In a message dated 6/17/99 1:32:06 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
<< I am reluctant to totally blame the framer even though the U.B.C. section
the complete nailing spec was referred to.
My experience has been that there was enough confusion in the construction
indusrtry regarding nail types in that time period that I would then and now
feel negligent if I did not specify "common nails only" in my plans or specs.
I also believe that referring to the U.B.C. to determine nail types is a
cop-out and the construction documents should be clear and complete
materials and fasteners. If this is done properly, the contractor has a
chance of getting it right. If it is not, the results can be costly.
This is a great forum for the exchange of ideas and opinions and your
responses were helpful and greatly appreciated.
I am guilty of being one of the "lurkers" but I promise as soon as I feel I
can contribute or help someone with a problem, I will.
Ray Shreenan >>
At this time, the contractor is not required nor expected by certification to
have specific knowledge of the UBC. This may free him of the responsiblity
to have specific knowledge as to how a diaphragm (horizontal or vertical)
should be properly nailed.
However, I don't agree with this for the perspective that the majority of the
damage evaluated after major seismic and wind events have been construction
Although it would seem that the engineer is responsible for specifying each
and every element in the code that is to be used on the job, I believe this
is a handicap that can and does create liability for the engineer. IMO, it
seems that it should NOT be necessary for the engineer to recreate the code
on his plans each time a project is designed just to spell out to a
contractor something he should know in the course of performing his trade.
Although I believe this, I realize that it is not practical at this time nor
is it required of the contractor.
For this reason, I am an advocate that anyone who lifts a tool to construct a
structural system should be educated and certified in the conventional
erection of the materials of his expertise. In otherwords, if the framer is
building wood buildings, he should know that Common nails are to be used in
the construction of a diaphragm. He need not interpret the size or spacing,
but he should possess the basic knowledge that the code requires a Common
nail over a box nail. He should also know the difference between the two
nails but should not be expected to inteprete the additional load due to
shank diameter and head area.
For the same token, he should know where blocking is to be placed, the
minimum spacing and number of anchor bolts (minimum end distance), top plate
splices, number of trimmers for specific widths of openings etc.
Expecting the engineer to provide all information on the plans is inviting
litigation. This is not to try and pass responsiblity, but intended to
suggest that what has recently been identified as the weak link, be required
to improve with continuing education or specific certifications.
Dennis S. Wish PE