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Building Codes and Inspections/Use of concrete form boards for stuctural elements


We are constructing a new home and general after pouring the concrete foundation and breaking the wooden forms (2"x 12", 2" x 6" etc.) we will use the form material for headers, and bracing over doorways, windows and attic bracing. We are being told that the IRC 2012 addresses this and doesn't allow the form material to be used for structural elements due to it's exposure to acid in the concrete. My question is is this an issue that is addressed by the codes or this inspector just has a personal preference and is using the codes for an excuse. In over 30 years of construction I haven't seen a code addressing this issue. Thanks for response, Newton "Chip" Thibodeaux

The code is very generic in its treatment of used materials. Repurposing old building components is highly desired in restoration work. I believe the code basically just wants to be sure that what is reused is approved for the new intended use, and that it is in a condition such that it can perform the purpose for which is is intended both structurally and functionally.

From the 2012 IRC:

"R104.9.1 Used materials and equipment.
Used materials, equipment and devices shall not be reused unless approved by the building official."

You can ask whoever told you that for the referenced code section in case they have a different code section, or a local amendment that they are referring to. I'm not as familiar with the 2012 codes, as I work with the 2009 code here in Pennsylvania.

Perhaps you can discuss this with the Building Official of the municipality in which the building is located rather than the inspector. He/she might be willing to at least allow its use for noncritical structural components.

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Keith Fuller


I'm an ICC Certified Master Code Professional fielding general building code questions. My experience has been heavy in fire related issues.


I've been employed since 1985 as an inspector and plan reviewer, and am a municipal Assistant Building Official and Deputy fire Marshal. I've had fire service experience since 1972, having served as a three time Fire Chief and Fire Marshal in years past. The increasing workload, mandatory certifications, and continuing education requirements in recent years have caused me to concentrate my efforts on code related issues. I hold national fire service certifications as well.

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