NYS - No Grade Stamp Required

Started by MountainDon, May 31, 2015, 07:42:56 PM

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... from the JLC....

Model codes, such as the International Residential Code and the International Building Code, don't let you build with any wood you want to use. They only allow structural lumber that has been graded by the rules set by national grading agencies, with occasional spot-checking by experts from those groups.

But that requirement rules out a lot of perfectly sound lumber that's produced on small woodlots, and sawn by small sawmills who don't have the money to pay for grading by a big agency. In places like wooded, rural upstate New York, that's an unpopular (and impractical) policy.

So New York code officials have ruled, once again, that the requirement for grade stamping won't be included in the New York code when the next version is published. The Watertown Daily Times has this report (see: "NYS Fire Prevention and Building Code Council decides to not change lumber rules").

The New York Farm Bureau, an organization of small landowners, praised the move in a press release (see: ""). "New York State has over 450,000 people who own small tracts of forests less than 25 acres in size that are in need of harvesting," the Bureau statement noted. "An exemption provides an important local market for lumber produced from these smaller tracts of forests. There are many remote areas in New York State that are far from retail outlets, and there is no qualified inspection agency within hundreds of miles so it is extremely difficult for rough cut lumber to be graded professionally. Local sawmills are able to step-up and fill that niche to produce lumber that meets the criteria for load bearing use and consumer demand."

The issue is not a new one in New York. Back in 2007, the upstate Watershed Agricultural Council asked lumber expert Al DeBonis of Wood Advisory Services in the Hudson Valley to educate local lumber producers in how to properly identify the characteristics of wood suitable for structural use.

""When you grade lumber, you look at several different characteristics," DeBonis said at the time (see: "Lumber Grading Workshop Educates Local Building Code Officers & Sawmill Operators"). "Two of the most important are the size of the knots and the orientation of the grain, which are two of the strength producing characteristics. In our course, we show people how to guarantee they are producing good quality material."

source article here
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


Thanks for posting that Don. I remember when they got it passed initially, it was a grassroots effort. Several other states also have native lumber laws. Unfortunately mine does not yet. I did use some of my lumber in non structural framing locations today. My wood is a better match for the old true 2x material in an older house.