Normal for code inspectors to disgregard nailing requirements?
Owner-building a new home in Anchorage, Alaska. My framer called in a muni inspection for the shear walls. The inspection noted that one interior shear wall hadn’t been built all the way up to the roof, but otherwise it passed.
The problem is… there were a lot of problems. Many of the shear panels were built with nails that are too short, too narrow, and significantly less strong in shear than those called for in the plans. Almost all of the Simpson seismic hardware on the outside of the house was installed with 1.5″ nails–a full inch shy of Simpson’s minimum. My designer and Simpson both confirmed that all of this nailing was inadequate and way out of spec.
Is it normal for this type of work to pass an inspection? Is it normal for inspectors to not ID nails or verify that they meet minimum requirements? We are in serious earthquake country here–in ’64 we had the second-largest earthquake recorded on earth, and over 100 people died. Year before last we had a 7.1 just a few miles north of here.
Not trying to blame one individual inspector here (he came back out to the site for a long time and made a thorough new report). But I’m really trying to understand why an inspection wouldn’t even try to catch these problems in the first place. So much research goes into how to design safe buildings, it seems weird to just fumble the whole thing at the very last step. Is this typical? Do you ultimately have to just inspect every nail yourself or hire third party inspectors to make sure homes are built according to plans?
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