Over the past couple days we have dug the cellar hole, poured footings, and then built our basement wall using either a Poured Reinforced Concrete wall, ICF’s, or a Pre-Cast wall. Then, the other day we installed perimeter drains to keep the basement dry.
In today’s photograph you can see a Poured Reinforced Concrete wall and up on top of the wall are pieces of lumber. That lumber is called The Sill Plate. It is the pressure treated lumber that the entire home will sit on top of.
The sill plate is a critically important piece of the home’s structure and strength. Look carefully at the picture and you will see that there are galvanized Sill Plate Straps around the lumber. These straps were inserted into the concrete when it was still wet and had not hardened. The bottom of the sill plate strap is the better part of ten inches down into the concrete, it cannot be removed. Those straps are then bent around the lumber and nailed in place. Since there are so many of these Straps the Sill Plate is permanently attached to the concrete/foundation.
Yes, there is another way to attach the Sill Plate to the concrete and that is using “J” Bolts. A “J” Bolt gets its name from its actual shape; it clearly resembles the shape of the letter “J.” Both “J” Bolts and Straps are widely used and one is as good as the other.
Sill Plates should always use Pressure Treated lumber as the concrete will exude moisture for years and years as the concrete cures/hardens. Pressure treated lumber is far better suited to withstand the constant moisture.
Sitting on top of the Sill Plate will be our Floor Deck.