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Community and Q&A

Notched I-joist fix

Kara English | Posted in Building Code Questions on

We had a plumber notch our new home’s engineered i-joist when installing a tub drain. We were furious but that is besides the point at this time. We are attempting to get it repaired.

Per the building inspector’s recommendations, we contacted the joist company. They suggested cutting a 13″ section of the damaged part of the joist and heading it off with smaller i-joist sections attached perpendicularly onto the two adjacent i-joists.

The notch was 4″x4″ about 18″ away from the end of the i-joist. The i-joists are 14′ feet long (end at stair well in the middle of the house) and are 16” in width.

Our building inspector said it was an “acceptable fix” (he is a man of few words). It just makes me worried about cutting out a section of the i-joist under where a 400 lb cast iron tub (without water and person) will be. Any experiences or advice?

I already have the $200 worth of materials to fix it (a carpenter will be fixing it) but am just scared this isn’t the best fix. I have also seen steel i-joist reinforcers. I don’t know if that would be better or if I should listen to the i-joist manufacturer. Thank you!

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  1. Steve Knapp CZ 3A Georgia | | #1

    I think you can trust the advice offered by the joist company and endorsed by the inspector. If you still have concerns, contact the joist company again and make sure their staff has accounted for the weight of the tub. I hope the plumber is paying for this fix, or you are deducting it from his fee.

  2. Kara English | | #2

    Thank you so much for your response. The plumber will absolutely be paying for it. I should also mention that we will not be doubling the adjacent joists because it wasn't recommended by the joist company. Most joist heading seems like they suggest doubled adjacent joists

  3. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #3

    Steve gave you good advice. If the solution came from the joist manufacturer, you should be all set.

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