Holes and Notches in your Studs, Beams, and Joists

We all have them in our homes: holes drilled in our wood studs, joists, and beams to pass through electrical wiring or HVAC ducts. And sometimes you need to notch that stud just so to fit your new plumbing pipes. Not only is it standard construction practice to alter studs and beams to allow for wires and pipes, but it is actually permitted by the International Residential Code (IRC), the code governing residential construction in most states, New Hampshire and Massachusetts included.

Some holes or notches may look worse than they are, but some may have more of an adverse impact on the structure of your home than it appears. So the IRC provides limits, and we developed Standard Details to help you know if the size and location of the notches and holes are acceptable. So before you (or your plumber or your electrician) start drilling your studs, beam, or joists, take a look. And if you’re not sure if your stud wall is load bearing or just a partition, give us a call and we can help!

These are just two of the dozens of Standard Details Team Engineering has developed visualizing the IRC and showing good construction practices. Stay tuned, as we are constantly developing more!

T101 – Conventional Joist-Beam Allowable Notches-holes

T102 – Conventional Stud Allowable Notches

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