Frugal Builder?

This was a first for me though I think I saw a post once where a similar thing was found.

Home built in 1977, ranch style on crawl.

The structure appeared sound throughout without any moderate cracks or indication of foundation problems. Upon entering the crawl I noticed bolts on the top section of the beams. Upon closer inspection I believe these are in fact beams used in the construction of bridges?

Have any of you seen this type of construction and what are your opinions on using “non conventional” materials?

railroad beam.jpg

railroad beam2.jpg

Though it may be unconventional’, it’s been there 30+ years with no signs of problems.

Note what you found(unconventinoal), document the lack of other foundation issues and move on.
I admit it’s interesting but what else can you do?

Others are sure to have their own opinion.:slight_smile:

Most AHJ’s will allow non-conventional materials if engineered drawings or specificatons are submitted at the time of permitting.

You have to report the materials present and recommend further evaluation if client is concerned or any concerns you see.

Well, remembering how homes were built in the early 70’s, this dosen’t surprise me at all. :smiley:

This looks as strong as the part of a bridge it was holding up at one time, and another improvised frugal owner that got it from someones back yard.

In my area, back in the 70’s, homeowners that wanted basements under their garages would use 90 # rails from railroad tracks to span the width of their garages and hold up the concrete slabs.

They were also reinforced with potatoe digger lags for reiforcement that they got for free from a farmer.

Code, hell, what was that, geeze, I just started learning FHA Code requirements in 1970.
The ones that had a book of Architectural Standards was lucky like me. Copyright 1968. Still have it. :wink:

If it was proven to be strong enough by previous use, it was good enough.

Long way from meeting todays standard, but that is the way it was.

If it has been there that long, I am sure it will be there longer than the wood framing that it is supporting.

Note what you see and move on, is the best thing to do.

As far as being adequate, well let us just say, it worked for this long.

Marcel :slight_smile: :smiley: