Out of Square

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Old 09-15-10, 06:55 AM
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Out of Square

Hello i posted this in the garage part but I suppose it has more to do with framing than anything. I am in the process of putting up a detach garage 24x24.

I noticed that concrete is out of square.

North side is about an 1.5 inches smaller than the south side and the east and west sides are off by about a half inch.

What is the best method in putting these walls up with this out of square? I talked with my neighbor who has done this type of work and he says build it to the size of the slab. Nobody will notice 1.5 inches. What do you guys think, am i being to picky here? If not, would you build the shortest wall and then conform the longer end to match?

Thanks again.
 
  #2  
Old 09-15-10, 07:52 AM
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Not a pro at this, but from my experience you absolutely want the building to be square. If this is a flat slab, raising the perimeter with a solid 4" block would give your siding some relief and give you the opportunity to square things up.

Your next measurements should be the diagonals and then snap some lines to see what size building you can place on what you have. Measuring length and width isn't the whole story.

Is this a slab? How thick and is there a thicker perimeter?

Bud
 
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Old 09-15-10, 08:32 AM
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Thanks for the reply.

What kind of solid block are you thinking like a concrete block along the outside of the slab? Would you just set those blocks on the ground?

Just seemed odd where it was off 1.5" to have the wall sitting on the concrete 3/4 of an inch. My thought was that it might allow water to wick up the treated wood. I always thought it would be best to let the wall hang 1/4" or so over the concrete to prevent any of that. Hopefully you follow there.

It is a flat slab with 12" inch thickened edge.
 
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Old 09-15-10, 09:29 AM
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If you are framing on a poured foundation just square the mudsill to your plan dimensions. Don't frame it out of square.
 
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Old 09-15-10, 10:17 AM
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If you paid a company to pour it you might ask them to fix it. Probably won't but worth asking. You could cut the slab square, maybe too much work.
 
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Old 09-15-10, 10:25 AM
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Wayne, would you allow the sill to hang over 3/4 of an inch over the slab on either side or just the opposite?
 
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Old 09-15-10, 12:07 PM
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You are talking wall lengths, not square. Square is checking diagonals, as Bud said. Unless you are putting down floor tiles (6") that would show the miss, I'd frame the detached garage to the slab.

The siding has to extend past the slab for water control. If you frame it square---- how will you accomplish this without looking "hack"?

Trusses and rafters are both forgiving with that number. Remember to use a sill sealer to protect the framing from water rising through the p.t. bottom plate: Pressure-Treated Sill Plates and the Building Code | GreenBuildingAdvisor.com

Gary
 
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Old 09-15-10, 05:17 PM
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Gary - If a wall is 1 1/2" longer than an opposing wall it is out of square. Can you explain how it could be otherwise? Depending on the plans, the 1 1/2" measured by the OP could make cutting rafters a pain. There could also be extra work landing sheathing. Can you explain how an extra 3/4" overhang at the foundation would look hack compared to a wall 1 1/2" out of square?

When I built my garage the foundation was a bit out of square and out of level. I fixed that with the sills. I didn't have to deal with 1 1/2" (< 1") but all I did was square the sill flush at the widest part of the foundation. It really wasn't a big deal. I did the same thing when I built the addition to my house. Again some tweaking with the sill to get the framing square. Neither look "hack" whatever that is.

I would not put up a building that much out of square if for no other reason than it is crappy workmanship.

Bline22 - FWIW I'm not a contractor so maybe I'm out to lunch. I just know how I was taught to frame a house and I was taught 3 things - square, plumb and level.
 
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Old 09-15-10, 05:32 PM
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Square is a must. Measure the diagonals, a must. You are below the frost areas so no concerns there, but water splashing back up to the siding and sill plate is.

The thought of using a 4" solid block all the way around, right on top of the slab, would raise the framing the extra 4" and also give you the opportunity to make things square. With a 12" haunch around the perimeter, that may not be necessary.

Once you check the square and snap some lines you will know what you are dealing with. The error could be 3" or more. If you are going to frame with 2x6", draw a square approximately 5.5" in from all sides. Depending upon what you find, then you decide to cut, patch, or let the sill hang over. Diagonals are next.

Bud
 
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Old 09-15-10, 05:58 PM
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"I noticed that concrete is out of square.

North side is about an 1.5 inches smaller than the south side and the east and west sides are off by about a half inch." ------ How long is each slab end length, in feet?

Gary
 
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Old 09-15-10, 06:24 PM
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Snap chaulk lines in from the edge of the slab, a couple inches, all the way around - square. (I see, as already suggested)

I too am for building the structure square. It's not that bad to have the walls overhang the slab for part of some side, IMO.

I could not sleep at night if I knew I had to cut roof sheathing and shingles at angles, and cut interior shelves and what not at angles, to match a crooked slab.

I have a feeling that many slabs get poured a little crooked, and compensation is made at the base plate.

Out of curiosity, do you only have a slab and no concrete higher than the slab?, say 1 course of block, or the equivalent in a solid poured wall?, that is higher than the slab? The reason I ask is that is a nice feature so that any water, say hosing the garage floor, does not wick up the walls, especially if you finish off the inside. A good way is when they pour the foundation with the wall above grade say about a foot. Then the slab, poured within it, is pitched toward the overhead garage door, so water can be hose/swept out, without wicking up the finished walls.

If I am understanding what I have been reading - If some concrete border were first set square on the slab -if that is what I am reading here - that surely would have to be bolted(hammer drill/drive-in concrete fasteners, all-thread cut to length so top at least 2 1/4 - 3 inches higher than concrete, holes for these drilled in treated bottom place, then washer, then nut) to the slab, first, I'd think, to meet code, to anchor the garage structure to the slab. Buttering up the bottom with mortar would not be good enough I wouldn't think. Not for a garage especially, since it is even lighter than a house of equivalent size. That is why houses, and garages, use J-bolts in the perimeter of the pour every so many feet, to tie the building down.
 

Last edited by ecman51; 09-15-10 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 09-15-10, 07:36 PM
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When I went to school for carpentry, I learned that it is important to build square from the foundation. If you don't, you will only compound your problems and difficulty by the time you get to the roof. Compensate for that bad pour as best as you can, you will be glad you did later.
 
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Old 09-16-10, 12:42 PM
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Thanks for all of the comments.

The slab for the garage was poured on top of the ground so it is sits about a foot higher than the current ground. The guy that poured the concrete did scrap a few inches of the top soil off and pack it and all that. We had a number of loads of class 5 brought in at that point to build the base up. Once this thing is done I will have to bring in black dirt in to fill around the perimeter.

It is sounding like my best bet is to fix the out of square issue at the sill. Since the slab is already a foot above the ground I don't know if building up the outside with blocking is necessary?
 
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Old 09-16-10, 01:23 PM
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Around here it is very common to use an 4" or 8" high block (6" or 8" thick). This gives an opportunity to make adjustments there or do it partially so when you go to wood for the final squaring. It also raised the wood and siding up to keep it away from the soil (present or future) by the required distance. It also provides a clean curb to make it much easier to clean or flush out a garage from dirt or salt drippings (if you are where it is used).

Dick
 
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Old 09-16-10, 01:53 PM
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From what you have posted ---

two opposite sides are 1/2" shorter than 24'

one side is 1-1/2" short of 24'

The last side we do not know. SO, three sides are the same (1/2" short) with the one side being only 1" shorter than the others (1-1/2" - 1/2" = 1"). If the 1" is hung out over the slab (to square it --- if the other end is 24'), it will be noticeable, at least to me, maybe not to the untrained eye.... OR, maybe the last end/side is also 1/2" short- and to get square you need to shift it 1/2" or 1/4" over the slab. See the pattern here? We don't know how far out of square (think diagonals equal) the slab is----- ONLY the three sides length. If the building is short 1/2" on every wall, and just the one end is short the additional 1"--- I'd frame to the slab. If the building is 4" out of square (diagonally), I'd frame it to the slab and deduct payment from the concrete guy/gal. You certainly don't frame it off the slab......

Gary
 
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Old 09-16-10, 04:23 PM
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Glad you're not my GC Gary. What you are suggesting goes against everything I know about building. I haven't worked as a framer for a lot of years, but I've been part of a franing crew that built at least 50 houses.

An out of square foundation is more common than one that's square. It happens and it's usually no big deal. I'm curious, exactly how much do you deduct from the concrete guy? What if he's been paid?

Your profile says that you are a GC. What would you say to a customer that withholds money because you did not frame his garage square?
 
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Old 09-16-10, 04:30 PM
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Here is another way to look at all this: The garage represents only one flat plane of the building. And since it sits the lowest, any fudging will be least noticed. Then consider all the other planes that would be adversely affected if you framed it out of square, to match the out of square slab.
 
  #18  
Old 09-16-10, 07:17 PM
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Bud mentioned diagonals. We don't know the measurement of the South side yet. We don't have any idea if it is "out of square". Wayne, your talking frame it square without knowing IF it is out of square. The OP is talking measurement of lengths-------- NOT square! Without the last measurement OR the DIAGONALS, we don't know square. We only know lengths, and only three, at that.

If all four side are the exact same length, it can still be out of square. 2, 6, 12" out of square. Think of what you are saying. He may be perfectly square with his existing measurements now. You don't know he's not, just as I don't know he is. He hasn't checked diagonals to find out if it's square.

Gary
 
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Old 09-16-10, 07:54 PM
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He would need the opposite sides to be the same length to know if it is square using diagonals. If he measured his pad and the diagonals were the same, he would have a parallelogram or something else completely bizarre and not close to being a rectangle.
 
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Old 09-17-10, 06:51 AM
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Here are the measurements and my apologies for being a little off with my original posts but I think that is beside the point.

N - 287 1/4
S - 289 1/4

E - 288 1/2
W - 287 3/4

The slab was not square but i didn't write those measurements down but could get them if that helps but was not square. there was nearly an inch of difference between the 2 measurements.
 
  #21  
Old 09-17-10, 06:57 AM
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As I said, checking your diagonals isn't going to help you much. You should check each corner using the 3,4,5 method to see if any of your corners are square. Hopefully you have one that is really close that you can work off of. I would then lay out chalk lines as suggested earlier to figure out the best way to compensate with your sill plate. If you decide that you can only do so much to compensate, I would ensure that the two walls your rafters sit on are perfectly parallel. That will probably give you the least trouble if you had to ultimately frame this building out of square. The closer you get it, the better.
 
  #22  
Old 09-17-10, 06:59 AM
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Measurements

To be exact, the difference between the N and S sides is 2 inches. The difference between the E and W is 3/4 in.

One more question: How straight are the edges of the slab?
 
  #23  
Old 09-17-10, 10:58 AM
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OP, if you live in any of the seismic zones listed on page 2, above fig.3: http://www.codecheck.com/cc/images/CC5thEdSample.pdf you need 2x2, or 3x3” square washers on the corner bolts for shear. Older IRC Codes require “sufficient distance from edge for washer to fully seat on sill (403.1.6.1) UBC 1806.6.1 The Inspector may look for this distance. With the 2x2” washer centered on a 3-1/2” plate, you only have ½” play to move the plate out. If you add a new wedge anchor, it will likely spall the concrete if placed any closer than 1-1/2” to edge of slab. Which would give you ¾” total of play. In the seismic zone here, they require 3x3” washers which give you no play- the “J” bolt better be placed dead center and the washer not hang over the plate.

When I started framing in ’73, others installed nuts (no washers required) with a sledge hammer. lol I used a 12” wrench when I got my license in ’75 and framed small 2200sq.ft. specs. alone for GC’s. Then I used an air impact wrench after I could afford air tools and a helper. Changed to electric impacts when those came out, easier and easier. Of the 4-5 hundred houses I’ve framed, the worst was a detached garage where every stud was a different height within 16”, to have a level top plate. It was 3” out of square- 6” difference in diagonals. The HO did his own concrete work- a 3 car garage, raised thickened slab, very noticeable if you hung it over much and failed framing inspection because of the edge set bolt and washer. Check to see if local B.D. requires washers before you hang out over the slab very much to get it square. Code requires full bearing under the sill plate as wide as the studs. Offsetting the plate with the anchor bolts will negate the shear, lateral and uplift resistance required at the corner wall assembly. Check locally.

Gary
 
  #24  
Old 09-18-10, 02:59 PM
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OP, don’t worry; your slab is not that much out that you can’t adjust for it. Take diagonals again, figure which corner is not square, and draw it on paper with labels. Build to the slab, plumb the walls, make the adjustments in the first (bottom) row of roof sheathing by hanging it over on one edge along the fascia, to cut off later. This small adjustment will line your sheathing ends parallel with the rafter/trusses. It is much easier to cut the bottom edges of one row than each side edge of every sheet. OR, hang the trusses slightly over the wall plates to gain closer to square (this can be noticeable from the ground if 1-1/2”+, check with the truss supplier. It may require a thicker trim at the wall/truss joint to hide the trusses. You will never get square with different lengths but can fudge some if need be, using these methods.

I probably shouldn’t have mentioned to deduct from the concrete person as you may not even have a contract. GC’s use sub-contractors and withhold a percentage of pay until after final inspection passes, for errors resulting in extra work by others or changes to compensate.

As a framer, I made sure foundations were reasonably square and level, with all the required steel hold-downs and pier pads correctly placed in the first hour of work. After informing him of problems or readily visible errors, I worked with the GC to advance with the framing on schedule.

Sorry to cause you even more stress than you have. I’m sure everyone will like the great job you did and not know the finer details…..

Gary
 
  #25  
Old 09-18-10, 04:37 PM
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Gary - Draw a line say 10" long. A couple of inches away draw a parallel line an inch shorter. Draw straight lines connecting the ends of the two parallel lines. How can all 4 corners be square?

Shingle overhang is an eye grabber and not the place to correct for a foundation error.
 
  #26  
Old 09-18-10, 04:54 PM
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Read it again, I said it never will be square. The sheathing will be easier to install without cutting each one. Usually roofing is laid from the bottom edge----- the one I said to rip flush to the fascia. It has to come off the bottom parallel and off the right angle won't show with a staggered pattern.

Gary
 
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Old 09-18-10, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by GBR in WA View Post
Read it again, I said it never will be square. The sheathing will be easier to install without cutting each one. Usually roofing is laid from the bottom edge----- the one I said to rip flush to the fascia. It has to come off the bottom parallel and off the right angle won't show with a staggered pattern.

Gary
My post was in response to this. "We don't have any idea if it is "out of square". Wayne, your talking frame it square without knowing IF it is out of square."

The OP stated that one wall was longer than the opposing wall. I just wanted to know how you would consider that anything but not square.

Do you really think that simply ripping sheathing parallel to the fascia is the way to go? What about landing sheathing edges on cockeyed rafters? Or maybe custom cutting individual rafter lengths becasue the walls aren't square?
 
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Old 09-20-10, 11:54 AM
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Glad you pointed out what Drooplug said in post #19, Wayne, as it made me think -how can we change the lengths to be closer to equal without hanging it over the slab? (and I should have said equal diagonals, not square).

OP, if you are adding sheathing and 2x2 washers, just: snap the shortest wall line (1-1/2") to include the sheathing-1/2", both ends- gain 1".

This will bring your shorter wall within 1" of the other, rather than 2".
The E. and W. walls, bring one side (1/2") in so they are now within 1/4" same length rather 3/4".
Use the sheathing thickness to help lengthen the shorter walls. Check for the best shifting to get closer to having one gable end at right angles with both fascias. Or close. Then pull your truss layout from that gable end. Make up the discrepancy at the other gable end in the gable overhang. All your sheathing will run better without much cutting as if both gables were out of whack.

Thanks, Drooplug

Gary
 
 

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