View Full Version : No H clips on roof sheathing on new house

03-20-2005, 08:37 PM
When my house was built last year, the builder didn't install H clips between the rafter bays on the roof sheathing. I have noticed that most builders do this. Is this a code violation? I live in the Pac NW, Skagit county. What problems will I have down the road due to this? Is this something that will come out in an pre-sale inspection when I try to sell the house later? It could not possibly have cost that much more to do this, why would they eliminate this simple step??

03-20-2005, 08:50 PM
After doing a little "research" on the net, I have more information that may help answer this question.

My sheathing panels are 24/16 OSB, 7/16" thickness. Trusses are spaced 24" apart. My roofing material is the newer "texured" asphalt 3 tab, I think they refer to that as architechtural? Pabco 30 year warranty, over roof felt, but not sure how heavy, 15# or 30#? I hope all this info helps.

Tom R
03-21-2005, 04:43 AM
Around my way, - - Jersey, - - I believe it's code to use them when it's 1/2" (or less) on 24" centers, - - they're not required if it's a 5/8" thickness, - - aside from that, - - 'good building practices' would dictate that they be used either way in your situation.

03-21-2005, 08:15 AM
Down the road, you will probably see small valleys between the trusses and possibly some ridges where one plywood edge is dipping faster than the other. I would bet there would be a small decrease in your shingle life from the movement also. But then again some plywood is built better than others and you may never see the difference.

03-21-2005, 04:01 PM
As an update, I called the city building dept today and spoke with the compliance officer. He said that yes, for the code used when my house was built (2004- UBC) a 24" span on 24/16 7/16" OSB meets code without H clips. He said that most builders in the area do use them anyway. I asked if he felt I would have any adverse effects in the future, he said not likely. Possible some small amount of sagging but I likely wouldn't notice it with architechtural comp on there. He did say if I wanted to the fix would be to put 2x4 blockers in between the truss chords as edge support, wouldn't be hard but time consuming. I said I'll wait and see if I want to do that. I may do it in the garage someday before I finish it off.

It just causes me to feel yet again that yes, I got a substandard house. Oh, well, one thing for sure, I'm getting ONE HELL of an education thanks to this builder in how not to do it!! I bet I know more about truss spans, load tables, roof sheathing, reading APA labels and H clips than any other lay home owner on the planet!!

Tom R
03-21-2005, 04:59 PM
Re-reading your second post, - - you said '3-tab' shingles, - - which are not architectural (composite) shingles. Again, I don't know your 'code' on the H-clips, - - but I guess part of the reason is I just would have used them either way.

Tom R
03-21-2005, 06:09 PM
Okay, - - here I go again 'quoting' out of what I consider a book every builder on any level should own

Residential and Light Commercial Construction Standards
(Compiled from the Nation's Major Building Codes, Recognized Trade Custom and Industry Standards) - - (published by) R.S. Means

- - the following few paragraphs are an exact quote from page 129 (1998 edition)

Roof Sheathing

Industry Standards

House Framing

Sheathing stabilizes the roof and provides a nailing surface for the roofing material. Roof sheathing can be 3/8 inch (only for 16 inch-on-center rafters) or 1/2 inch thick (for 16-inch or 24-inch-on-center rafters). Plywood is the choice sheathing material, but your building code may allow less expensive nonveneer sheathing materials like oriented-strand board (OSB). Whether you use plywood or OSB, be sure that panels are APA-rated exposure 1 where you'll enclose the soffit. For open soffits, use panels marked exterior or exposure 1 of the appropriate grade to permit painting or staining. Be sure to stagger the sheathing-panel joints so the seams don't line up.

Prolonged exposure to the weather can damage the framing, so waterproof the structure as soon as possible.

Use H panel clips on panels installed on 24-inch-on-center rafters. Locate clips mid-point between the rafters. Make the panel edges flush with rafter ends and the edge of fascia rafters. Leave a 1/8-inch space between panels for expansion.

03-21-2005, 07:33 PM
Well, okay, we've established the builder should have used them but didn't. Yep, you guessed it. Cheap sh*t builder. There's a lot of em out there and I happened to find one. According to the building inspector I spoke to today, it meets code on 24/16 to not use clips. He didn't think there'd be any real problem down the road. So, what do I do now. Nothing except stop worrying about a problem that will likely never happen. We've had some pretty heavy wind gusts already and at least the house is still standing. I think the foundation is solid, so I just hope this house stays level and square for at least 30 years. I don't know how long we'll live here, but I do like the location, lot, and neighborhood. And, oh yeah, the floor plan is nice and overall it's a fairly decent abode.

Tom R
03-22-2005, 02:17 PM
jjcold, - - you're right, - - it's already done, - - it's not like your house is gonna cave in, - - that post was more for the benefit of others.

03-24-2005, 06:52 AM
Years ago, we didn't use h-clips, and our roofs were always sheathed with 1/2 inch plywood. Then the city came in and said we had to use h-clips. They were a pain in the rear to use, but we managed them. We did some blocking at times. Blocking is better than h-clips, obviously. If you're worried about it, add the blocking. It's not hard, you can do a few at a time, but it is time consuming. Test the roof to see if you have weak areas. If you walk across it and find some spongy places, you probably should block them. I'm not sure what shingles you used because 3-tab is different from architectural (no tabs). Shingles hide a lot of mistakes, but they won't hide misaligned rafters or low spots. By the way, improper nailing on the sheathing will cause many more problems than not applying h-clips. If the sheathing is nailed properly, you're probably not going to have any kind of issues with your roof decking. Just my opinion.

03-24-2005, 07:28 AM
My thoughts exactly!

Great post, Dusty.

03-24-2005, 10:27 AM
Would T&G be an acceptable option for roof sheathing as well instead of the H clips?

Tom R
03-24-2005, 11:46 AM
That's a good question, - - but I would say 'no', - - T&G is for a tight fit, - - and roof sheathing needs gaps for expansion allowance.

07-07-2005, 08:30 PM
did the framers at least gap the sheets?

07-08-2005, 07:10 AM
I've never actually seen an H clip on a job site. Any material whose edge might sag between rafters shouldn't be on a roof. What the builder should have used is 5/8" plywood to allow better nail penetration and provide considerably more wind resistance for your roofing shingles. The cost savings with 7/16 OSB is a poor investment in my opinion. But they will probably last longer than you will own the house, so don't fret about it.

07-08-2005, 10:41 PM
if h clips are not used, you have to at least gap the sheets, probably about 1/8" on all edges.
that is what is nice about clips, they provide the spacing along with keeping the edges from sagging or shifting.