Need Foundation Feedback, House Built in 1960

How is the wood framing secured to the concrete?
This a Southern Calif. house built in 1960.

David, the only person who can tell you that is the person who did the inspection. What did you see?

Are you talking about the sill plate?
Pics are small

I could not see how the wood was secured to the concrete footings.

What was the general method for a house built back in 1960?

I see these all the time, can’t see any foundation bolts. I think the framers just set the sill with spikes when the concrete was still green. I am sure someone with more knowledge will come in on this. I report no foundation bolts visible, never been called on it and I do worry about it. If you report no bolts and recommend retrofit and you are wrong you would be in a world of trouble



Perfectly normal given the age. I wouldn’t say anything about it.

Whaaat? You claim that no foundation bolts required given 1960’s construction? Bolting has been required since 1930’s.


You never see it on a home here built before before about 1990.

I would assume that on a home built in the 60’s the exterior should be bolted. If the sill is obscured, a mirror, camera held at angle or any number of things can help you see (sure you already know that). Many times I can see right through the screens/vents and see bolting on the exterior.

That being said, the interior cripples, grade beams etc are likely not bolted/secured to framing on a home this age. Retrofits are generally not going to call for shearing/bolting/fastening to interior cripples, but ya’ never know. Post to beam hardware, metal strapping and similar are not going to be present unless someone installed it after the fact here.

The anchor bolt pattern on the exterior sill/sole is also likely sparse compared to today’s requirements. I make mention of whether I was able to view bolting or not and what, if anything obscured my view. I will also note that the requirements will be different now than when the home was built, along with other crawlspace observations.

You can simply let your customer know your observations… the interior portion of foundations are not secured/braced and wouldn’t have been at the time of construction, but you were/weren’t able to view bolting to foundation on exterior and that, you are a generalist and not a foundation specialist.

In the view of a foundation specialist (there are many in CA) the home you are inspecting:

May benefit from installation of additional hardware/bracing
The floor may be out of level beyond what is noticed on a Visual Home Inspection
The type of foundation/footing material may be deficient by today’s standards ie. Re-inforcement, type (PSI,MIX etc)
And so on.

This is California, careful what ya say :slight_smile:

Precisely why I said “What did you see?”. No one should assume anything about what was or wasn’t being done at the time of construction., Write what you see or did not see, what happened or didn’t happen. Far too many new inspectors are trying to cover their behinds with what should have been there but in fact they don’t know the subject matter well enough. It is a visual inspection of the property on that day. If someone was not there the day the home was built, there is no way to determine what “might” be there. Look, observe, record and move on. If you don’t know something, say you don’t know. Tap dancing and BS will get your butt into some deep sewage eventually.

Tim you are absolutely right is has been required for years but I have been under several older homes and as much as I try I can’t find any, go figure :slight_smile: My house built in 1942 has bolts as do most I inspect, I have one next week built in 1948 so if I don’t find any I will take lots of pictures

I agree, why are you asking on the boards about a condition you should have checked and confirmed while you were in the crawlspace?

How could we provide an answer from photographs that fail to show the condition you’re asking about?

During that era, normal construction would have been an anchor-bolted sill of redwood or (most likely) treated wood (wolmanite) to which floor joists were toenailed.

Bolts were not enforced here until 2006. Before that it was cut nails.

Tim’s right, you have to give the client, especially in California, a yes or a no on the bolts. I use a side mirror from a car in each bay until I can confirm the presence or lack of bolting.

One of the first things we would need to do as a Home Inspector is to research if the community had a building Inspection Dept at the time of construction (who what where when). If u can call them ask if they had juriadiction. Then ask what guidelines they followed to enforce the building code, (State or I.C.C. or what) You may expose --someone-- not enforcing any code, --money, favors, sex, ??? who knowns!!! So, be sure if u claim something, be right and just in case u need to have more money than those accused of wrong doing. U see,it is no longer who is right or wrong, it is about power and money. Very very very sad! Ethics, yea right. I have seen it more than 1 time on all the above.

You try to determine what the applicable code was in 1960? For all components of the home? :roll:


Well, I hope you get paid a lot of money for research and doing a retro-active code inspection.

This area of the home may not have had a permit issued or an inspection. Do you see other code issues per the IRC? Check the req. for bolt spacing in the IRC. Is the plate moving on the foundation?

Bill S.
Certi. Res. bldg inspector (I.C.C.)