Floor joist drilled through

I found this in the crawl space. Looks there used to be copper piping routing through the holes. Is this a legal way to “notch” a floor joist. Im assuming it would be considered a notch since its two sandwiched together and its drilled dead center.

You “cut” a “notch”, and you “drill” a hole", (generally speaking of course).

Yes, I know you can “saw a-hole”! :wink:

I wouldn’t be concerned of the two holes as much as the third joist being cut and if it was properly sistered. My concern with the holes would be they are drilled along the “face” of the two joists, thus diminishing their overall nominal size/thickness.

I was using “notch” because if the joist were taken apart, there wouldn’t be a hole, there would be a notch, which was made by drilling a hole, which is no longer a hole because its now a notch :wink:

I believe the “3rd joist” you’re referring to are the ledger strips?

Can’t say… I wasn’t there. Your photo is in 2-D, thus has zero depth perception.

They are the ledger strips. I cant find anything about drilling or notching the face of the joist.

It appears to me that all three in question are some type of ledger board. The joists appear to be the boards running parallel with the inso. The boards with the holes look like 2x2s ?

I don’t know about legal, but it looks perfectly fine from here. Of course, unless you have a post resting on the floor above that is transferring a load from the neighbors two story garage.

You “cut” a “notch”, and you “drill” a hole", (generally speaking of course).

And chainsaw a rough opening… I’ve seen it.

Looks like a beam to me. I don’t see any notched joists. Is that a tub or a shower sitting over it? You can reference the standards for notching and boring of load bearing members for technical correctness. Evidence of performance or distress over time may tell you whether any defect needs to be “repaired” (them holes ain’t new).

I see it now Chuck not sure what I was looking at. Definitely a beam.


The three basic engineering beam formulas for deflection, bending stress and shear stress are all affected by the cross sectional area of the beam. The size, shape and location of any hole or notch has an impact on the cross sectional area. There are established limits for beam deflection and beam stresses, both in bending and shear. When you exceed one or more of these limits the beam is technically incapable of holding the design loads. Holes and notches near the beam support typically affects shear capacity, where holes or notches near the mid-span affects deflection and bending stress the greatest. The short answer is unless your licensed to calculate the impact holes and notches have on a beam your limited in how you respond to your client. You can reference the limits established in the building codes for typical holes and notches (looking at the beam from the side), however those standards do not apply in this situation where holes were drilled up through the bottom of the beam. You cant go wrong by just stating the beam has holes, notches or defects that reduce the cross sectional area of the beam and recommend a licensed structural engineer evaluate it.

Great info, Randy…as usual.:slight_smile:

Now that’s really overthinking it. ;-):wink:

Keeping in mind that condition has been in place for a long time, that looks like a cast iron drain or vent pipe. The beam looks pretty old too, and the cut is not fresh, so what Randy said with maybe “age of house is … and was probably done when house was built.” to maintain perspective.

Thank you Randy and everyone else for the input

If concerned OR looks like something is moving, simply note it and refer to a competent contractor to repair.