2x4 main beam or stud wall supporting floor joist

Inspecting house today that was built in 2004 and I found an issue with the main beam (girder). The floor joist were supported with pressure treated 2x4’s, has anyone ever seen this type of application ?? (I haven’t in my 7 yrs. of inspecting. Any advice would be appreciated. If its a stud wall concept then what about the double top plate? TKS





Stop it. You’re scaring me.

I didn’t pull out the code book to double check but if I recall correctly, the minimum size for a girder at the lowest snow load is two 2 x 8s and that’s without much of a span (maybe 5’?) and only one floor above. The posts supporting the girder are supposed to be a minimum 4 x 4.

Also, the left most post in your photo appears out of plum, one of the joists does not appear to rest on the beam and I don’t see any blocking at the joist ends.

Correct, good eye. I think the girder has a min. size of 2- 2x6’s 5 ft. support for 1 floor. TKS

I just looked at the photos on my computer since earlier I was looking at a postage stamp photo on my phone. I should have been more specific: Is it the camera angle or, in the second photo, is the left joist a fraction of an inch above the beam (for lack of a better description of whatever that is)?

I also see efflorescence around the lower mortar joints on the foundation wall.


I ran some quick numbers assuming the house was 24’ wide 1-story high with no interior load bearing walls (engineered trusses). Then 2x4s- 4’ high @ 16" centers are adequate. This wall would fall under a load bearing wall design or cripple wall design in section 602 of the IRC code book. In a perfect world the studs would not bow or twist, but if I designed the wall I would have added a horizontal 2x4 brace end to end at mid-height.

Wouldn’t a double top plate be required ? TKS

My pocket guide to the ICC doesn’t show spans for buildings with a width of less than 28’ but the actual code does. I guess that’s why it’s just a pocket guide.

Sam a double top plate is not required if the studs are placed directly below each floor joist.

So you would recommend cross bracing and how about PT plywood on one side of wall for additional support.

I had a crawlspace like this yesterday.


PT plywood would be fine. Note this additional bracing is technically not required, but only a recommendation at this point unless there is considerable bowing on several 2x4 studs.


I forgot to add the following CYA note:

As Randy said, not a problem.

No different than advanced Framing techniques. :slight_smile:

Good point Marcel!

Not an issue as Marcel said. Mid span blocking would stop any bowing and is what I would recommend i this situation.

Nice pictures, I see the double top plate ( I know its not required, but it looks more structurally sound then what I have)

It is, but the other is adequate to meet the structural load. :slight_smile:

I agree.

That is 6x6 wall framing. Look acquitted the lumber cut look true 2" by 6" true. I could be wrong. Normally I am use to seeing saw cut rough finish on true dimension lumber…
Ether/or look at the fasteners. “Ouch e wa wa” amigo. A good ground shake will have the load shifted in no time flat.

NOTE: Look at the efflorescence on DSC04377.JPG (1 of 4) The CMU’s are damp. Get any IR photos?

double top plate is the narrative I think.