Thursday, November 18, 2010

Beat to Fit - Part Deux

On this episode of "Beat to Fit, Paint to Match", we have this dandy plate washer that was bent to allow the sheetrock to be attached to the wall.  The stud wall in question consists of 2x4's at 16.  The plate washer, if I remember correctly, is 2"x2".  You can see that the problem is the location of the anchor bolt, which barely fits behind the edge of the sill plate.  For a 3 1/2" wide sill plate, there is a tight tolerance for locating the anchor and placing a 2" plate washer.  Had this been a 3" plate washer, there would be a 1/4" tolerance each way from the center of the plate.  

I have to ask, at what point would it be better to use post-installed anchors instead of cast-in-place?  From conversations with two different Contractors, a Titen HD is about twice the material cost of an L-bolt.  For a job with 50+ housing units, that would be a substantial impact on the overall cost.  In my opinion, labor savings may cover the cost difference, especially when bolts and/or studs have to be replaced when they align with each other (see previous posts).  If the framing crew is working on contract, and not by the hour, then the labor savings may not be seen by the owner.     

Friday, November 5, 2010

Beat to Fit

I woke up last Monday morning in a hotel in Mississippi.  It was one of those almost cool, humid Southern mornings with an overcast sky and the promise of rain.  I was excited to get to the job site and get to work.  My excitement was more about getting finished so I could make it home to my first Preparing for Parenthood Class than it was for being on-site.  I do enjoy being on-site, but for that day it was trumped by thoughts of the arrival of my first child.  Anyway, I should at least say that I was pleasantly suprised by the framing conditions I found.  I am not that pessimistic, but problems often arise in wood framing construction. 

I was on my 20th, and last, house when I discovered the beauty below.  I can understand the need to cut a stud because the anchor bolt is in a bad position.  I have seen that happen many times now.  This may be the first case where someone decided to beat the stud into submission rather than use a power saw.  Maybe it was early in the morning and this guy was full of extra energy.  Maybe he was just wielding his authority with his all-mighty hammer.  Maybe the wiley ole-timer did this and had the panel set in place before the young thinker could get the saw out of the tool box.  I just could not help being reminded of the old saying "Beat to fit, paint to match."