Is Sill Plate Overhanging Foundation Wall Okay?

Sill Plate Hangs over Foundation Wall by Two inches

By Mark J. Donovan

Question: Hi Mark. I was watching your videos on your Youtube channel and was hoping you could provide me with your thoughts and suggestions on a problem I am having. I have a new house that is being built by a builder. On one side of the house, the sill plate is actually overhanging the top edge of the foundation wall by two inches. The overhang runs for almost half the length of the wall.

In your opinion would this be a major concern for me when I someday want to sell the house? 

The builder wants to issue a certificate of occupancy with the house as is. He has no interest in fixing the problem. Any thoughts or suggestions would be highly appreciated?

Answer: Hi, It sounds like the guys who put in your foundation did not do a very good job of making sure it was square. In regards to your question, I would guess the builder is trying to make sure the house is square by allowing the sill plate to overhang the foundation wall, which is extremely important for preventing a great deal of work for every framer and finisher carpenter that follows in the construction of the home.

Two inches of sill plate overhang is quite a bit. However, in years past sill plates were often built with 2x4s.

I assume the builder is using 2×6 or 2×8 pressure treated sill plates, so I suspect you have at least 3.5 inches of sill plate material on the top surface of the foundation wall. Just make sure that the sill plates are bolted to the foundation wall.

Also make sure the exterior sheathing and finished siding drops down over the sill plate by at least an inch. The last thing you want is water to sit on the sill plate, even if it is pressure treated.

Is Sill Plate Overhanging Foundation Wall Okay?

If you still have a concern, call your local building inspector as he or she will ultimately approve of the builder’s work and issue the occupancy permit.

Better to get their opinion early on, than so late in the game you can’t make a change or it costs you a fortune to do so.

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