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What is the code for footers/posts for a outdoor pavilion at my house?

classicT

Sawhorse
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Aug 2, 2017
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Washington State
That's the problem- my contractor thinks he did nothing wrong and will not pay for any repairs. I have retained a lawyer but he has asked me to find any violations he may have done minus any requirement in a permit.
There was most definitely a number of things done wrong.

That said, the right way for it to be done was with a permit and a design completed by a licensed engineer. We can't say specifically what is wrong (other than it failed structurally), because what should have been required is not evident without the engineer's design.
 

Mark K

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May 12, 2010
Messages
1,735
Your lawyer is apparently not familiar with how to deal with this type of case. I would expect your attorney to help you find experts to document the problems. He may likely be able to refer you to engineers he has worked with in the past. Find an attorney familiar with this type of litigation

Have your attorney hire an engineer who will then review the design and what was constructed. There may be legal advantages in having your attorney hire the engineer. Talk with your attorney.

It should be easy to document that what was constructed was in violation of the building code. While there may have been no requirement for a building permit what was constructed still needs to comply with the building code.

Ask your attorney how much attorney fees will likely be. Ask the Engineer for how much he will charge. Add in how much the contractor charged you. Then ask the attorney how much you could realistically get back. In many cases the attorney fees and the cost of consultants cannot be a part of the claim. The legal system may not work as it should. It may make economic sense to take the loss and do it right.

File complaints with the boards licensing engineers and contractors but do this only after talking with your attorney with respect to how this will impact your civil litigation. This will not likely result in your being reimbursed for your costs but it may result in fewer problems for others in the future.

Licensed contractors in some states must have a bond which might be available to satisfy any judgement.

While contractors have competence in certain areas they are normally not knowledgeable about engineering issues no matter how much confidence they claim.
 

jar546

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Oct 16, 2009
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Palm Beach County Florida
So nothing we can specifically cite in our letter to the contactor (lawyers letter).
You need an engineer as an expert witness because that type of structure is not prescriptive in the IRC and would have to be engineered anyway, especially due to your wind zone.
 

jar546

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Oct 16, 2009
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Palm Beach County Florida
I am trying to sue the contractor. I am looking for some sort of code for foundations that would apply so that I could highlight and give to my attorney. Also, I was told that the washer used was too small for the bracket to prevent the dislodgement. Also, why was there no other stabilization for north/south vs east/west.
This goes far beyond the size of a washer and an engineer as an expert witness is in order here.
 

JCraver

Sawhorse
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Feb 20, 2014
Messages
743
Location
Southern IL
Those post stand-off brackets come with an oversized hole drilled in the center and a thick, square washer that goes under the nut (or under the bolt head if you use wedge bolts). Looks to me like your guy put his anchor bolts in the wrong place, so he elongated the holes in the brackets so he could keep the posts square with each other. If he'd put his anchor bolts in the right place, used the right washers, and added some short little knee braces, that thing would still be standing.
 

TheCommish

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Sep 27, 2011
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1,188
Location
Charlton Ma
Hire a code consultant from your area that is familiar or a lawyer that will hire a code consultant that is familiar with the requirements for your area, who can testify in court, not someone who writes a report for your lawyer to present.
 

Mark K

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May 12, 2010
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Even if "properly" installed the post base would have failed. The post base was never intended to resist the resulting moment forces.
 

Teeshot

Registered User
Joined
Nov 1, 2017
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33
Location
Pleasanton CA
You may want to hire a licensed engineer to perform an investigation inspection on the structure, and provide a written report on his/her findings. The drawings used by the contractor would need to be provided. The engineer would identify the fasteners, anchors, clips, etc., used, and specify if the materials were used as listed by the manufacturer(s), whether or not they were specified on the drawings. Without the benefit of a permit, the best course of action may be to provide as many factual pieces of evidence that indicates the incorrect use of materials by the contractor.
 

JPohling

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Aug 16, 2011
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1,226
Location
San Diego
From what I can see, perhaps one option is to determine the manufacturers requirements for each of the piece of hardware and show that the manufacturers requirements were not followed. and or they were not the proper hardware for the situation
 

Mark K

Platinum Member
Joined
May 12, 2010
Messages
1,735
The particular pieces of hardware are not the problem. The problem is that the Contractor did not have an understanding of a need to resist certain forces and thus chose a structural system that was incapable of resisting those forces. This is arguably an example of the dunning kruger effect.

This was compounded by either a lack of a permit or of a plan checker who had no engineering education.
 

ADAguy

Sawhorse
Joined
Sep 11, 2013
Messages
5,384
Location
California
The DunningKruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people with low ability at a task overestimate their ability.
It is related to the cognitive bias of illusory superiority and comes from people's inability to recognize their lack of ability.

Many are guilty of this, He who has the gold, often seeks to control the game.

As they say, "buyer beware"

Thank you MH
 

ADAguy

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Sep 11, 2013
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5,384
Location
California
Failed to meet implied warranty of intended use that you paid for, failed within first year or longer?
 

instantmessenger

Registered User
Joined
Oct 11, 2017
Messages
28
Location
NY
I'm an architect not an engineer, but it seems to me that the bolts and the hold downs are only a secondary reason the structure fell. It looks like the lack of bracing and bracing connections is the primary reason for structural failure. I would expect to see two bracing members at a 45 degree angle from column to roof for each one of the 4 corner posts. Based on where the structure fell, it most likely got pushed over because of inadequare column to roof connections and no bracing to provide shear resistance and after those elements failed then, the column to footing connections failed as a result also. Robert, above, alludes to some of this in his comments, I will let him speak for himself though. If those elements were installed, it would probably still be standing. The good news is that it looks like it can be hoisted back into place and fixed. I'd try a settlement or deal and move on though.
 
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