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Author Topic: Spiked!  (Read 924 times)

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Offline Jeff

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Spiked!
« on: December 06, 2020, 07:23:14 PM »
I was a 23 year old kid working in a sawmill in 1984 when we got the FHA (DONT DO IT! DONT DO IT!) loan to have this house we live in built. I'm no builder. Then, I was the maker of mediocre lumber in a sawmill, however I did recognize some shoddy stuff while they built and I held my ground to get those things right. It took me years if experience to spot some of the other things, like running romex through the back of cabinets to get to the other end of a counter. Or finding a LIVE wire hanging in a wall when we demoed it. little stuff like that.

Fast forward this past week. I noted what looked to be a crease in the laminate kitchen floor. When I walked to the spot, and bounced a bit the floor was noticeably weak. It was right in front of the dishwasher that had leaked just days before. I'm thinking. "Oh No". Maybe the thing had BEEN leaking and now the osb floor was screwed. Only way to know was to get under there. We live in an earthberm home. The under there, is tight, and some where that in 36 years I have seldom gone. There are theatrical cobwebs down there, and the place I needed to go inspect is to the far corner away from the access in the hall closet. Its where there is only about 18" to the joists.

So, I put on an LED headlamp and waited for Tammy to empty the closet so I could get down there. The floor pulls up, and you go in a 24" by 20" hole. Once down there you pretty much have to worm crawl. THANK GOD IM A THIRD SMALLER!  As I tell myself there are no spiders to go with those webs, I squirmed to the center of the house where I had to now cross through a bracewall, thenh head southwest to the far corner of the house. Good news as I approached. nothing looked wet or nothing looked like it was EVER wet. I'm getting closer and I can't see the problem. Jeremy and Tammy were up above and I had Jeremy move to the kitchen where we thought the trouble was and bounce lightly.

I saw it instantly. I wish I had taken a picture, but I Aint Going Back Down There for that. :)

One of the 2 x 12 floor joists was broke completely in half. It would gap open when weight was put on that part of the floor. It broke because there was a great big long red spiked knot at least 2/3s the wide of the board. It was obvious a board like that should never have been stamped for that use, and for a builder to use it? 

The 23 year old me didn't know what a spiked knot was.  The old me squirmed back to the hole and put in a request for some two by blocking material I had saved from cut offs and a mechanical jack I had saved out of the last junked pickup. Crawled back under there, jacked the floor into place, and designated that jaxk as the eternal infernal jack to hold up that spot. :)
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Offline sawguy21

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Re: Spiked!
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2020, 07:34:36 PM »
Isn't that just lovely! Like putting a bandaid on a chest wound. My dad and I ran into a similar problem in an old farmhouse, we had to be creative.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Spiked!
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2020, 07:57:31 PM »
I hate my crawlspace.  First time under i find a snake carcass.  And we have all the poison spiders. 



I was just pithing and moaning to my wife yesterday about lumber stamping.  I need to build a house.  Box store lumber has tripled and code guy retired so theres a new stickler in office..  i probably need stamped lumber now.  It irritates me what trash ive seen on the shelf thats deemed automatically better than what i can procure on my own.  Government doing me more favors i never asked for. 
Revelation 3:20

Offline Don P

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Re: Spiked!
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2020, 11:03:02 PM »
That also concerns me as much as anything on home sawmilled lumber, I know I've slipped up before.

18", why you've practically got a party palace under there  :D

There's about room for a balled up fist under the joists where I'm working and what I can see needs some work. It switches from overspanned sawn 2x8's to powderposted log joists just beyond where we are. Best I can tell where there are tunnels in the softer stuff it starts with the mice, followed by the snakes followed by the groundhogs. I actually tapped one on the shoulder with a 2x4  :D. 36' to go.


 
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Offline celliott

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Re: Spiked!
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2020, 05:29:04 AM »
When we were house shopping a few years ago, we looked at utilizing FHA financing. Then someone told us, if you can afford to do a traditional mortgage, do it! Itll be worthwhile in the end. Used a local credit union, its been smooth and hassle free (except the payment, that kinda bites lol ).
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Spiked!
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2020, 08:42:41 AM »
It took us 15 years to get out from under the thumb of fha. If you make more, they will take more. When we were able to finally refinance with a regular loan, we had to pay back back any subsidized interest, leaving us with zero equity gained after 15 years of payments. We paid off the bank morgage this past spring. So I own that broken floor joist free and clear now.
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Offline sawguy21

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Re: Spiked!
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2020, 11:52:33 AM »
That sounds like our CMHC, I went with them once and lost  the home. Never again!
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Spiked!
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2020, 11:57:15 AM »
To heck with that Don.  

Why is a concrete slab so expensive? CUZ ITS WORTH IT!  


I still have more digging to do under the cabin, laying on my face to do it.  Have to cut the vertical 4" wasteline and shorten it a few inches with a fernco so the stupid thing will actually have downhill pitch instead of uphill.  Idiots are idiots, code cant help them.



I feel for ya jeff.  Lost 80grand of after tax payments on my first house. And probably another 20 of improvements. But the section 8er in there now probably thinks its swell. 
Revelation 3:20

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Spiked!
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2020, 03:32:17 PM »
I have to play tunnel rat every so often but it's a 26" crawl  space .As a teenager working for a plumbing and heating contractor  I spent many a day in crawl spaces you had to use a  folding army shovel to get through .Houses build almost on the ground in about 1920 .Built with no central heating systems and thus no duct work .I might have weighed at the most 140 pounds 50 plus years ago .

Offline Raider Bill

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Re: Spiked!
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2020, 05:12:53 PM »
Most every house in Florida is either built slab on grade or a couple of blocks on dirt.

Mine was slab on grade then in 64 all 2300 sqft was moved about 5 miles to where it sits now.

They put it on piers so I have between 3 and 4' of clearance to get to all my plumbing and some electrical. All other electrical is in the attic.

My problem is when I built my addition I had to raise the floor where my access is to the crawlspace in order to plumb in a toilet drain so now I have about a 12-18" hatch to slither through in order to get underneath.

It's pretty neat when underneath if you look up you are looking at the bottom of a slab.

To make things a bit different the original house was a poured block 1 bedroom bungalow about 450 square ft. Whoever back in the day then built the 2300 completely around it so the original is now in the center surrounded by more house and is now the master "suite" and safe room.

When I go into the attic the original roof is the attic floor in that area complete with asphalt shingles

I'm told that he was given the house for a dollar but had to move it. Some Doctor. He picked a nice place to drop it in my opinion.

Underneath the old house area the piers are supporting the footers which now are 3' up in the air.

The First 60 some years of childhood is always the hardest.

Offline Don P

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Re: Spiked!
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2020, 06:08:05 PM »
Wow, that was a move!
Email just came in that my new jackhammer had been delivered so I just went down to the sawmill, yup, poor guy, they stuck 140 lbs in one box (jackhammer, tools and hand truck) and he carried it around the log pile and set it under the roof. No way was I doing that, I flipped the box end for end to the back of the truck. I guess we know what Santa is bringing me for under the tree  :D.

In my pic above you can see their "pier", a 2x4 dangling from one joist that was sitting on a little rock with dirt around it, termite bait  ::). I see a few more of those ahead, basically mid joist span under walls above. Things have improved over the years. "They don't build them like they used to", Yeah right  :D.

I put half of this house on a crawl, half on a raised slab. Plumbing and heavy wiring are in the crawlspace. I made it ~3' and poured a thinnish "rat slab" under there over drained gravel and plastic vapor barrier. I try to do that whenever I can, much nicer when you have to go under and the trades do better work when they are comfortable.
The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester

Offline Magicman

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Re: Spiked!
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2020, 09:14:35 PM »
A sad thing about graded framing lumber is that they are allowed a certain % to be below grade.  This means that in a bunk of #2 lumber there will be a few that are graded & stamped #2 but are actually #3 or less.  I can assure you that if they are allowed, then they will be there.  If the builder does not identify and remove these wrongly graded & stamped boards, they go right into the home.  They should correctly be shortened to be used for bracing, headers, purlins, etc.

I have had home owners/builders to comment that the worst lumber in their homes is some that they had to buy to supplement what was rough sawn.  I prefer that my framing lumber be #1 with some #2.  Knotty logs make siding and paneling, not framing lumber.
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Offline Don P

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Re: Spiked!
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2020, 11:18:35 PM »
The folks from the grading agency said basically the same thing about small sawmill lumber, it is generally well above grade. Much of what I've sawn and used is really SS, the higher grades don't get pulled out of our pack of "#2 and btr" in a small operation. The trick is to not have the #3 slip through.  With commodity stuff I've rolled through bundles when the crew complained, the bundle is not really stuffed with low grade, a true #2 is simply not a pretty stick. Most of us would have a hard time consciously sending it out. However it didn't take all that long for me to find some off spec stuff at the big box one night to take in to grading class the next day. Next time you think that, pull out the grading book and actually, really, grade that bad stick. One thing the instructor, an auditing grader who goes to mills and checks, pounded into our heads was that he wanted us to get every stick through in the grade but if he finds more than a very few below grade he is going to be pulling stacks of that graders and if they are off he will pull your ticket. 

I've worked on quite a few old houses, it is better now in engineering and in grade than it used to be. A good carpenter does sort and tries to bump the grade up at the sawhorses when possible or use lower grade stuff in lower stress places. In all that as Jeff's joist shows, stuff does get through.

In another thread in the last day or two I mentioned that the native lumber laws apply to dimensional, light framing lumber. There is a lot of redundancy in a stick frame, the loss of a single member is not likely to lead to collapse. The user there wanted to use that exemption for a timberframe. There is much less redundancy there, the loss of a single member can lead to a collapse. 

One thing I've learned on my own stuff is to have extra so as not to get into a "have to use every stick" situation, and to be dispassionate. Just because I let it go through 8 handlings doesn't mean it needs to go into the house. The mistake was I should have rejected it right off the saw. My partner learned that the other day. He brought out some framing he had sawn and run through the kiln. There had been a shakey log. We made 2 piles, one is unpaid and will be form, temp bracing or jobsite wood barrel stuff. It really should have been culled several steps earlier, every extra step just wasted money. It wasn't intentional, most of this stuff happens out of ignorance, teaching moments.
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Re: Spiked!
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2020, 03:59:11 AM »
Can't find a 2 x 12 these days without pith down the middle. And that will check every time. Think of a stair stringer, and your tread is on a checked triangle wedge. Good thing there is 4 of them. :D It's what happens when forest management shifts from 80 year to 30 year rotations. At one time that would have been sawed from a 24"+ tree (tree because unless it was pine, there was very few spruce up here with a 24" top at 16 feet even in the old days. West coast trees yes. ;)

Thank goodness for full walk out basements, no crawling for me, nor tossing wood down little basement windows. :D
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: Spiked!
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2020, 07:28:37 AM »
I hate my crawlspace.  First time under i find a snake carcass.  And we have all the poison spiders.



I was just pithing and moaning to my wife yesterday about lumber stamping.  I need to build a house.  Box store lumber has tripled and code guy retired so theres a new stickler in office..  i probably need stamped lumber now.  It irritates me what trash ive seen on the shelf thats deemed automatically better than what i can procure on my own.  Government doing me more favors i never asked for.
https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=90716.0  Mike you know about the TN native lumber law?
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Offline jtmccallum

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Re: Spiked!
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2020, 11:21:58 AM »
I appreciate my basement even more.  First house was a walkout. Our house now has a full basement with base board heat and a fireplace.  8)
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Spiked!
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2020, 02:18:46 PM »
I gave up on "economy " lumber decades ago . You spend more time trying to use sled runner stuff than it would cost to just buy the good stuff at the start .With half of California on fire and the storms on the east and south coasts this year the market will get hit with some really bad quality stuff is my bet . 


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