Title:
Post connection cover
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A protective cover for shielding a connector used for joining a building structural support post and a foundation footing disposed in the ground consisting of a shell which completely surrounds the connector and externally seals and protects the connector from the environment, back fill earth, and/or other grading materials The upper portion of the cover has a port for receiving the post and the lower portion is arranged to closely communicate with the foundation either by resting on top of the footing or by fitting over it as a cap. The cover may be formed either as a complete closed unit or as a wrap for existing installations.



Inventors:
Boyd, Bradley W. (Wellesley, MA, US)
Application Number:
10/983074
Publication Date:
05/19/2005
Filing Date:
11/05/2004
Assignee:
BOYD BRADLEY W.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/169.9
International Classes:
E04H12/22; (IPC1-7): E04B1/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
CAJILIG, CHRISTINE T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John M. Brandt (Hingham, MA, US)
Claims:
1. In a post connector adapted to connect a building structural support post and a foundation footing disposed in the ground, a protective cover for said connector comprising a shell arranged to completely surround said connector, said shell having an upper portion and a lower portion, said upper portion having a port for receiving said post, said port of substantially the same size and shape as said post, and wherein said lower portion is arranged to communicate with said foundation footing to substantially externally seal said connector.

2. The cover of claim 1 wherein said lower portion is arranged to fit over said foundation footing.

3. The cover of claim 1 wherein said lower portion is arranged to fit on top of said foundation footing.

4. The cover of claim 1 wherein said upper portion is conical in shape.

5. The cover of claim 2 wherein said lower portion is cylindrical in shape.

6. The cover of claim 1 wherein said port is rectangular in shape.

7. The cover of claim 1 wherein said shell comprises a unitary molded structure.

8. The cover of claim 1 wherein said shell comprises a flexible sheet formable into a closed unit whereby said cover may be positioned over existing installations.

9. In a post connector adapted to connect a building structural support post and a foundation footing disposed in the ground, the method of protecting said connector, post, and foundation footing comprising the steps of: A. providing a cover consisting of a shell having an upper portion and a lower portion, said upper portion having a port for receiving said post; and B. placing said cover over said post through said port and connecting said lower portion with said foundation footing.

10. The method of claim 9 wherein said shell lower portion is placed over said footing.

11. The method of claim 9 wherein said shell lower portion is placed on top of said footing.

12. The method of claim 9 wherein said shell is composed of a sheet of flexible material and further including the step of placing said sheet aside said post and wrapping said sheet about said post to form a closed unit.

13. The method of claim 12 wherein said shell lower portion is placed over said footing.

14. The method of claim 12 wherein said shell lower portion is placed on top of said footing.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is based on Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/517,473 filed Nov. 5, 2003.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to materials for building construction and more particularly, devices for building foundations.

2. Description of the Prior Art

The construction of house porches, decks, handicap ramps, walkways and the like usually employ the use of a number of upright wooden posts which rest on foundation footings. The footings are most often concrete or cement poured into forms, sonatubes, for example. These are then provided with a connector secured to the top of the footing on which the post rests and is attached thereto.

There exist in the prior art several devices which are related to this field of endeavor. For example U.S. Pat. No. 5,315,796, Gruhlke, and U.S. Pat. No. 6,098,353, Stanfield, relate to protective sleeves for posts. U.S. Pat. No. 5,481,846, Machietto, relates to a support pole that is square in cross-section throughout the majority of its length and that has a bell shaped lower portion attached to a base plate that may be bolted to a footing.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,405,991, Damiano, relates to modular support poles that are accommodated within a base plate that in turn, may be bolted to a footing. Finally U.S. Pat. No. 6,591,570, Miller, Jr., relates to an architectural post and beam system wherein telescoping tubular steel posts, having an upper end bracket capable of seating a horizontal beam and a lower end base plate that may be bolted to a footing, The entire post may be surrounded by a column like facade.

In contrast to these and other similar patents known to applicant, the invention presented herein is not a building structural or support device but rather a stand-alone protective cover which may easily be installed over a post secured to a post connector attached to foundation footing.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention may be summarized as a protective cover for building post connectors attached to a foundation footing consisting of a shell with an upper portion having a port for receiving the post and a lower portion arranged to communicate with the footing. The shell may be either fully formed, by molding for example, to be installed at the time of construction or be composed of a formable sheet which may be wrapped around an existing installation.

The nature of the design allows the fabrication of any number of a variety covers arranged to fit different combinations of post and foundation sizes and shapes. For example, a common post size is a standard 4×4 and a common foundation footing is an eight-inch circular in cross-section sonatube for light construction while larger sizes are used for heavier supports. The invention may therefore be understood to be suitable for any practical combination of post and footing variations.

The purpose of the cover is to protect the connector-post-foundation interface from the environment and back fill earth or other grading material. The post-cover and the cover-foundation interfaces do not have to be completely sealed to accomplish this. It is sufficient that there be a tight fit for both.

These and other features and advantages, as well as the detailed structure of the invention will become more evident from the description of the preferred embodiment in conjunction with the drawings which follows.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top view of the embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a side view of an additional embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 6 is a plan view of an additional embodiment of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring first to FIG. 1, there is shown a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the invention in which cover 10 comprises a shell composed of conical upper portion 12 and cylindrical lower portion 14. Upper portion 12 has port 16 for receiving building post 18. Lower portion 14 fits over foundation footing 20, a poured concrete sonatube for example.

FIG. 2 is a side view of FIG. 1 illustrating the relationship of cover 10, post 18, foundation footing 20, and connector 22 all in place in a typical installation in ground 24. The cover may be constructed of a high-density polypropylene molded to a chosen shape, may be of any suitable color and may include decorative architectural features if desired. It is not essential that the cover be circular in cross-section as long as the post receiving port 16 is of the proper size for a close fit with post 18 and provision is made for secure communication of lower portion 14 with the foundation footing.

FIGS. 3 and 4 are top and bottom views of cover 10 of the above-described embodiment.

FIG. 5 illustrates an alternative embodiment wherein the lower portion 25 of cover 26 rests on top of footing 28 rather than capping it as in the preferred embodiment. In this arrangement, as well as the above structure, the cover may be held in a vertical position on the post by a nail 30 or a similar fastener

Both of the above described covers are intended for installation during the building process. The method of using the cover in this case is to insert post 18 through port 16 from either the base of the post just prior to joining the post and connector or, after connection, the top of the post before it is secured to the structure it is intended to support.

FIG. 6 shows an embodiment of the invention suitable for use on posts already installed. Sheet 32, comprised of a strong flexible material such as fiberglass, is configured in a pattern to provide a cover of the nature described herein when edges 34 and 36 are brought together. In use, the sheet is placed on one side of an existing post installation, wrapped around the post, and secured by, for example, hooks 38 and 40 engaging slots 42 and 44 respectively. An appropriate tape, caulk, or epoxy may be employed to reinforce the seam of edges 34 and 36 if desired.

As variations in the above described embodiments will now be obvious to those skilled in the art, the invention is accordingly defined by the following claims.