Thanks for all of the replies, guys! Sorry I wasn’t on line yesterday, but I was involved in a number of family activities away from home. (wine and music festival at a Maryland vineyard and then beer and crabs at my father’s 82nd birthday. I didn’t schedule any work for Monday morning:) ). Anyway, I didn’t originally intend to belabor this issue, but it seems that I can’t come up with a good consistent, definitive answer.
And even though David Valley did come up with a good easy fix, (thanks David:D ), I’m still trying to come up with a specific reason why this needs to be fixed. I’m giving this one more shot and then I’ll drop it.
For those of you that think that this is “wrong and should be corrected”, like Raymond quoted above, why specifically are you saying that and what justification are you using.
Let me give a little more background. First of all, this is “new”, original construction. (The home is basically complete except for some final grading and a few odds and ends) This steel post was not added to “fix” a problem as Mike P. suggested. There are 5 or 6 (can’t remember the exact number anymore) of these steel columns, same configuration, supporting a laminated beam consisting of 4 - 2" x 10"s. The beam is the support for the first floor joists and runs the entire length of the basement, approximately 40 - 45’ or so.
At this point, the local code enforcement inspector “should” have already inspected this area, some time ago. I don’t positively know if that’s the case, and if it is the case, I don’t know what, if anything, was said about the steel columns. My “assumption” is, that if the code inspector had seen these columns back when the foundation was being completed and the first floor started, and thought that they should fixed, the builder would have fixed them by now. But, that’s an assumption.
And if the code inspector did see the posts, and thought they were acceptable, I still don’t have any problem confronting him or her about it, but I want to be on solid ground. The IRC, as I interpret the sections that may apply to this, seems to be somewhat vague in this area. R407.3, the section dealing with Structural Requirements for Columns states, “The columns shall be restrained to prevent lateral displacement at the bottom end. (they are). Wood columns shall not be less in nominal size than 4 inches by 4 inches and steel columns shall not be less than 3-inch-diameter standard pipe or approved equivalent.” (they are 3").
R606.13 regarding Beam Supports, goes on to say, “Beams, girders or other concentrated loads supported by a wall or column shall have a bearing of at least 3 inches in length measured parallel to the beam upon solid masonry not less than 4 inches in thickness, or upon a metal plate of adequate design and dimension to distribute the load safely, …”
This is the closest thing I can find in reference to the plates on the columns and it seems somewhat vague. How does one determine if the plate is of adequate design and dimension to distribute the load safely? As I mentioned previously, the plate does at least catch all four 2xs. The points of the plate probably catch half of the two outer 2xs.
Of course, as some have mentioned, it would be relatively easy to turn the columns so that the top plates would be perpendicular to the beam, if it’s required. But just because it may be an easy fix, I don’t want to request something to be fixed without some sort of justification. I know the builder will want justification, and since this is new construction, I’m fairly certain he’s going to want a code reference or something of equal authority. And in case you’re wondering, I’m not concerned about pointing out issues that the builder may have to fix. I did, in fact, point out a number of other issues, one of which the only remedy I can envision is to jack hammer out the garage floor and re-pour it.
So anyway, can anyone give me anything concrete and specific for me to hang my hat on in regard to the columns’ top plates? You might have surmised that I have already submitted my report for this inspection. I filed it last Thursday evening. When I filed it, I did not mention any issue with the columns. After I had grappled with it for a time and couldn’t come up with any specific reason to call it out, I decided to let it out at that time. I’m not opposed, however, to amend my report, if I can come up with a good, defensible reason to do so.