What is “Needling or Propping ” in construction

Needling vs Propping


These days with new and open concept designs, most people want to have large windows and doors, however, Needling or Propping is one of the most popular solutions in renovation projects.

This way we can support existing loads above by drilling/cutting and inserting U-Shape needles (steels) into the existing building in specified spacings (that calculated by a structural engineer), while structural works are being done and to form/make a new or enlarged opening in an existing masonry wall.

Here are the Needling/Propping installation stages:

(Highly recommended to have this procedure under the supervision of a Professional Engineer)

  1. Prepare the safe and clean area to work;
  2. Setup safe scaffolding in proper height;
  3. Mark adequate rows of spots on top and bottom of masonry wall which specify the spacings of U-Shape needles (steels) locations that need to be drilled (make sure the upper spots are higher than existing opening);
  4. Spacing between each U-shape needles would be provided by structural engineer;
  5. By using proper size of concrete core bit and hammer drill, start drilling into the existing building masonry wall to make new/enlarged opening;
  6. During the drilling, make sure to keep the hammer drill straight and level to the masonry wall; 
  7. From inside the building, remove interior finishes to make space for needles (spots that drilled from outside only);
  8. Install legs to be located under U-Shape Needles (have to be level);
  9. Run the upper and lower heads of U-Shape Needles through the drilled holes to inside the building;
  10.  Now, the above masonry wall (concrete block, brick, stone or precast) is safe and secure and you can remove the existing masonry wall from under the upper part of U-Shape needles.
  11. After removing the existing masonry wall from under the U-Shape needles, you must install the new structure element (wood/steel beam) to carry the load of upper floor(s); Since this wood or steel beam shall be calculated by structural engineer.

  • There might be different options or methods for the above-mentioned procedure.
  • Do not try to use bricks/stone to hold existing masonry wall temporarily (see photo).


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Hollow-Core Slabs

Hollow-Core Slabs

These popular concrete slabs also known as concrete plank which are precast slabs that come in a variety of thicknesses and prestressed concrete (a form of concrete that is compressed during the production process to strengthen it against tensile forces; This compression is produced by tensioning of high-strength tendons/cables located within the concrete to improve the concrete performance in service conditions; these elements provide long-spans and typically used in floors and roof of multi-story residential/commercial buildings.


This method is having some advantages like Quick building assembly, a Lighter in self-weight, more economical enhances fire protection, Eliminating the need for temporary shoring and suspended slab forming and is linked with low-seismic zones.

These concrete precast slabs have continued tubular holes that usually have a diameter of ¾ thickness of slab which makes it much lighter than solid concrete slabs that also make the cheaper transportation costs and also these voids can be used to run the conduits and HVAC ducts.

In order to soundproof them, just need to use the floor covering or rubber strips below the floor slabs.

The standard details of this method may contain these items: End-Bearing Detail, Side-Bearing Detail and Anti-Rotation Bar.


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Resin Capsule

What is Resin Capsule, what are the advantages and how is the installation procedures

Since supporting high and heavy loads is main part of routines in the construction projects, using resin (epoxy) is popular method for strengthen and sealing concrete and rock, therefore Resin Capsules are admired and well liked option as chemical bonded anchor consists of structural grout such as unsaturated polyester resin in small glass tubes which inserted into drilled hole; The Resin Capsule are available in pre-packaged glass and it is good to know that these glass capsules are safe since they are designed particularly for life in construction job sites.

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This would be a kind of economic feature to avoid wasting too much of epoxy when using gun to inject epoxy into drilled hole as the enclosed capsule will provide adequate of resin.

They are tested and approved solution for high-strength corrosion resistant anchoring and plus when a strong bond is required this system can use is several kinds of concrete applications such as: foundation and heavy industrial machine leg bolts, tower crane baseplate fixing, anchors in rock, structure repairs, roof support in tunnels and mines, safety barriers, railings and fencing posts and pipe/column fixtures.


These capsules develop their holding capacities by bonding of the adhesive to both anchor and concrete, as a result, the demand for more pliability in planning, design and strengthen concrete section has resulted in increased utilization of these product, in addition, and due to saving the average time construction, these materials provide feasible and economical technique for adding new concrete/steel section to existing ones. Below we mention more features and advantages of this solution:

  • Easy and quick to use;
  • Bolts and rebars will be protected from corrosion and chemical attack;
  • Unimpressed by vibration;
  • Manufacture controlled high-quality product;
  • Higher modules and etc.

These pre-made components simplify the installation process and that makes the Resin Capsule peculiarly satisfactory and acceptable for individual and overhead applications.

Here are installation steps:

  • Drill the specified hole with correct size of drill bit and adequate depth with defined Resin Capsule described and designed for the job;
  • Highly recommended to clean the drilled hole in order to be dust-free with blow-out pump or self-flushing drills;
  • Drop the Capsule into the drilled hole and then slide the anchor/threaded rod inside the hole;
  • Place steel section on top of drilled hole and start tightening the anchor/threaded rod with specified drill progressively (avoid high speed); To ensure complete mixing of resin and fully contact between baseplate and anchor/threaded rod, you can detach drill and use wrench by applying the force (like full effort of one person) that called Snug-Tight condition.
  • NOTE: Please consider these important items while using this method:

    • Minimum application temperature,
    • Setting/Curing time;
    • And product package storage according to the manufacture technical data sheets.

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Non-Shrinkable Grout

What is the Non-Shrinkable Grout

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It is made from cementitious powder mix that usually comes in bag of 25kg (55lb) and can be prepared to be like dry pack or fluid (soupy mix) just by mixing with some potable water (as per manufacture instructions) since by reducing the water, strength development and ultimate compressive strength values will be increased and once it hardened and cured, it does not shrink.

These kinds of grout can be used in: above/below grade and interior/exterior applications.

Approximately, the minimum application thickness is: 1” (25mm); And

                          the maximum application thickness is: 4” (100mm) to 6” (150mm).

(If thicker application is required, it can be asked and consulted with manufacture).

The most common applications:

(Note: the surface must be clean from anything that Grout will come in contact e.g. Oil,Grease,Ice,Snow and etc.)

  • Underpinning: To fill the gap between underside of existing footing and top of new poured footing.
  • Installing base plate of steel column.
  • Setting heavy industrial machine and equipment (e.g. Generator, Compressor and etc) bases.
  • Filling the hollow concrete block holes (when using the concrete is impossible).
  • For dowel/anchor bolt installations that require drilling hole(s), the hole diameter shall be 1” (25mm) greater than bar/bolt diameter (hole must be in saturated surface dry condition at the time of grouting).

After mixing the grout with water, it can be pumped or carried and moved to the forms by using clean buckets or clean wheelbarrows and must be poured right away without any delay (Grout that already prepared but not poured in place within one hour, shall be discarded).

Few hours after pouring, forms can be removed (depends on temperatures) and extra parts of poured grout (if any) can be trimmed and cleaned up.

  • Clean all the used tools immediately, since once they get dried and hardened, it can only be cleaned manually or with special cleaner.
  • Wash hands and skin with soap and hot water.
  • Material storage on site: Protect and cover from rain and snow.
  • For the best result: Temperature of dry condition of product shall be from 18 to 29 °C (65 to 84 °F) before the mixing and pouring. The lower temperature makes the cure duration longer (depends on manufacture product data sheet).


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Underpinning vs Bench Footing

Underpinning vs Bench Footing

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Both of these solutions depending on the soil conditions, footing and foundation of adjacent buildings, budget, timing and sewage system height, so highly recommended to have it done under the supervision of structural engineer.

These days, one of the common questions is how to raise/increase the height of basement floor (in new or old houses); The most popular and high-demand solution is to do Underpinning.

A very simple explanation about it is: A solid concrete foundation to be poured below the existing building to support and strengthen the building in order to raise the existing ceiling height of basement.

This method involves the following stages:

  1. Remove the existing concrete slab floor of the specified area that the ceiling height need to be raised;
  2. Partially (section by section) excavating (hand digging) that specified area NOT ALL TOGETHER, in this stage, the dimensions of each section that need to excavated, will be calculated and designed by Professional Engineer).
  3. Forming and pouring new concrete in excavated sections and allow the new concrete to be cured before next stage excavated;
  4. It is highly recommended to leave a gap (dimension of to be calculated and designed by Professional Engineer) and fill it with non-shrinkable grout, since the new poured concrete will be shrinked after a while.



On the other hand, the Bench-Footing, also the same as Underpinning will strength the existing foundation wall; It makes less living space area but it is time saving and economical option in renovation projects.

In this technique, do not need to excavate below the existing footing to achieve more ceiling height.

Here is the process of Bench-Footing (Benching):

  • Remove the existing concrete slab floor of the specified area which ceiling height need to be raised;
  • Dig down in order to have bench-type structure beside the existing footing/foundation wall;
  • Form, install adequate rebars (which were calculated by structural engineer) and pour concrete;
  • Now you have bench-type footing around your area that you want to have height to be raised, you can cover this surrounded concrete step by covering them with book cases, closets, shelves and etc.
  • Excavating for the above work should not undermine the foundations of adjacent buildings.

After these steps, you can start preparing and pouring the new concrete slab floor and then start wood/steel framing.



Please note where the foundation of building that going to be constructed is below level of the adjacent building footing and within the Angle of Repose (also known as critical angle of repose of a granular material which is the sharpest and the most vertiginous angle of dip that material can be piled without slumping, so at this angle, the material on the slope-face is on the border of sliding), so, do not disturb ground around this area.     


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Steel Framing

Steel Framing Techniques by Fortune Luxury Homes

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Thank you for time for reading Fortune Luxury Homes Inc blog.

There are many cold-formed steel resources available for design professionals. Our blog points to available sources in the building industry for design professionals as well as some things to consider when you begin your next project with cold-formed steel framing, particularly structural application.

FLH is going to recommend this method and techniques for the maximum 5 stories commercial building.

Cold-formed steel has been used for decades in industries including automotive, workplace furniture, heavy civil engineering, and infrastructure. In the building industry, cold-formed steel has taken on a certain identity crisis. From nomenclature, equivalent thicknesses, and member designation, the development of these codes and standards has been led by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), among others. Some of the advantages of Cold-Formed Steel include a tremendous strength to weight ratio and dimensional stability, not to mention the high accuracy of sizing when fabricating various members and accessories. 

FLH (Fortune Luxury Homes Inc) wants to help you to understand these materials and methods better.

 If you ever asked these questions, this guide is for you!

  • What do I need to know about cold-formed steel?
  • What documents on cold-formed steel are available to design professionals and specification writers? 
  • What resources are available when utilizing cold-formed steel in both structural and non-structural applications? 


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This kind of framing is durable, reliable and cost-effective option for low-rise and mid-rise building projects. Cold-Formed steel refers to a manufacturing process where metallic-coated sheet steel is roll-formed into products such as: Studs, Joists, Tracks, Headers, Angles, Truss members and etc.

There are two main components of metal stud framing: Stud and Track.

Heavier gauge of metal studs are used in load-bearing walls a structural applications such as exterior walls.

Steel joists are ideal for areas like basement ant attic that are subject to environmental conditions that would otherwise increase wear on wood counterparts.

Steel is not at risk for mold growth from continued exposure to moisture, similar to conditions that might be found in basement.

Cost-effective: While never as cheap as wood, steel studs are now about 30% (approximately) more expensive than wood studs.

Light weight: In addition to decreasing the labor required to build with steel, steel are lighter to carry and store than wood because they are hollow and the steel reduces the costs of shipping.

As another advantages of steel framing: 1)Faster construction, 2) Will not rot, split, warp and shrink; 3) Will not become termite food; 4) Produces less on-site waste than wood framing (making debris/junk removal less costly). 

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How we fix cracked and bowed walls

How We fix Cracked and Bowed Walls ...

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In one of our previous renovation-addition project, we had cracked and bowed foundation walls in the basement, after lots of conversation and discussions with my senior structural engineer, he explained to me about reasons of these problems that may happen in  basement walls;

A) Crack : These are usually warning signs about foundation walls, when poured/concrete block crack either from settlement or the expansion and or contraction of concrete.

B) Bowed Walls: After a while, poured/concrete block foundation walls may start buckling under outside (soil) pressure. So, after consulting with with experts, as a solution for both of these problems, we ended up to use Carbon Fiber Strips; They are like wall anchors and designed to work on both concrete/ concrete block foundation walls. As benefits of this material I can say these items :


  • Installation does not need any excavations,
  • It like reinforcement and makes integrity in foundation walls,
  • Lightweight,
  • Affordable, in compare with other options,
  • Can be painted,
  • Stronger than steel.


After necessary arrangements with their company to install these fibers, we prepared the job site for them, they came and finish the job really professional, quick and nice. To me, it was really reasonable solution for this issue.


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What is “Elocone Nut” ?

What is “Elocone Nut” ?

If the anchor bolts installed too low in concrete or steel plate, it means that there would be not enough thread length projected to secure the anchor bolt to base plate or steel plate, so, in this case , one of the solutions to solve this issue is to use “Elocone Nut” .

These special nuts can be ordered and produced in hot-dip galvanized finish as well. These nuts look like reverse shape of regular bolt and nut connections, since the thinner (bottom) part would go to be screwed to short length of existing projected anchor bolt (projected from base plate or steel plate).

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As general note and based on Handbook of Steel Construction (CISC):

  • There are two kinds of bolts: 1) A325 Bolts with Standard Thread Length; 2) A325 Bolt Threaded Full Length.

Please Note that the certain A325 Bolt maybe ordered in Threaded Full Length which is permitted under Supplementary Requirement S1 of ASTM A325.

They are restricted to bolts with nominal lengths no greater than four times the nominal diameter.

  • Imperial sizes of structural Bolt and Nut conform to ASME (The American Society of Mechanical Engineers) respectively. Metric dimensions in millimeters have been rounded to the nearest millimeters.
  • The metric Nut designations: The standard method of designating a metric Nut is by specifying: The product name, Nominal diameter and pitch, Steel property class or material identification and protective coating.
  • The number of Nut can be found on Bolt head.     

To use proper size and number of these nuts, please consult with structural engineer.