too many nails

did an inspection today with a new addtion the has 15 16d nails holding the base of the 2x8 rafter against the 2x8 ceiling joist because the joists were too short to hit the plate for bearing. I am looking for a reference that says that there is a maximum # of nails before a board is considered damaged and can split or something along those lines.

I would say that if the joist was too short to hit the plate, then it wouldn’t matter how many nails they had it be wrong. I’d call it out, and add the fact that the excessive nails have likely damage the integrity of the boards. Recommend repair by a qualified (and if appropriate, licensed) contractor.

I don’t know about a code reference, but I doubt anyone would argue with the term “inadequate connection”.

Agree, if the joist are too short, well then the joists are too short and need to be repaired.

Sounds like the large number of nails is a byproduct/symptom to the larger problem of improper framing support / load transfer. I would focus on the framing issue over the nail count.


Ceiling joists are frequently carried on the rafters and not the wall top plate, in the case of a tray ceiling, for example. In this case, it’s a question of was it done on purpose, or was it a framing error? Sounds like a framing error, I agree.

A picture would help.

It’s like the old carpenter’s joke… I cut it off twice and it’s still too short!