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Re: Nominal lumber specifications

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This is out of 1958 UBC:
Sec. 2503 (b): Size Determination. Minimum sizes of lumber members required by this Code refer to nominal size. UBC Standards Nos. 25-1-58, 25-13-58, 25-14-58, 25-15-58, and 25-16-58 dresses sizes shall be accepted as the minimum net sizes conforming to nominal sizes. Nominal sizes may be shown on the plans. Computation to determine the required sizes of members shall be based on the net dimensions (actual sizes) and not the nominal sizes. If rough sizes or sizes or shapes other than U.B.C. Standards Nos. 25-1-58, 25-13-58, 25-14-28, 25-15-58, and 25-16-58 dressed sizes are to be used, the actual net sizes shall be specified on the plans.

Farzin S. Rahbar, SE
Vice President
David C. Weiss Structural Engineer & Associates, Inc.
(818) 227-8040 Ex. 13 Fax: (818) 227-8041

-----Original Message-----
From: erik_g(--nospam--at)
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Sent: Mon, Apr 5, 2010 1:24 pm
Subject: Nominal lumber specifications

Does anyone have any information when the "UBC" or other building codes for 
California 1st started specifying nominal lumber dimensions? For example 1.5" x 
3.5" instead of 2" x 4". 

We have a project and the architect is saying that nominal lumber began to be 
used during the 1970's, but I have seen homes in the 50's and 60's framed with 
nominal lumber and not "rough" dimensions.

Any information would be greatly appreciated

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