Framing connector fastener recommendations?

Do you recommend a qualified contractor or structural engineer, and how serious do you rate the following (if you use a rating system similar to: minor, moderate, severe):

  1. Wrong type of connector for the application;
  2. Unfilled holes in the connector
  3. Wong type of fastener for the connector;
  4. Undersized fastener for the application
1 Like

I recommend.

Qualified contractor. Depending on the situation I may call it out as either a repair item or a safety item.

1 Like

Then again Randy, you ARE a structural engineer, so the situation is a little different for those of use without your training! :wink:

Ken, you have a point.

I think the answer will depend on the experience level of the inspector, engineers included.

A few missing nails in a joist hanger is no call for alarm and doesn’t require an engineering’s input to fix. Most wood construction can be assessed using basic span tables and manufacturer’s literature. Only unusual configurations or situation where the strength of the wood is compromised due to rot, notching, etc. would require referring to a contractor or engineer. As a side note inspectors should be more specific when specifying contractor or engineers. For example recommending a contractor with experience in constructing and/or repairing wood decks to meet current building codes. When specifying an engineer I would suggest recommending a civil or structural engineer with experience in structural wood design to meet current building code.


Randy Mayo, PE


Mobile: 573-201-8162

Email: | Website:


The information transmitted by this email is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed. This email may contain proprietary, business-confidential and/or privileged material. If you are not the intended recipient of this message, be aware that any use, review, retransmission, distribution, reproduction or any action taken in reliance upon this message is strictly prohibited. If you received this in error, please contact the sender and delete the material from all computers.

Qualified contractor… the key word being “QUALIFIED”.

I would add that what is happening to the connector changes my rating. Drywall screws in the joist connector that are shearing is severe, but if they are intact, then moderate. ( I recently saw drywall screws securing a guard rail on a new construction deck. The job superintendent told me that the city inspector was signing off on them on every condo. I said I would call the city inspector up, and the superintendent said he would correct the attachments)
Short “teco” nails that are backing out is severe, 16D nails that have backed out an inch is moderate. Undersized connector that is failing is more severe than one that is holding.

The most subjective part comes in, IMHO, when determining the rate of failure. The same violation can be failing at one place, and just wrong in another, but still holding things together.