Foundation bolts

I inspected a house (new construction). I called out the foundation bolts because a couple of them, not all of them, did not have a nut and washer. The ones that did not have the nut and washer are butted up against a 2x4. The builder says they do not have to put a nut and washer on them because they are against the 2x4.

What do you guys think? Should ALL the foundation bolts have a nut/washer? Or is this O.K.?

My gut feeling is the builder doesn’t want the hastle of having to install them because of the position being so close to the 2x4.

Am I wrong, or the builder?:shock:

I’m not sure why your local codes would require bolts but not nuts and washers. Sounds like bs to me. If you’re in a D1 or D2 seismic designation zone (we are), 2" plate washers are required by IRC.
In any case I think the bolts are required to be installed sufficient distance from the edge of the sill to allow washers and nuts to be fully seated per IRC or UBC.
(IRC 403.1.6.1)

It is BS.

The foundation is required to be anchored at specific intervals. Without the washer and nut, it is not anchored. Period.


Sounds like that Builder is “Nuts & Washers” short of a Final from the local Code Enforcement Officer.

What’s the big deal, the builder removes/relocates the studs in question, adds the washers and nuts, and reinstalls the stud.

I think most Builders do reasonablly good job, but sometimes you get a Builder like yours.

Report it and move on, and Good Luck!

When there are problems here, the contractor uses a Ramset.

Which is acceptable (here) if the location is anywhere besides a shear panel.

Report it and move on, and Good Luck!

Actually I did report it and the builder says they won’t fix it!

Report it and move on, and Good Luck!

Actually I did report it and the builder says they won’t fix it!

Although this is the same builder that said I was nuts for requiring the deck they build to have 1/8 inch gaps between the deck boards (KD redwood), and they would not fix it either.
The deck boards are BUTTED up tight!

Aww come on Greg…the weather patterns in COS don’t cause expansion and contraction… :slight_smile: :wink:

Interesting to see that I am not the only one seeing this problem with anchor bolts in the wrong place.

Acting as an HI,
as one just mention, observe it, note it and move on.

I will explain though, like I usually do, ha. ha. , that again the Foundation Contractor came in and poured the walls, or slab and set the anchor bolts in the wrong place because the Supervisor was not watching his men and the one that set them, probably could care less.
The framer feels it was not his job to put them in the right place, so past by them with no second thought.

Solution= a couple of possibilities.
Compensate with a Hilti shot as one would say, which I am not a great fan of, or compensate with a comparable Quick Bolt or expansion anchor that meets the allowable pullout loads to compenstate for the missing nuts and washers that would not serve their purpose unless in the middle of the sill plate.
Compensation for the lack of something right will usually take an effort on somebodyelse to make right, so here comes the famous quote, (who will pay for it?)

Just my opinion.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:



The Ontario Building Code states that they are to be spaced not more than 2400mm or 7’10"* If some were not bolted down within that span I would say it is a non issue. However, the framer should have notched the 2x4 and anchored the sill plate. more professional.If it’s there why not do it right.

Thanks to Mario;

I might have mis-interpetated the post question, and now realize the picture that Mario posted is more relevante to the question and totally agree that this is what should have been done with no doubt in my mind.

Thanks for the correction Mario.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Almost the same issue in your picture there Mario. The bolts in my case were about every 6 feet, and the bolts in question were not in the middle. So, I think in this case it is an issue.


If that’s the case than I agree with you and others that posted.
The builder is koo koo for trying to justify the missing washers and nuts.

Believe it or Not our BUILDING CODE [OBC] states[1]


I’m happy to see anchors at all.

A good framer will notch the stud or when striking layout the layout man will move the stud over a little… either method will allow the person bolting down walls to get a washer or at least a nut onto the bolt.

In Colorado anchoring plates isn’t nearly as crucial as an a seismic or hurricane zone. A washer and nut missing here or there isn’t going to make any difference and I wouldn’t call it.

They’re required every 6". If they don’t meet this requirement, I call it

Hi Kenton,

After researching this today, I respectfully (and I do mean respectfully) disagree. Why bother having foundation bolts if they are not properly fastened to the sill plate. Lets say you have a 24 foot wall requiring 4 bolts and 1 is missing nuts and washers. As far as I see it, that is a 25% reduction and very sloppy construction. And why even have codes if breaking them is meaningless?


Here’s how I see it Greg…

Usually most of the bolts are hidden behind insulation and I’m not going to check each one. I can’t charge enough for that and they aren’t that important. The question for me is, since it’s not a code inspection, how important are anchor bolts in Colorado?
I see many homes in Colorado, mostly old homes, with no foundation bolts at all. These homes have never had a problem stemming from the lack of anchor bolts. I’ve never seen a home blown off it’s foundation here, but I suppose it could happen. That’s why I call it if the bolt pattern is inadequate or if they are missing.

Even in seismic zones like Southern California, where I lived for twenty years, working as a carpenter and installing tons of seismic hardware on homes… I don’t think one missing nut of four is going to save the wall in a severe earthquake, or a hurricane, neither of which we have in Colorado.

A house is composed of many structural systems and components that together form the overall structural design. The structural integrity of a house depends on the this design, of which in Colorado, a few un-nutted bolts are an insgnificant part.

It costs money to get someone to come out to fix insignificant details and I’d rather make repair recommendations about things I feel are real issues.

In my experience if one is missing then half a dozen are missing. It has been very rare for me to find only one nut missing. Its an all or nothing proposition because usually someone screwed up on the layout or the carpentry.

Yeah its not a code inspection, but come on, if its right there in plain view in an unfinished basement or garage then write it up and move on.

I once found a detached garage with 12 stalls in a condo development and the particular stall I was in was lacking the washers and nuts on top of the anchor bolts. I reported it and I found out it was later discovered that the entire garage along with the remaining three in the complex did not have washers and nuts–the association hired a contractor to come out and put them on. Yeah the place was about 15 years old and nothing had happened. I live in tornado alley here and if one were to come by that area that garage would be picked up and dropped onto a wicked witch somewhere :slight_smile: and, unlike the movie, they wouldn’t be thanking the home inspector who didn’t report the missing washers and nuts for that.


We all have to do what we’re comfortable with. The advantage of the message boards is that inspectors are forewarned and can make an informed decision using their own judgement and experience.

In the situation you describe, I’d have called it out too.

Not to belabor the issue:cool: …but. If you say “why should someone pay”? Well in my humble opinion, if the darn builder wasn’t SO CHEAP in the first place on an issue that at the time would have cost hime a few bucks, then now it WOULDN’T cost him quite a few bucks And he is paying the higher price for his own sloppy mistake ( to do something in plain view).:shock:


Ken–Agreed! :smiley:

Amen to that Greg!

btw, nice website Greg.