Foundation straps in brick - building inspector says it's OK

What do you guys think? New home. NC building inspector OK’s it after I call it a structural defect in my report.


Leading strap manufacturers say you can’t put straps in red clay brick or 4" masonry block.](




You forgot to read where it says Foundation anchorage, spaced as required to provide equivalent anchorage to 1/2" diameter anchor bolts.

Those are equivalent.

I’m not sure you follow my point. Of course straps are equivalent to bolts. But neither can be used in red clay brick or 4" block.

The manufacturers instructions I posted state:

“Do not use in red clay brick.”

“Not for use in slabs poured over foundation walls formed of
concrete block or with brick and 4” masonry block stemwalls."

Looks to me like the brick cavity is all filled with concrete grout and will be buried below grade, so that pretty much looks like a composite system to me that would meet the proper anchorage.

It’s a raised foundation. A crawlspace foundation. Nothing is going to be buried below grade. Regardless of buried or not, you cannot put bolts or straps in red clay brick.

Well, I guess you would not like this one either, huh!!!

Brick Construction Details

That strap extends to the concrete foundation, so yes I do like it.

I’m with you Joe,
I would reject it and ask to be overturned by the design engineer. He is the one that is responsible. Did the stamped drawings show that detail?

Isn’t it possible since this appears to be brick and a 4" CMU back-up with cavity, that they might have filled the cavity with grout and then chipped the brick to move the strap to the exterior portion of the wythe?

Engineered design wasn’t it?

As a “Licensed Building Official” yourself you should be familiar with the following IRC references.


According to the “OFFICIAL CORRECTION NOTICE” you have posted Marcel has asked a very appropriate question.

Given all that has been presented here the question is not what do we think? Instead the questions are:

  1. What do you think after this correction notice was posted?
  2. If you disagree with the correction notice, and feel so strongly about it, what actions do you intend to take?
  3. As a “Licensed Building Official” what actions do you have available to you to ensure your client does not suffer from an injustice you perceive to be occurring?

The information and viewpoints you provide might assist other Inspectors in understanding the role and responsibilities of the AHJ and their “Licensed Building Official” members.

Hey Joe, I have just one question as I can not see the brick personally and that is are you shure it is a true clay brick and not a composite or concrete manufactured brick? Not many clay brick seen up here in many years.

Drawings around here do not show that level of detail. Commercial, yes. Residential, no.

  1. I think the inspector abdicated his duty to enforce the building code-twice (at the original open floor inspection and at the return trip because of my report).
  2. I advised the client to contact the strap manufacturer and see what they say about it. I also send the photos to a structural engineer friend of mine for his comments.
  3. I have no authority in NC. My license is in SC. But I did tell the client that the builder and the inspector are licensed by the State of NC and he has a right to file a complaint with the State.

Red clay brick is commonly used in the South.

I see NC building inspectors that constantly miss things or worse simply sign off on them and move on…especially in Mecklenburg County (Charlotte). In such cases I simply copy code and/or manufacturer information and then direct my clients who they can contact including the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors.

I have a couple of licensed engineers that I use from time to time however even in cases like yours for the record they often will not comment on issues other than referring to manufacturer info.


PS. I know the inspector you are talking about personally…he is usually pretty sharp…

Just looked at your pics…I have seen this pass because the way they did the foundation…looks like they took 4"CMU’s and tied them to the brick veneer creating an 8" foundation.


The install instructions for the straps prohibits their use in either 4" block or clay brick. There is no exception in the manufacture’s instructions. Tell me how they got the tail end of the straps sufficiently deep when they had to interweave it in the brick???

Not saying its right or wrong Joe, just as you have pointed out…things get passed without regard to what manufacturer instructions are…if its a true simpson tie then their should be a stamped ID on the side strap…probably an MAB15…again manufacturer dictates.

What has your client said if anything?

He’s understandably quite disturbed. He may doubt me since the building dept. has blessed it after an 2nd look. The inspector is in my opinion: 1) ignorant of the requirements; 2) covering his previous mistake; or 3) both.

NC building official documentation trumps SC home inspector report!

the entire issue is now and forever more between the client, builder and the ahj…you maybe received a free pass in the event of future failures that may arises from the tie installation

none have stepped up and seriously doubt any reply from a “nachi engineer
will achieve desired righteousness or initiate any correction(s)