is another agency that may have a grader nearby.

Here's a reference list;
Codes are here, we are on the 2015 version but you can choose to use the 2012 until Sept during the transition period, for this it doesn't matter its the same in both;
https://vbcoa.org/resources/codes/
Residential code;
https://codes.iccsafe.org/content/VRC2015
Chapter 3, read and understand the first paragraphs. Go to chapter 1, R112 the section on alternative materials, if agreeable to the building official an engineer can write a letter stating that the material is sufficient for the loads and spans. In other words, at the BO's discretion he may allow an engineer to grade rather than a certified lumber grader.

AFPA's span tables for joists and rafters, right column under span tables, choose '12 or '15
https://awc.org/codes-standards/publications
top of that page click on the calculators and software tab and then the span calc. That is an easier way to get the same allowable spans but the code reference is for the document so reference it in your plans.
The code referenced WFCM manual is also on that page, it won't help you here just noting where to find it.

The beam calculators in the toolbox on this site are based on the publication DA6 on the page above, they comply with the methods described in the NDS and "accepted engineering practice" as referenced in the code but do not substitute for that stamp. In other words they help with planning but not approval.

Good luck... can you tell I've banged my head against this wall. Write your representatives, let's change these repressive laws. They are designed to unduly burden the small operators, directly outside of the original mandate.
A laborer works with his hands
A craftsman uses his brain and his hands
An artist uses his brain, his hands, and his heart


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