Charlie: Robert in Temple, Texas has one for us. He recently moved up there. He listens to you from back in the 80s and, “We bought a new house,” he says in Temple. “I assumed,” he writes, “That standard construction practices would call for the use of J-bolts to hold down the walls. I looked at a house under construction up there,” he writes, “And they say they’re nailing the walls to the slab.”
Charlie: I expected this is acceptable to the inspectors, but how common is this practice?
Tom: I’m not a big fan of it and they’ve done some studies where over the years those nails start to let go and the nails are so small, the shanks of them, that the lime and the corrosive properties of the concrete actually start to rot the nails out as well as the bottom plate, which is a pressure treated plate that has a copper based in there now. If you don’t use the right nail, you’re gonna have a nail that’s gonna corrode away too. I think it’s a very poor practice. It would not be allowed in many areas of the country. Most areas of the country that have any kind of building standards, but in Texas, it’s the code of he west.
You do what you want to do and a lot of guys that’s just lazy construction. Even the J bolts, if you use a J bolt today, we used to use just, they were just standard steel J bolts that were black in color and just standard steel and you can’t even use those anymore. You have to use galvanized because of the copper in the new pressure treated plates, so a lot of people just didn’t follow the practices, but at least the shank is so big on those, it’s gonna take many many years for it to rot through as opposed to a little tiny nail, which is nothing more than a big wire.
Charlie: That means if you’re buying from a production builder, there’s probably nothing you can do about that.
Tom: No, if that’s the way they do it, that’s the way they do it and I don’t even know if the production builders even look at it. They just say, here’s your framing package. You do it. They hire the framers and most of the supervisors in production building, they’re just managers. They’re not construction experts by any means.