Are there any restrictions for drilling holes in solid lumber joists regarding how close to the ends of the joist? [duplicate]


You need to provide more information before your question can be properly answered.

Yes, the location of the holes are code compliant.

But that is only 1 aspect of a code compliant joist.

As you know, meeting the limits on one section of code does not exempt you from the others.


Can you please provide:

The requirements for a joist used in the intended location. (Specific use center 1st floor or roof on a 3 story house is just 1 example that location of use could change the answer.)

The type of wood, and information about any treatments that is being used in the joist in enough detail to be able to determine its load bearing properties under the code that applies to lumber strength. (Oak vs Pine as an example)

The calculations used to determine that the holes in the joist do not have a negative effect on its strength. (Not only deadweight loading, but things like empty holes allowing for more rapid spreading of fire, will be...

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Where and how to drill joists for electrical cables or plumbing runs depends on what type of floor framing you have. Keep the hole at least 2 in. from the top and the bottom if it's a dimensional lumber joist. The hole cannot be larger than one-third the depth of the joist, so the maximum hole size for a 2x12 joist (actual size 1-1/2 x 11-1/4 in.) is 3-3/4 in. diameter—plenty big enough for running cable! You can drill the holes anywhere along the length of the joist (first photo).

If you have manufactured I-joists, you can drill holes up to 1-1/2 in. diameter almost anywhere in the web area (the area between the flanges). Just stay 6 in. away from any end or load-bearing wall (second photo). Holes up to 4 in. can be drilled in the middle of the I-joist, away from the ends and load-bearing wall. Keep the distance between adjacent holes at least twice the diameter of the largest hole. For holes larger than 4 in., consult the lumber...

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TruLine Truss offers a full line of LVL and I-Joist selections.

Below is some useful information we have provided to aid in your decision making process when considering these products.

LVL (Laminated Veneer Lumber): A Practical Alternative
Laminated veneer lumber (LVL) is an engineered wood product created by layering dried and graded wood veneers with waterproof adhesive into blocks of material known as billets. Cured in a heated press, LVL is typically available in various thicknesses and widths and is easily worked in the field using conventional construction tools. LVL is also known as structural composite lumber (SCL). It is mainly used in beam and header applications by providing a load beaing alternative to walls, steel, etc.

Strong, Reliable and Consistent
In LVL billets, the grain of each layer of veneer runs in the same direction, rather than cross-lamination which is typical of other engineered wood products such as plywood. The...

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By Bruce W. Maki, Editor

This partition runs perpendicular to the floor joists and divides the 16' joist span into two spans of about 10' and 6'. If the partition ran parallel to the floor joists, we would have to rely strictly on joist sistering to improve the stiffness.

Several weeks prior to this project we had removed the plaster from the walls and installed new insulation. We could still access the space at the ends of the joist, to allow our sisters to reach the ends of the original joists.


Since the floor in this house sagged as well as felt flimsy, we decided to lift the floor a fraction of an inch before we permanently fastened the sisters to the old joists.

Because the allowable bearing pressure on wood is so much less than steel (about 400 to 600 pounds per square inch versus tens of thousands of PSI) the force of the bolt needs to be spread out over a large area. If smaller washers are used, the wood fibers...

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