basement framing blunder

Old 11-13-02, 05:48 PM
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Question basement framing blunder

I have just completed (almost) the framing of our basement. After discussing with a friend the value of getting a permit and inspection from the county, he told me that for insurance purposes, if nothing else, I should get it done. So... my delema is... I framed without using pressure treated wood for the bases and have been told by the county that I need to in order to meet code. Not wanting to rip up all of my work, I am looking for alternatives. I heard that there may be felts that can work by simply pulling out the framing and reatatching to the floor with felt under it?? Any ideas would be appreciated. Also, does anyone know if the insurance (and resale) issue is valid? By the way, I live in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

Old 11-13-02, 08:15 PM
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It seems to me that if you are willing to tilt the walls up to install felt under the bottom plates, it isn't a real big stretch to remove the 2x4's and replace them with PT. Yeah, it's a job I also wouldn't want to do. But code is code -- especially since the county now knows what you're doing.
Old 11-14-02, 07:26 PM
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I didn't give the county my name or address .. at least I was that smart
Old 11-14-02, 08:11 PM
bungalow jeff
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It is code for a reason. Longer lasting, quality construction is worth the effort.
Old 11-14-02, 08:57 PM
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Unless the sole plate is not visible from anywhere (even inside a storage room), there's a good chance that a buyer's home inspector would point out this code violation on the inspection report. And this may hint that there was no permit, which may hint that there may be a number of other code violations.

In fact, with no permit, you may unknowingly violate other codes, some of which may create worse hazards than this one. Not all hazards are readily evident until disaster strikes.

One way to fix this is to use a sawsall to cut the nails between the sole plate and all the studs. Then remove the old sole plate, slip in a PT one, and toenail the studs to the new sole plate.
Old 11-15-02, 05:47 AM
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Forgive the long, semi-OT post ...

The thing about permits is, they will cost money and increase your tax burden. But as a DIYer, I'd rather know that I'm not doing something stupid that will come back to haunt me.

Here are a few things the inspector found when I bought my house (built in '73):
-- 50-amp electrical mains (60 required)
-- No railing around the 40' x 10' rear deck (FHA requirement for decks higher than 11(?) inches).
-- Broken toilet seat hinge. (Again, FHA.)

No big deal. Since the owner lived 1500 miles away, I agreed to do the work on my nickel and have it re-inspected.

Here are things the previous owner did that the inspector didn't catch:
-- A ceiling fan in the bedroom. From the attic access, the wiring was hidden. But when I climbed up there, I found eight spliced-together 12-inch-long pieces of white and black 14-gauge wires connecting it to an open junction box. It looked like a string of Christmas lights. (At least he used the proper size wire nuts!)
-- The exhaust fan in the bathroom had no duct through the roof. It simply moved the air (and humidity) from the bathroom to the attic.
-- 12-gauge romex stuffed between a door jamb and a stud in the attached garage. It had been spliced with electrical tape. When I plugged a space heater into that circuit, the splice announced itself as billowing smoke from above the door. (This was a "professional" installation of the door!)
-- When we remodeled the kitchen, I found two buried electrical boxes inside a wall. No covers.
-- The pool filter power receptacle was sealed in an outdoor enclosure atop a chunk of PVC conduit, but the cable was a standard 14-gauge extension cord buried underground and plugged into a receptacle under the deck. No conduit.

The lot survey did not show the deck or the above-ground pool, meaning that no permits had been pulled. The deck was also a "pro" installation.

What concerned me most was that the previous owner was a supposed tradesman -- a plumber. I'm happy that he's now 1500 miles away.

This house will be around long after I'm gone. I've corrected these and other things, not only for my own safety, but also for those who will live in the house after me.

Please, pull a permit and get the house inspected!
Old 11-15-02, 06:06 AM
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OK, point made. I was really planning on getting the inspection done anyway. But, now that I am going to be good, how do I get problem I created taken care of? The idea of sawing the nails and slipping in new wood is probably what I'll end up doing. Any other thoughts would be welcomed. Thanks
Old 11-21-02, 05:44 AM
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Thanks for the input all. I did use a sawzall to change out the plates, only to be told by the county that I was OK without PT wood, since I have a new house and the entire house would have been wrapped in a vapor barrier. Live and learn
Old 11-21-02, 10:31 PM
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Building permits & inspections

This thread is a perfect example of why we must get our permits and talk with the building inspector regarding our plans, building codes and inspections. We have had posts on this website where realtors have houses on the market and they have had to tear out finished basements because they were not built according to code.

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