Re: Railroad ties as floor joists???
Consider a few things:
- *Railroad ties are not structurally rated; few inspectors would approve their use
- *Used railroad ties are discarded by the railroad because they no longer meet the railroad's standards for structural integrity
- *Even though railroad ties can "hold up a train", they are supported across their entire length by the gravel ballast. Each end bears the weight of the rail. Ties are spaces 16-20" apart, so several ties actually bear the load.
That said, some discarded railroad ties can still be quite strong.
You be the judge. You may want to consult a structural engineer, too. I would guess that the railroad ties were used to form the roof of the carport, long before the master suite was built. Have you checked to see if maybe there is a true, engineered floor joist system above the ties? If so, then the ties would be considered ornamental and not structural.
Insist on disclosure of uninspected improvements. If the construction was inspected and aproved, insist on documents stamped by a structural engineer certifying the design. Failure to disclose uninspected improvements may cause your loan application to fail for this property. This may also give YOUR insurance company the power they need to go after previous owners in the event there is a problem. Otherwise, your insurance company may deny the claim.
On the other hand, if you're paying cash, caveat emptor. It's a free country, and you are welcome to accept risk you understand.
Last edited by Fencepost; 01-19-2009 at 05:57 PM.
The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.