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BBL Building

BROWN BAG LUNCH
BUILDING INSPECTION ITEMS
CITY OF NORMAN | PLANNING DEPARTMENT | DEVELOPMENT SERVICES DIVISION


1. GENERAL INFORMATION ITEMS.

Question:
A. Addresses must be visible from the street on all construction projects.
B. Work not ready for inspection (incomplete), complete previous list; (IRC Section R109.3).
Conclusion:
A. Yes. Addresses must be visible from the street on all construction projects.
B. Please see Policy regarding Incomplete Inspections effective August 5, 2013.


2. FOUNDATIONS. City approved site plan must be present on construction site for inspection (IRC Section R109.3); lot lines must be clearly distinguishable; excavations must be uniform and clear of debris; steel must be placed uniformly consistent with the code or engineered design (IRC Section R401).

Question:
Is this a new issue brought on by “post tension” slabs? Or are you seeing other areas of concern? We feel we “generally” comply. Further specifics will aid discussion.
Conclusion:
These are not new issues although they do also occur with post tension foundation systems. Most often the items of concern result from a new crew or haste due to the press of a weekend, holiday, rain, etc. And yes, many builders do comply more often than not; a few other specific areas of concern are 1.) proper rebar lap length, 2.) install vertical rebar from footing to stem, 3.) post tension foundation work must be consistent with engineered plan.

3. SLAB. Fill material uniformly compacted; grade stakes are non-organic material and indicate a minimum slab thickness of 3.5 inches; materials subject to corrosion by concrete contact are protected (IRC Section R506).

Question:
In general terms we believe the Builders comply. Is there a specific area the Builders need to be attentive regarding this topic?
Conclusion:
Occasionally the sand fill depth exceeds 24 inches therefore an engineered solution is required.


4. EXTERIOR SHEATHING/SIDING. Provide proper ground clearance to wood products, treated or naturally resistant wood products required; materials properly fastened to structure or substrate (IRC Section R317).

Question:
Is this the backfill issue on “post tension”? Again are we missing something? On the properly fastened, what are you seeing as the problem?
Conclusion:
Yes, post tension but also occasionally on conventional footing and stem. The sheathing fastener issue usually involves staples which typically require placement of 4 inch on center at the edge and 8 inch on center in the field.


5. FRAME. Bottom plates secure to foundation; sheathing and/or other wall bracing materials fastened properly; wall, floor, ceiling and roof structure members sized correctly and secured by proper fasteners’ notching and boring of framing members; proper load transfer paths; fire blocking/draft stopping; stair riser heights; egress windows where required; safety glazing where required; stories above grade exterior window sill height; ceiling heights; attic ventilation provided; rough trade inspections approved (IRC Section R301).

Question:
Help us to see the biggest problems you are seeing.
Conclusion:
Proper sizing of nominal lumber beams and bracing of rafters at roof pitch changes are significant among the items noted.


6. MASONARY FIREPLACE. Foundation provided; firebox walls; firebox dimensions; lintel and throat; smoke chamber; hearth extension; fireplace clearance to combustible materials, fire blocking; chimney and flue; cleanout; chimney cricket; outside air (IRC Section R1001.1).

Question:
Is this referring to outdoor fireplaces?
Conclusion:
The inspection results sampled do not distinguish which builder is involved, only the recurrence of the correction notice item. Although not clearly part of the heading, factory fireplaces also have some items of interest such as, adhere to installation instructions, install a proper combustion air intake, maintain proper clearance to combustible material from vent and/or fire block, install proper fire block material and an insulation shield where penetrating an insulated ceiling.


7. INSULATION. Air barrier/thermal barrier rough complete; 1 inch air flow gap provided below roof deck or approved alternative; penetrations sealed; minimum prescriptive Rvalues achieved (IRC Section N1102.4.2.2).

Question:
Does this relate to foam?
Conclusion:
The Inspectors report seeing issues such as sealing of top plates and fire block elements, insulation of spaces between ceilings and floors (band joist areas, etc.), exposed face paper (not in contact with finish material, attic access hatches above conditioned spaces not insulated, and proper backing at batt edges to secure insulation in place. Spray foam is part of the data base sample and in addition to the more conventional items noted above that material is often faced with special requirements for a thermal and/or ignition barrier requirement.


8. FINAL. Permanent site address; exterior grading incomplete; no breech in garage separation; attic insulation; stairs, handrails and guard rails complete; fireplace openings require proper clearance to combustible materials; exterior door locks must not require key, tool or special knowledge to unlock in direction of egress, exterior finishes complete (IRC Section R109.16).

Question:
What specific “breach in garage separation”? We are not seeing what you are referring to.
Conclusion:
The “breach in garage separation” comments came from a series of garage “doggie door” instances. Also, one of the Inspectors asked that I add a comment about doors swinging out over an elevation change (usually associated with one or more of the side hinged doors).