The Frame Inspection is a vital inspection. However, it is not expensive if this is an intermediate inspection. It is priced to encourage it being taken up. And that is because the inspector used to work in a region in Australia where winds got high, and where roofs would come off if not done by the codes.
A single storey house frame.
Last year the inspector came across a house that did not have its bottom frame timber bolted to the concrete floor. Unfortunately, it was only nail gunned. And this is a grave omission.
Somehow the supervisor had missed it. But this was the second time in a year it had been missed. So, we wonder how many homes out there are not actually bolted to the concrete slab. Some, it would seem.
And do not think that if you have bricks they will be 100% successful in holding your wall and roof frame down. It may not.
The frames should be secured to each other by straps. The roof framing should be strapped to the wall frame, and that is bolted to the slab. So, if you have a light weight metal roof, what stops it flying away in a heavy wind?
Are you also using Hebel? Well, metal roof sheeting, as used on flat roofs weighs little. Hebel is very light too. This all needs to be strapped one to the other and then bolted down to the concrete slab. So yes, nails are no where secure enough.
The frames need to be strapped to each other.
The noggings should also be in. They are the timbers that sperate the studs.
Noggings need inspecting.
Joists should also be strapped down. And there will be other things found too.
Will the supporting studs on either side of the window work? Will they be strong enough? Did you know there is such a thing as a slenderness ratio? In structural engineering, slenderness is used to calculate the propensity of a column to buckle. So, if your windows are quite high, and wide, will a single stud on the side be two slender to support it? Should it have two studs, or three?
A metal cross brace in a stud wall.
And lastly, are the walls all adequately braced? The above is braced both ways. Also, there is timber sheet bracing used. And, the roof frames are also braced.
The frame inspection is good for both floors. However, if the scaffold to the top floor is not per code, and not standard, the inspector will not go onto the top floor. He will instead see what he can from the lower floor.
The inspection will be billed as a full inspection and if the inspector needs to return, after the scaffold is rectified, then a second inspection fee will be invoiced.
Access to the top floor should be safe and this is a good example of safe access.
The inspector will not access scaffold once he finds it faulty. To do so can incriminate the inspector should someone else say they followed, and got injured. Please understand that. But the inspector will report bad scaffolding in the report so the owner can, if needed, report it to Access Canberra and Worksafe ACT.
Understand also that the client is ultimately responsible for what happens on their site.
“As soon as you identify an issue or have a concern, raise this with your builder in writing. Your builder should take steps to address your concerns. If the issues are not resolved and are about building or planning of a technical compliance nature, and construction is still underway talk to your building certifier and consider making a complaint to Access Canberra. The building certifier is appointed by the land owner and not the builder. They work in the interest of achieving compliance with the relevant building and planning laws.”
“If your concerns relate to your contract, such as issues with payments, quality of inclusions, or communication, you can contact: