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Structural Inspections Contains discussions about the structural portion of a home inspection. This includes foundations, framing, etc.

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  #1  
Old 3/22/11, 12:36 AM
Stephen P. Shockley's Avatar
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Default Steel plate shims

Hi,

I had this house that I inspected last weekend that had these steel plate shims on top of every pier, except for one. It looks as though whoever did the block work had every Pier set about 3/8" to 1/2" to low. Is this standard practice in construction, because I've never seen it before until now where it was on every Pier. There was one Pier with nothing on it and had a gap above to the girder. Any thoughts appreciated.

Regards,

Steve
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Steel plate shims-capparellf-031911-165-jpg   Steel plate shims-capparellf-031911-178-jpg  



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  #2  
Old 3/22/11, 1:29 AM
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Default Re: Steel plate shims

Not a problem. If as a contractor you set piers too high, you have a problem... humps in the floor. Getting them all close to perfect is possible but time consuming (expensive). If you set them slightly low, common practice is to shim girders with steel shims (that won't compress over time) to make everything flat and level. Very common practice and perfectly acceptable. If you see piers with no shims... the floor is probably not flat and level, or the contractor didn't make any money, or the original homeowner paid too much.



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Last edited by kshepard; 3/22/11 at 1:32 AM..
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  #3  
Old 3/22/11, 7:06 AM
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Wayne B. Wilson, TN 439 Wayne B. Wilson, TN 439 is online now
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Default Re: Steel plate shims

I agree, The problem we have here they use OSB or Plywood for shims sometimes.



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Old 3/22/11, 9:38 PM
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Default Re: Steel plate shims

Kenton, for the one pier where they didn't use a shim and there is an apparent gap of about 3/8", would you recommend that the gap be filled in with some metal plate?



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  #5  
Old 3/23/11, 1:10 AM
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Default Re: Steel plate shims

I once had a local code official make me jack up the steel "I" beam of a house I built and replace my steel shim with one manufactured as a shim. What was my steel shim? I used a worn out circular saw blade. I tried to explain to him that a circular saw blade is made of better steel than the shim he wanted, but he wouldn't listen to reason. I sent him the old blade in the mail for Christmas.
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Old 3/23/11, 11:19 AM
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Default Re: Steel plate shims

Thanks to everyone else for their comments and advice. Regards, Steve



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  #7  
Old 3/24/11, 12:36 AM
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Default Re: Steel plate shims

Quote:
Originally Posted by sshockley View Post
Kenton, for the one pier where they didn't use a shim and there is an apparent gap of about 3/8", would you recommend that the gap be filled in with some metal plate?
Yep... pretty easy to do. Then you have solid bearing.



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  #8  
Old 8/31/18, 2:18 PM
David E. Dykeman David E. Dykeman is offline
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Default Re: Steel plate shims

If there are a stack of shims as shown in pic... do they need to be welded together?
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  #9  
Old 10/11/18, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: Steel plate shims

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddykeman View Post
If there are a stack of shims as shown in pic... do they need to be welded together?
No. The weight of the structure will hold them in place.



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Old 10/11/18, 11:04 PM
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Default Re: Steel plate shims

Here' a document I wrote when I was a practicing Building Official about the use of shims. This was my policy.

https://cloversc.org/docview.aspx?docid=25330



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Old 10/12/18, 11:07 AM
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Default Re: Steel plate shims

What's wrong with one plate set the right height on non-shrink grout before you start framing.?



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Old 10/12/18, 7:11 PM
David E. Dykeman David E. Dykeman is offline
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Default Re: Steel plate shims

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfunderburk View Post
Here' a document I wrote when I was a practicing Building Official about the use of shims. This was my policy.

https://cloversc.org/docview.aspx?docid=25330
Thanks for the info. It Helps...
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  #13  
Old 10/12/18, 8:13 PM
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Default Re: Steel plate shims

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcyr View Post
What's wrong with one plate set the right height on non-shrink grout before you start framing.?
........................nothing.

I've seen OSB shims fairly often and never seen one crushed. I know it's not supposed to be right but typically I don't even mention it. Realistically, I don't see it as a problem, and if an inspector called it on a home I was selling, I wouldn't pay a contractor to come out and change out all the OSB shims for steel, and I wouldn't drop the price.

Possible exception: if it were in a location where it might suffer decay. Of course, steel shims corrode.


The only crushing I've ever seen was a double 2x6 post supporting a triple 2x12 built-up girder supporting floor joists in a 10,000 sq. ft log home. The bottom of the girder had crushed a good inch.



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Last edited by kshepard; 10/12/18 at 8:42 PM..
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  #14  
Old 10/12/18, 8:26 PM
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Default Re: Steel plate shims

That's what I thought.



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