No Sill Plate

Home built in 1961, no sill plates, except at the garage foundation. Any thoughts as to why sill plates were not placed and the consequences?

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I’ve seen it a few times and noted it but I’m sure nothing was done but we don’t have the earth movement that some areas have.

I have no idea why someone would omit the sill plate. It seems like more work to leave it out and have to shim each joist.

One runs into this kind of construction every so often. How is the framing anchored to the foundation? Some don’t even have anchors, and just depend on the weight of the house to keep in on the foundation. Not much one can do about it now; it’s built.

Not there because it was probably not required… I have seen many homes w/o sill plates…unless there is a moisture issue then there is nothing to worry about.
I suspect the shims were after the fact…

Needs anchoring, needs separation from contact with cement. But those are just code requirements.

Hi John,

Could you see any type of Fasteners installed anywhere?

Other than being a framing nightmare and fastening concern as well, really not a big issue being that old.

No obvious anchors. I realize there is no reasonable repair, and after all of this time the house is not moving. This construction method is one that I do not recall observing on past inspections. I thought the local inspectors would have noted the missing sill plates when the construction plans were submitted or during the permit inspections. Why would a builder attempt to level each joist with slate shims instead of placing the sill plates? This is why I like my job, you never know what will be discovered!

3 year old addition, built with a permit. No separation from masonry. What frigging good is a permit these days?

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I find a large number of homes from the 60’s with the subfloor directly on the foundation. No sill plate. Large beams supporting 2x6 T&G and the ends of the 2x6 rest directly on the foundation. Some have tar paper separate, some don’t. Actually nice to inspect since there aren’t any joists to scrape your back on.

We are not code officials…which is why RE boards are going ballistic over those who write it up because of that.

That fact that the house has not gone anywhere without anchors speaks for itself…if God wants to blow the thing over…anchors are not going to hold it down. lol

I have seen many basements that were built in the 1960’s, and never seen any with no box sill plate.
Renovated many buildings with my Father as a kid and never saw no box sill plate.
I have no idea what would prompt someone to not install it, considering all the extra labor that it creates building the darn thing.

That third picture really bothers me though for the fact that the masonry and brick too good to be 48 years old. The testure and smoothness of the CMU face back 40 years ago when I worked in a block manufacturing plant, did not look that good. :slight_smile:

You still need to mention it, to cover your butt because you can bet some building contractor will go under and say the home inspector Missed this. And who really cares what the RE boards say. They Do not pay your insurance and would turn on you in a second.Of course on the other hand if you happen to cozy up to them i guess it would matter upsetting the poor agent. I thought it was our job to inform the client not keep RE agents happy. I have written this up and will continue on. Just because the home has been there for many years it does not mean it was built right. God has nothing to do with it, a dumb *ss builder did.

I agree Wayne, no matter how comfortable I am with some of these buildings as far as longevity above and beyond what they have undergone already, I always will make note that it does not meet today’s standard.
Like everybody else, we need to CYA.
I will stay home before a Real Estate agent tells me how he wants his reports. That is unethical in my book.
Note what you see and be honest about it and usually it never comes back to haunt you.

And Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. :slight_smile:

Same to you Marcel I am cooking the turkey in the Am LOL so if you see on the news of a mass food poisoning event watch for my name lol. I stuff it full of butter and lay bacon over the top , i can feel the old veins closing now.

I can imagine, but it is good, and have a good one. :slight_smile:


You noted concern regarding the condition of masonry components shown in photo #3. I now have to think that the lintel should have been a single concrete pre-formed lintel instead of the steel with brick as shown. i have attached an image of the rear wall (1st image), the basement window is the same as shown in photo #3 of original post. Take a look at the slope of the concrete footing and also note the appearance of “newer” brick at the lower wall section, especially evident on the left side of the entrance. I will admit that i did not see the difference in the brick during the inspection, no excuse, but it there was a heavy rain during most of the inspection. Sometimes a photo will reveal things that may not be obvious during the initial inspection. All windows were original single pane, except most of the basement windows which were recently replaced. Mostly finished basement appeared to be completed long ago. Any thoughts on the possible added brick? Added one image of the side wall for reference. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving to All! :slight_smile:

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Good morning John and Happy Thanksgiving to you.
Looking at your picture shows a substantial window size and on the first pictures it shows 2 bricks wide on steel lintels.
This set up would be two angle irons back to back and should have been at least 5"x3-1/2"x 5/16". It is also picking up the load of the first floor above and are not rated for that.
Masonry veneer shall not support any vertical load other than the dead load of the veneer above.

There appears to be a caulked joint in the brick above the window also.
The back door might have been added at a latter date, but I don’t see much difference in the brick facing.
There might be other things to see from other pictures, but just cover yourself best you can. :):smiley:


If I were to write up everything that does not exist on an older home compared to a newer one, than it would be a long day.

Do you also write up that rafters are missing hurricane ties, or that nails used are not galvanized, or the spacing of nails is not 4-6 inches apart, etc…I will put a blurb about the age of the house and that the inspection is not in accordance with today’s standards but rather the condition of the home and if there are any adverse affects of same taking into account normal wear and tear.

I just finished inspecting a 100 year home today…guess what, there were cracks in the foundation and in the plaster…yet I did not emphasize such occurrences.

I find that many inspectors reports are such that they are scared to go out on the limb and make an honest assessment or rather lack basic understanding of building practices that they call for further evaluation on anything and everything. This often leads a client wondering what the heck are they paying an inspector to evaluate their home…when all he/she does is pass it off to someone else who has more knowledge than they…

I know of a RE that sells upper end homes…when it comes time for an inspection she calls out a licensed HVAC, electrician, plumber and SE because she go tired of the HI continually passing off issue onto those anyway.
While it is illegal to so such, I can understand her thinking.



Jeff, it is ironic that you bring that up, because this week I was talking to an agent at the store, that I had given some of my material for review, while picking up a coffee and I asked him if he had looked at my sample report.
He said yes, looks good, and then went on to say that, hey you know this guy? I told him yes, I met him at a Nachi seminar about four years ago.
Yeah, the agent went on to say, he would inspect a house and recommend a plumber for this, an electrician for this, a roofer for this, a contractor for this, the roof is shot and the furnance is dying.
I said wow!
The agent said he moved to Canada, “Sorry guys”;), he was a deal killer. The agent said the clients were saying, why did I hire him if I need to hire all these other people?
I said, good that he is no longer a nachi member, thank god for that. This particular person was the one that inspected my Daughters first house years ago and was an independent. Joined Nachi a couple of years later and I was surprised to see him in a Nachi seminar.

It goes to say, that these old buildings have been around for a long time, and everyone should learn to recognize that none of them will meet today’s standard of codes and building procedures.
Upgrades, yes, repair to meet today’s standard, I don’t think will happen.

Learn to recognize what is failing or needs to be repaired or has gone over it’s useful life.

Engineers/Architects, are needed when a darn building is falling apart or on the road to failures and can’t be repaired without engineered drawings supplied to a local contractor.
Understand the engineering concepts of today and of yesteryears, and report what you see.
Engineers are there to make repairs for failures, not for Home maintenance and modern building standard upgrade repairs. The local licensed and qualified building contractor can accomplish more than meets the eye.
They can repair most problems with a house as long as it does not encompass design work for sturctural repairs or failures.

Evaluations in repairs, upgrades, come to the Contractor, then to the Architect and finally to the Engineer for failures. Lot’s of time, engineering is done in house in an Architects office. :):smiley:

I still inform them of of problems, and also state it was not necessary a code when the house was built.
I spend extra time if i have too with the client ( just me) . i do a lot of 100 year homes and i never been accused of scaring anyone off, in fact many agent’s refer me to first timers.
I guess common sense comes to mind when dealing with people. The other problem a 100 year home is not the same as when it was built , Many changes have occurred. So what happens when a addition has been built by Bubba and the boys and no Building inspector in that area. do we not mention anything then either? I guess what works for you is fine i will continue on works for me.