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Old 10-04-2008, 10:03 PM   #1
FunfDreisig
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Default Best Anchor Bolts for a Block Stem Wall?

What are the best bolts for anchoring a treated (ACQ) mud/sill plate on a concrete block stem wall?

I've finished laying all the big blocks in my stem wall Now I'll be filling just over half of the cores with concrete. Then I'll add the 2" cap. But this leads to the issue. The cap w/ mortar adds another 2 3/8" between the sill/mud plate and the concrete in the filled cores. The only anchor bolts I've found that are long enough (e.g. Red Heads, Hilti, etc.) are zinc plated and hence not suitable for direct contact with the treated (ACQ) mud/sill plate. Worse yet, the longest 1/2" anchors are only 7" which only barely puts the required 2 1/4" into the concrete in the filled cores.

Any ideas are welcome - Funf Dreisig

p.s. I know I could embed longer hot dipped galvanized anchor bolts as I fill the cores. But that begs the question of how to lay the 2" cap (i.e. how to align the bolts to holes drilled in the cap)
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Old 10-04-2008, 10:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: Best Anchor Bolts for a Block Stem Wall?

Drill the holes in the caps, and then fill the blocks and insert the bolts with the long end hanging down. Use a nut to hold the bolt from dropping down through the cap and allow for the mortar joint, etc. You might have to use a small piece of wood to act as a spacer, to keep the proper depth of the bolt. Then when the bolts are set up in the hardened concrete, remove the nut, and set the cap in the mortar. As long as you don't get them mixed up, each cap bolt hole will fit the bolt. I would also put re rod down each hole as you fill it, and I would also fill every hole in the entire wall.
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Old 10-05-2008, 12:42 AM   #3
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Default Re: Best Anchor Bolts for a Block Stem Wall?

Use galvanized all-thread, with a nut and washer on the bottom (to be embedded in the mud)
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Old 10-05-2008, 05:10 AM   #4
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Default Re: Best Anchor Bolts for a Block Stem Wall?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FunfDreisig View Post
What are the best bolts for anchoring a treated (ACQ) mud/sill plate on a concrete block stem wall?

I've finished laying all the big blocks in my stem wall Now I'll be filling just over half of the cores with concrete. Then I'll add the 2" cap. But this leads to the issue. The cap w/ mortar adds another 2 3/8" between the sill/mud plate and the concrete in the filled cores. The only anchor bolts I've found that are long enough (e.g. Red Heads, Hilti, etc.) are zinc plated and hence not suitable for direct contact with the treated (ACQ) mud/sill plate. Worse yet, the longest 1/2" anchors are only 7" which only barely puts the required 2 1/4" into the concrete in the filled cores.

Any ideas are welcome - Funf Dreisig

p.s. I know I could embed longer hot dipped galvanized anchor bolts as I fill the cores. But that begs the question of how to lay the 2" cap (i.e. how to align the bolts to holes drilled in the cap)
They make bolts already to go into the blocks. You can pick them up where you got the block. Bent on the end so they won't come out after mortared in. Also don't others ever use what they call a termite block? Around here they do, but I have seen other places that just fill the cores in. They will take the empty mortar bags, shove them down the cores, then fill the cores up. Termite blocks are solid on top to eliminate that process. A little more to handle and most block layers charge extra for laying the termite blocks as they have no hole to grab the block with. They do look better though and it will keep the termites out, and also saves from having to lay down a termite shield before laying down the sill plate.
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Old 10-05-2008, 01:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: Best Anchor Bolts for a Block Stem Wall?

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They make bolts already to go into the blocks. You can pick them up where you got the block. Bent on the end so they won't come out after mortared in.
These are called "J-bolts" where I come from referring to their shape. They are available in various lengths and in plain or hot-dip galvanized.

However, if you're in an earthquake prone area you'll need more than just anchor bolts. Check with your local code enforcement people or look at the Simpson Strong Tie website for more information.

http://www.strongtie.com/products/ca...quake_diy.html

Last edited by mmhouse; 10-05-2008 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 10-05-2008, 09:27 PM   #6
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Default Re: Best Anchor Bolts for a Block Stem Wall?

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Old 10-05-2008, 10:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: Best Anchor Bolts for a Block Stem Wall?

You need to check your local building code. I had to take the standard 7" j-bolts back to the store because the building permit stated that they MUST be 7" in the concrete. So I went back to get 10" j-bolts. You must place them within 12" of the end of the wall and no farther apart than 6' (depending on your code), although I went 4'. I just placed them in the wet concrete on the day of the pour.

To mark the hole location, just lay the sill in position next to the bolts to mark the treated board and drill the holes .
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Best Anchor Bolts for a Block Stem Wall?

Thanks for all the replies

Junkman: I'm going to try your procedure to see if I can get the pre-drilled block to set straight and level. This will allow me to use standard galvanized L shaped anchor bolts set in the concrete core fills. The hassle of laying out all the cap blocks to get the correct alignment for the ones with anchors, may offset the effort of drilling the mortar and core fill to set an expansion style anchor that still requires some sort of coating to isolate it from the ACQ lumber.

BTW I already have #4 re-bar in every second core in the main section of the walls and in every core at the ends of each wall. This rebar is wired to 2' of #4 rebar embedded in the slab during the pour (with 7-8" exposed).

Why to you recommend filling every core -- strength, thermal mass, etc.? FWIW This stem wall is just over 4 ft high and will have about 2ft of backfill (french drain).

IDASHO: I'll use your idea of all thread if I can't find std anchors long enough.

Kevin54: I think the solid concrete 8x16x2" blocks I'm using to cap the wall are the same as "termite blocks" but I could be wrong.

mmhouse & thdewey: I'm building out in the county in central Texas where there are NO local building codes or inspections. I'm strictly on my own to build a structurally sound garage. That's why I ask so many questions on this forum

Thanks again for everyone's help - Funf Dreisig
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Old 10-06-2008, 07:15 PM   #9
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Default Re: Best Anchor Bolts for a Block Stem Wall?

Funf Dreisig
I just used header block and poured the slab upto and into the header block. I also, filled about every 4th core all the way down to the footer (only had 4 courses). I put the anchor bolts into the wet concrete. Just center them about 1 3/4" from edge. No drilling or forms required. Also, since they're filled, no termites can get through.
I ain't sayin' this is the best way, but pretty easy and I think it'll hold up.

Checkout the pics on my thread.
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...ad.php?t=22323
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:43 PM   #10
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Default Re: Best Anchor Bolts for a Block Stem Wall?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FunfDreisig View Post
Thanks for all the replies

Junkman: I'm going to try your procedure to see if I can get the pre-drilled block to set straight and level. This will allow me to use standard galvanized L shaped anchor bolts set in the concrete core fills. The hassle of laying out all the cap blocks to get the correct alignment for the ones with anchors, may offset the effort of drilling the mortar and core fill to set an expansion style anchor that still requires some sort of coating to isolate it from the ACQ lumber.

BTW I already have #4 re-bar in every second core in the main section of the walls and in every core at the ends of each wall. This rebar is wired to 2' of #4 rebar embedded in the slab during the pour (with 7-8" exposed).

Why to you recommend filling every core -- strength, thermal mass, etc.? FWIW This stem wall is just over 4 ft high and will have about 2ft of backfill (french drain).


Thanks again for everyone's help - Funf Dreisig
I like to see all holes filled in the block, since it adds strength. I never cared for block, but when I had to use it, I always filled all the block holes. My neighbor cheaped out, and only filled every third hole. His wall fell down last winter. The pressure of water can move mountains, and that is the reason for using a footing drain. Another item that he didn't listen to when told that it was just about mandatory if he wanted the wall to last. Do it right the first time, and it will last your lifetime, and then some..
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Old 10-06-2008, 10:51 PM   #11
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Default Re: Best Anchor Bolts for a Block Stem Wall?

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I like to see all holes filled in the block, since it adds strength. I never cared for block, but when I had to use it, I always filled all the block holes. My neighbor cheaped out, and only filled every third hole. His wall fell down last winter. The pressure of water can move mountains, and that is the reason for using a footing drain. Another item that he didn't listen to when told that it was just about mandatory if he wanted the wall to last. Do it right the first time, and it will last your lifetime, and then some..
Sounds like your neighbor's biggest error was the lack of a footing drain to relieve the hydrostatic pressure. But filling only every third hole meant some blocks had no core filled.

OTH filling alternate cores assures that every block has at least one core filled in an alternating pattern. What is not obvious on my G-Sketchup model is that the two 10,000 gal water tanks behind (North of) the garage are sitting on a bed of 10" of sand on a solid limestone ledge that I excavated out of the slope. This slope naturally drains around the tanks/garage. The tank platform is currently "retained" by a temporary wall made of 2x10 treated lumber held in place by rebar drilled into the limestone ledge. The top of the tank platform is further contoured to drain out to the east of the garage. The area between the tank platform and the stem wall will be filled with crushed limestone and a 4" perforated pipe below the top of the slab, making it into a very large French drain with a geocomposite 'drain board' against the stem wall to further reduce the hydrostatic pressure seen by the stem wall.

FWIW I am considering filling all the cores but not for strength - but to increase the thermal mass. My stem walls are oriented/shaded so that they almost never see direct sunlight. So they will usually be cool to the touch on all but the hottest days (e.g. 95+F). Adding thermal mass will prolong their cooling effect each day during our very long hot "summers". And will have a moderating effect on the the evening temps during our brief "winters".

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Old 12-19-2008, 09:19 PM   #12
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Default Re: Best Anchor Bolts for a Block Stem Wall?

In the end I filled all the cores in my block stem wall and used 10" galvanized L bolts with 4" exposed to attached both the mud-sill and the base plate*.

I dropped the idea of using the 2x8x16" caps because it was simply easier to stuff concrete into all the cores than to drill the caps, align the bolts, etc. . And of course I ended up with a more solid stem wall -- solid concrete with #4 re-bar 8" OC -- and maximum thermal mass.

FWIW Building my own concrete block stem wall was the stupidest DIY thing I done in a very long time. It was hard, boring work with little or no redeeming value added. The result is that I now have more words for concrete than Eskimos have for snow. Unfortunately I have only limited opportunity to show off my new vocabulary, since nearly ALL of my words for concrete are not repeatable in polite company

Funf Dreisg

p.s. in case you are wondering why it took so long... life happens and regularly delays my DIY projects.

Last edited by FunfDreisig; 12-19-2008 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:59 AM   #13
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Default Re: Best Anchor Bolts for a Block Stem Wall?

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Originally Posted by FunfDreisig View Post
The only anchor bolts I've found that are long enough (e.g. Red Heads, Hilti, etc.) are zinc plated and hence not suitable for direct contact with the treated (ACQ) mud/sill plate.
You mention that you've looked at Red Heads and Hilti, so I'm assuming you're looking for "wedge" type anchors? Have you considered stepping up in diameter? If you move up to a 5/8" anchor, Hilti manufactures a 5/8" X 8 1/2" 304 Strainless Steel and a 5/8" x 10" 304 Stainless Steel.

Last edited by Buckled; 12-20-2008 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 12-20-2008, 12:29 PM   #14
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Default Re: Best Anchor Bolts for a Block Stem Wall?

With an 8 inch wide wall and a 2x4 sill plate you can line up the sill plate with the outside edge of the wall and cover the inside 4 inch with regular brick.
Or just use a 2x8 sill plate.
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Old 12-20-2008, 12:42 PM   #15
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Default Re: Best Anchor Bolts for a Block Stem Wall?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FunfDreisig View Post
...FWIW Building my own concrete block stem wall was the stupidest DIY thing I done in a very long time. It was hard, boring work with little or no redeeming value added. The result is that I now have more words for concrete than Eskimos have for snow. Unfortunately I have only limited opportunity to show off my new vocabulary, since nearly ALL of my words for concrete are not repeatable in polite company

Funf Dreisg
My feeling about concrete block, but concrete itself is ~OK. I told my wife to just shoot me if I ever mention laying concrete block again.

Looks like you got it done right tho.
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Old 12-20-2008, 07:59 PM   #16
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Default Re: Best Anchor Bolts for a Block Stem Wall?

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With an 8 inch wide wall and a 2x4 sill plate you can line up the sill plate with the outside edge of the wall and cover the inside 4 inch with regular brick.
Or just use a 2x8 sill plate.
The problem I had with using a 2x8 wooden sill plate over a block wall, with only half of the cores filled, was the empty cores and how well I could seal out critters - especially termites - from building homes in these cavities. That essentially drove my decision to use cement caps (2x8x16") or fill all of the cores. Both techniques seal the cores with critter unfriendly materials.

FWIW I will be using a treated 2x8 as the mud sill but it will be ripped so that it will NOT be flush with the outside edge of the block wall. The mud sill will be inset 1 1/2" to allow room for the shear panel and smooth Hardie Plank siding so that it is flush with the blocks in the stem wall. I'll use 1 1/8" galvalum Z flashing that will protect the edge of the stem wall. This detail allows the exterior sliding barn doors to be more easily sealed when closed. Besides I think it just it looks better

Funf Dreisig

Last edited by FunfDreisig; 12-20-2008 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 12-20-2008, 08:02 PM   #17
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Default Re: Best Anchor Bolts for a Block Stem Wall?

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You mention that you've looked at Red Heads and Hilti, so I'm assuming you're looking for "wedge" type anchors? Have you considered stepping up in diameter? If you move up to a 5/8" anchor, Hilti manufactures a 5/8" X 8 1/2" 304 Strainless Steel and a 5/8" x 10" 304 Stainless Steel.
I looked at the 5/8" Hilti bolts and decided the I wasn't prepared to drill 53 5/8" holes to set them....

So I poured 60 80Lbs bags in the remaining cores instead - DUH.

Funf Dreisig

Last edited by FunfDreisig; 12-20-2008 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 12-20-2008, 08:13 PM   #18
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Default Re: Best Anchor Bolts for a Block Stem Wall?

25, I would not use galvalume in contact with concrete, especially when it is subject to moisture.

Galvalume should not be used in contact with pressure treated lumber. Aluminum can't be used with ACQ either.

Check their website FAQ section:
http://www.steelroofing.com/faqs.htm
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:48 PM   #19
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Default Re: Best Anchor Bolts for a Block Stem Wall?

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25, I would not use galvalume in contact with concrete, especially when it is subject to moisture.

Galvalume should not be used in contact with pressure treated lumber. Aluminum can't be used with ACQ either.

Check their website FAQ section:
http://www.steelroofing.com/faqs.htm
Thanks for the tip/link! I guess I need to look for a different Z flashing material ASAP.

FWIW I've used Galvalum Z flashing for this same detail before. But the way I installed it (by accident) means the flashing is not in DIRECT contact with the treated lumber. The Z flashing was nailed to the OSB shear panel, the flashing was held up off the treated lumber with thin cedar spacers and away from the edge because the Z flashing is 1 1.8" wide while the width is only 1". This makes the Z flashing stand away from the treated lumber by 1/8" and creates a drip lib that keeps the drips just away from the wall.

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Old 12-20-2008, 10:55 PM   #20
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Default Re: Best Anchor Bolts for a Block Stem Wall?

Just as long as you know not to let it make contact but a different material may work better. Copper flashing works well with ACQ but that is $$$. Plain galvanized will work for a while but the ACQ will eventually eat thru it if it makes contact. The ACQ will also eat regular galvanized nails so any nails into the treated sill must be stainless steel. They make SS deck screws for the purpose. Check the site below. There may be newer info also.
http://www.taunton.com/finehomebuild...ood-decks.aspx
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