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  1. #1

    Default Foundation Plate Sill Shimming

    Can some one provide a direction to single family code on foundation plate sill shimming, I have looked and looked.
    Note: What I call the plate sill is what is sitting on top of the concrete foundation wall, and the shimming is placed between the concrete and sill plate.

    Thank You For Your Time; Rich

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Sterling Heights, MI
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    4,625

    Default Re: Foundation Plate Sill Shimming

    I can only point you in the direction of common sense.....

    We shim all bearing locations with steel shims. That means shims under every joist and shims under every point load.

    One of the axioms which I told all my apprentices is that every real carpenter will always have steel shims in his truck.

    I played hell finding them while I was in TX. I had to have my boys bring them with them when they came from MI.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Georgia
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    1,809

    Default Re: Foundation Plate Sill Shimming

    Never seen or heard of steel shims except in automotive construction. What's wrong with non-shrink grout?
    Last edited by charles; 02-21-2014 at 06:51 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Foundation Plate Sill Shimming

    Just finished shimming one. Used non shrink grout. Also used it on steel column plates on some very heavy loads. That's the way they were designed. The columns were plumbed up with two nuts on each of four bolts, one below and one above. When the column was plumb by bolt adjustment you tightened the nuts and filled between the bearing plate and the column footing with high strength grout. Typically about an inch of grout.
    I did the same thing when I formed and poured my own house foundation walls. The bolts protruded out of the top of the wall appx. 3". That's enough for a nut/washer above and below the plate. Check each one with a laser level.It's tough to beat that method for a level plate. I think most of the grout we used was 5000psi.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Sterling Heights, MI
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    4,625

    Default Re: Foundation Plate Sill Shimming

    Quote Originally Posted by charles View Post
    Never seen or heard of steel shims except in automotive construction. What's wrong with non-shrink grout?
    Nothings wrong with non-shrink grout. It's often used in conjunction with steel shims on commercial applications.

    I've never seen it used on a residential project. Nor would it be practical. We set steel beams on every basement. The pockets are poured about an 1" deeper than required on 90% of them. We simply stack an inch of steel shims under the beam and block it in and build the house. Later, the builder will fill the pocket with mortar.

    When we order our steel stanchions, we round down to the next inch size. They ship a bucket of steel shims with the stanchions and we shim them tight to hold the beams. Later, concrete is poured around the stanchion and everything is locked in.

    When I'm framing the floor system, I occasionally find dips in foundation wall. The rim joist spans over the dip but the joists follow the profile of the top of the wall. We like to keep everything flush on top. That necessitates that we elevate the joist. If we don't use the steel shims to take up the gap in the foundation, we'd be relying on the few nails that attached the joist to the rim. That's substandard carpentry, in my opinion. So, would I run to the truck, mix up a batch of grout, or just grab a shim (or two) from the stash that was sent for the beams? It's a no brainer. I'm going for the instant fix. It's simple, efficient and dare I say...elegant? Maybe elegant is going too far...
    Last edited by jimAKAblue; 02-22-2014 at 11:43 AM. Reason: to stave off the grammar pol lease.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Sterling Heights, MI
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    4,625

    Default Re: Foundation Plate Sill Shimming

    Quote Originally Posted by charles View Post
    Never seen or heard of steel shims except in automotive construction.
    We see about 100# of steel shims on every house we frame. The regional differences that are discovered while conversing with other carpenters/builders all over the states/world is fascinating. That's a prime reason why I originally searched for a construction forum to peruse.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    St Louis, Mo for the past 25 years
    Posts
    7,463

    Default Re: Foundation Plate Sill Shimming

    I have seen steel shims rarely, mostly under the steel beam set in the middle of the house. I have also seen cement shingles used for shimming. Once shimmed then some lower level helper got to mix the grout and go around and grout the plate in. Hopefully he had time to do it before they started laying the floor joists because it was so much easier to do. Don't ask me why I know this.....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,809

    Default Re: Foundation Plate Sill Shimming

    Quote Originally Posted by jimAKAblue View Post
    We see about 100# of steel shims on every house we frame. The regional differences that are discovered while conversing with other carpenters/builders all over the states/world is fascinating. That's a prime reason why I originally searched for a construction forum to peruse.
    Would steel shims ever find a use on slab or stem wall foundations? That's all I build on here.

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