Does anybody else have a problem with this??

Brand new house to close June 21.

The opening to the bulkhead from the basement is 40" wide. The double sill plate spanning this opening has two floor joists within the opening. Am I crazy to recommend a header be installed?

Handrail posts are not secured with any type of bolt, only 5 galvanized nails. A problem here?? I think so.

Also found a 2x8 floor joist with a 3" crack, from the bottom up.

The house is supposed to be built to National Home Builders Code, by contract. Does anybody know if the “header” or deck post installations follow this code?






In the first picture, the installation is ok, as the rim joist is acting as the header supporting the joist. In the second picture, did you look on the underside of the framing for a bolt, or is the post sanwiched between two joist?

Agree - with the “Robert’s” comment with respect to the rim joist.

I did look underneath, there are no bolts and if I remember correctly, the post is not sandwiched between the joists.

Thanks for your input.

Is there such a code? I couldn’t find any evidence of it on the NAHB website.

Even if there were, the IRC would override it in 48 states, and whatever code has been adopted elsewhere would, also.

I don’t like that riser for the stairs in pic#2, the way it hangs in the air at the upper end and is cut too deeply at the notches, that is shabby.

pg 104 section R502.10 of the IRC states that openings in floor frameing shall be framed with a header & trimmer joist when the header joist span does not exceed 4 ft the header joist may be a single member of the same size as the floor joist.single trimmer joist may be used to carry a single header joist that is located within 3 ft of the trimmer joist bearing the rest deals with a larger span, also the IRC says nothing on fastners of handrails

Lack of header isn’t great but not suprising where they’re trying to maintain headroom. I’d mention it but wouldn’t make a big deal out of it.

Posts will eventually be loose as over time thermal expansion and contraction wil enlarge the nail holes. Poor construction practice but not presently a defect unless it’s already loose.

Are you sure the rim hasn’t been “doubled” across the opening?

That would be a possibility, but you would have to pull the insulation away to look and if that were the case of the doubled rim joist, joist hangers would be appropriate since the sill plate is not really a ledger board.

If the railing holds up to a 200 lb. force, I would not worry about it.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

I went back and looked at the deck today just to make sure I was corrct in what I saw.

The end post to the house is bolted in with carriage bolts, the corner post has 5 nails on 2 sides and so does the end post by the stairs.

I should also mention the deck is not flashed, when I pulled on the stair handrail the bottom step closest to the house lifted off the ground (diagonally) and the stairs are not on any footing just a couple of inches of crushed stone.

I don’t think the rimjoist is doubled, if it were the joists would not extend as far onto the sill plates as they do. I do have a copy of the 2006 IRC, but being new to looking at codes, I am having a hard time finding what I am looking for.

I have also never heard the term trimmer joist, what exactly is that and what is its design?


I have yet to see anyone flash a deck at the rim joist.

A trimmer joist refers to an opening in a floor, where headers are installed at the ends of the opening perpendicular to the floor joists. The joists adjacent to the opening are usually doubled unless the opening is really small, and these are called trimmer joists.

The single 2x8 or 2x10 rim joist is more than adequate to act as a header across a 40-inch opening, assuming a 12-foot joist span and two stories of wall above the opening. Joist hangers would have been desirable on the two joists that are supported over the opening. I think there are one-side joist hangers that could be added.

The stair stringer in the picture, if you look closely, is connected to a plank nailed to the side of the deck. You can see the end grain of it. There normally isn’t a footing under the bottom riser of an exterior stair, but often, a concrete pad is poured, and the stringers rest on it. Gravel isn’t as neat, but it’s acceptable.

Thanks for the info. I will note it in my report.

I wasn’t refering to flashing at the rim joist (sorry if there was confusion), but it is typical for it to be at the ledger board and it is not seen here.



The floor joist framing appears to by fine except, if this house is located in NH I might have mentioned to my client, though not required, the installation of an insulated door. The separation of the bulkhead and the basement would keep the basement area warmer (as your pic is showing quite a bit of daylight. I sure the doors aren’t closed tightly but that’s what happens). Framing in a door opening provides a header with jack studs and therefore additional support for the plates and floor joists above, killing 2 birds with 1 stone.:wink:

just my observation

That is a very good point, I did not think of that. My guess is the builder wouldn’t do it for the client anyway unless the client paid for it.

The bulkhead doors are actually closed and locked. They poured a lip for the bulkhead to sit in to aid in keeping the rain out, unfortunately the lip is too high and the doors will not close down tightly.

Thanks for the input.

Your welcome, glad I could provide more info for you. Personaly I dislike bulkheads for that very reason (maybe because as a kid we had a wooden one in a cement cavity that leaked every spring) even when closed they still are very drafty. When building new homes if we have to put one in, we always add the cost of a thermal door and frame work into the price of the house. You know it’ll become a punch list issue and we’ll loose, so might as well do it in the beginning, customers like it when you go above and beyond.:D;-)


Hi Scott,
When you have a chance give me a call. I have some information for you but it would take too long to type up.

Assuming it isn’t spliced at the opening … :wink: