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Frame Inspections

My Canberra Building Inspections ACT

Frames

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 Frame inspection of a single storey building.

A single storey house frame.

Frame Bolts

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.

Floor plates are bolted to the floor.

Floor plates need to be bolted to the concrete.

This inspection should be done after the slab inspection(s).

Holding Down a Roof

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.

All trusses get strapped.

The frames need to be strapped to each other.

The noggings should also be in. They are the timbers that sperate the studs.

Noggings are inspected.

Noggings need inspecting.

Joists should also be strapped down. And there will be other things found too.

Other

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?

And lastly, are the walls all adequately braced? The wall shown below is braced both ways. Also, there is timber sheet bracing used. And, the roof frames are also braced.

A typical wall brace strap.

A metal cross brace in a stud wall.

Scaffolding

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.

Text book access to the top floor

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.

Extra Reading

There is more here on this Access Canberra page on how to resolve disputes.

“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.”

More Here

“If your concerns relate to your contract, such as issues with payments, quality of inclusions, or communication, you can contact:

Full List of Building Stages

Also see more about the full list of building stages and contracts below. We would recommend five of those be inspected. The bigger the house the more inspections we recommend you have.

     Your Building Contract

     Slab Inspection

…..Frame Inspection

…..Facade Inspection

…..Roof Inspection

…..Lock Up Inspection

…..Pre Lining Inspection

…..Fixing and Fit Off Inspection

…..Practical Completion Inspection

…..Ninety Day Defect Liability Inspection

Worksafe ACT

To report unsafe work practices, such as faulty scaffold, please contact Worksafe ACT.

We hope this page helps you.

Written by: Nick Broadhurst, building inspector, registered Class A Builder, Bach. Arch. UWA. For more information on Nick: See here

Nick Broadhurst building inspector on top of a roof.

Call us today for your next Building Inspection.

We will answer your questions. Our Building Inspector is registered here at Access Canberra. No. 111.

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