Not the feel good movie……………..I wish!  Things have been bumpy, but given this is the first project of this magnitude I’ve taken on I expected it.  I did not expect the results of my framing inspection.

After demo I had to call the city building inspector for a walk through before I could start any new framing.  As we walked we verified my approved plans, all was good.  He pointed out to me that I needed to add “fire stops” between every exterior wall joist were the flooring did not abut the side of the house.  Not a problem, I did that cheaply as I was able to use scrap 2x4s left over from framing.  He did not tell me the holes we drilled for electric and plumbing in those fire stops would need to be filled with a fire caulk, but no big deal I could do that and move forward with insulation, but not drywall.  Great!  Unfortunately there was another issue that is a big deal and could force me to take many steps backwards and spend money not budgeted.

The original plumbing line in the house was a 4″ cast iron pipe that ran along 8 floor joist that had been severely (by today’s code) notched to accommodate the run.  Perhaps it was the black pipe that caused him to miss the gaping cuts, but the smaller, white PVC pipe run in the same channel, jumped out at him, “I didn’t see it then [REALLY], but I see it now.” He took some pics, said he’d discuss with his supervisor, and a four days later I got the sad news that I must address the compromised joist.  I was told to call my structural engineer and/or architect to develop a plan of action.

The house has been standing for almost 100 years with those cuts.  If this had been pointed out to me as an issue during the demo inspection we could have easily sistered new joists and cut appropriate size holes for the new PVC.  At this stage not only did we run the new drain line, but we’ve also run PEX lines for water and electrical wires utilizing the holes left from the knob and tube through those same joist.  The PEX I’m not concerned with, but I cringe at the thought of undoing the electric lines, which have already been connected to the panel.

I sent the above pics to Steve Harm, Associate Principal with Advantage Group Engineers Inc, the same person that did the specifications for the LVL beam I had to place in order to remove the wall  separating the kitchen and dining room.  His response to the pics, “That is pretty nasty looking.  I’ll need to head out there and look at it.  The fix won’t be fun either, I’ll need to see it and take some measurements though.”  Stay tuned.



  1. Will this mean if you have to remove the drain line and the pex lines and the electric lines, will they all have to be reinspected after it’s all reinstalled? If so the city should do it for free as their inspector screw your demo inspection up.

  2. I would agree, but won’t hold my breath. Hopefully it won’t come to that. I was given an idea that I shared with the engineer. If he goes with it it’s just time, bolts, and some 2x6s. Less than $100 in materials.

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