I Joist mods and nails too long

Owner not happy with new house, wanted an inspectors opinion.

Couple of things I would like a contractors input on,

The I joists near the front of house had plywood nailed on either side. My question is why? Did they screw up and make a hole too big (lots of HVAC ducts in the area) and then cover it up with plywood? Is this OK? Does this require an engineer to approve?

The next thing that had me stumped for an answer was nails sticking through the bottom or rear of the stairs. Obviously the framers could have used shorter nails, but what is industry practice, should the nails have been clinched, or do framers just leave it like that?

I would say the plywood on the joists are covering up a few extra holes for the duct work that got rearranged (see extra sharpie marks). Maybe a redesign or AHJ caught them putting holes outside of specs. I would note the modification but not put much emphasis on it.

The long nails appears to be shiners that the framer didn’t change the nail size in his gun when nailing osb riser fillers on the front. Common but sloppy. I wasn’t there but appears to be ok…just bend them over for safety.

Added: I would also note missing jack joists in the stair landing. That span looks a little large for the subflooring.

I agree with Brad.

was there a tile floor above the I-Joist by chance. I have seen builders put the plywood on the I-Joists to take a bit of the bounce out of the floor to try and keep the tile from cracking. Not to sure if it really helps but I guess couldn’t hurt. Also they could be covering something up no one will know unless taking it off. I wouldn’t think it is much concern like the others have stated and I don’t know for sure if an engineer would have to be consulted.

Thanks for all the replies, I don’t really understand how I joists ‘work’ compared to regular dimensional lumber, all I know for certain is that they burn much better when there is a fire :slight_smile:

From what I can tell looking at manufacturers literature you can make them stronger by nailing plywood to the* flanges*, which makes sense, or by nailing short vertical pieces to the web as stiffeners for some reason I don’t get, or by putting squash blocks where they might be compressed by a beam, but I have yet to find why someone would fasten long lengths of plywood just to the web for any reason, and whether doing that would actually repair or strengthen an I joist.

You would not be nailing plywood to the flanges. Plywood is used as a stiffener (flitch plate) on the web. Squash blocks are needed on the ends when there is a substantial load path on top of the joist. Stiffeners are also needed when cantilevering the joist over a wall. They are a very good product that stays true when properly designed. Much lighter and easier to install than dimensional lumber.

Your joists appear to be modified to cover up something, and not necessarily for structural strength.

  1. Thing is, with I-joists you can cut really large holes out of the web and as long as you don’t cut into the flange, they’re OK (notice the hole in the web for the duct at the top of the photo). Sure, there are limits, and those are really long strips of OSB. Is that at a cantilever with a bearing wall at the end of the cantilever?

  2. The framer didn’t want to bother changing gun nails or didn’t have shorter nails so he used the big ones. It’s sloppy but not a deficiency.