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Old 07-09-2012, 07:58 PM   #1
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What is acceptable tolerance for framing walls?


Last year I hired someone to do some framing in this house that I am remodeling. Most of the interior walls are newly framed with PT 2x4 bottom plate, the rest non-PT 2x4s, standard wood studded wall. On the south side of the room I have a concrete block wall, but in order to run plumbing and electrical I also erected a wood studded wall against the block wall.

This morning I was laying out some recessed lights and ceiling furring strips, and I measured from the east wall and the middle wall (the one with a pocket door), and for some reason I noticed the dimensions didn't add up the same on the north side versus the south side.

Out of curiosity I decided to measure all the dimensions along the north side and the south side.

I have basically a 60" wide shower area, followed by a 2x4 spline there (for the shower door), then about 83" to the pocket bathroom door, then a hallway that's 32" wide, then a closet.

The north side dimensions are:

Shower - 60"
2x4
Bathroom outside shower - 83-3/8"
2x4 pocket door
Hallway - 32-3/4"
2x4 wall
Closet - 77-3/4"

The south side dimensions are:

Shower - 59-3/4"
2x4
Bathroom outside shower - 82-5/8"
2x4 pocket door
Hallway - 32-5/8"
2x4 wall
Closet - 78-1/2"

A pictorial sketch.



Now looking at this, obviously the walls to both sides of the hallway are off a bit, by about an inch.

So now I have two questions.

First, is this within acceptable tolerance? I know this is probably subjective so I am looking for opinions and probably will base my action on how many YESes and how many NOs.

Next, if this is to be fixed, I don't think furring or shimming those two walls here and there will give me something nice and square, especially with the pocket door there.

There are a lot of wood braces and framing on the south walls, I got sewer vent pipes, electrical conduits, central vac pipes all going through the top plates, where I had drilled round holes for them. Moving points "C" and "D" in the diagram to the right/east by an inch will be a real pain. Not only I have to tear out the wall and all the braces, I have to cut or disconnect all the pipes and conduits as well.

So that leaves the north wall. I can move points "A" and "B" by an inch to the left/west. Will have to take apart a bunch of plates and studs, and will need to remove the pocket door but it may be more manageable.

The bottom plates are secured to the concrete slab foundation via 4" long tapcons. I think some of the tapcon screw heads are now hidden behind the foot print of studs. I am wondering if I should remove all the studs to expose those screw heads to back them out, or just try to slide a sawzall blade under the bottom plate to cut them out?

Any thoughts, hints, comments would be greatly appreciated before I dive in on this.

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Old 07-09-2012, 09:53 PM   #2
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What is acceptable tolerance for framing walls?


Miami,
That's pretty sloppy framing in my opinion. 1/8"-1/4" would be more than tolerable, but not 1 1/4". Hard to tell how hard it would be to correct without seeing actual pics. If it were mine, I would fix it, and find another framer.
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Old 07-10-2012, 06:29 AM   #3
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What is acceptable tolerance for framing walls?


Oh boy.......this framer bloke didn't lay it out and check it first....very sloppy.
I would first check your exterior walls for squareness using the 3-4-5 method.
This will determine which walls to work from. In your case there is very little difference between the overall dimensions of the room ext wall to ext wall so it could be fudged. I don't like to see more than 3/8 variation in say a room 12ft x 12ft, a hallway of 33" should be pretty much on the money all round.

When things aren't done right to start with, you'll spend a lot of time having to make do with every subsequent step.
In England, some older houses can have floors running out by 1-1/2" or more in 12ft.
Walls are the same way.....we just planned on it from the start and scribed all our work to the building..........but that's in a building over 2 or 300 years old not new construction.
Maybe you could get a recommendation from a professional and use this to guide you
Then I'd be giving this "so called framing bloke" a phone call and see if you can negotiate a compromise.

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Old 07-10-2012, 10:07 AM   #4
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What is acceptable tolerance for framing walls?


I've worked in rooms that are 2" off in 12'. doing renovations. Had one closet that was off 1.5" in 2'
Shouldn't be that way, but sometimes it is and you got to work with it or decide if it worth the expense of redoing it. Usually just work with it.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:54 AM   #5
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What is acceptable tolerance for framing walls?


If your #'s are accurate then you have an 1 3/8'' difference in overall to begin with. You would have 253 7/8 on the north wall, and 252 1/2 on the south wall. Which should have been brought to your attention by whomever built the walls. First I would choke out whomever framed the walls. Then when I got out of jail I would verify a couple things. First question is, are you going to tile the hallway and closet? or just the bathroom area? Next you must fix the walls in the bathroom area at least. By the numbers you have provided you are 2''.. TWO INCHES out of parallel from the west shower wall to the hall. Absolutely unacceptable. Next, choke out whomever framed your walls again. When you get out of jail the second time, you need to verify the bathroom actually is that much out square, but with being 2 inches out of parallel I can't foresee anything being square. I'm really sorry you got dealt this hand.. I suppose its better you caught it sooner then later...
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:41 AM   #6
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What is acceptable tolerance for framing walls?


Are the green walls existing? If so, it's hard to not follow them to a certain extent...
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:17 PM   #7
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What is acceptable tolerance for framing walls?


I think you need to thank your framer for giving you an almost perfect hallway (which is the easiest thing seen, if out of square), and dividing up what appears to be a poorly laid-out block perimeter... burying most of it in the closet (no big deal, appearance-wise) and the largest room.

He didn't come complaining that your setup was so far out of whack that he couldn't do the job.

Personally, I think he did a great job of trying to fix a major block screw-up for you. (1-3/8" in seven feet is pretty far out.)
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:22 PM   #8
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What is acceptable tolerance for framing walls?


Willie T. I'm going to assume that you are being sarcastic and making a joke out of his situation. If you are serious then... ouch.
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:24 PM   #9
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What is acceptable tolerance for framing walls?


Copperclad, I choked them to death, now they arrested me and wanted to execute me by hanging. However the beam they throw the rope over is not level. I told them I might slide to the low side if they don't fix it...LOL

OK, this is what I am thinking.

If you refer to the diagram, if I move point B, the NE corner of the hallway to the left by 3/4". My closet will be 78-1/2" even.

If I then move point A, the NW corner of the hallway over by 3/4", it will make the bathroom area even at 82-5/8".

The hallway widths stay the same.

I think this is the best way to even things out. I don't need to mess with the wall to the south with lots of pipes going through the top plate.

I have already freed up point A. I must have 50 screws on the floor now.

Stay tuned.
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:32 PM   #10
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What is acceptable tolerance for framing walls?


That's fine if it's what you want to do. You will still be 1 1/4'' off in between the shower and bathroom. You need to verify that moving those walls 3/4'' that way makes it square.... You can make anything parallel, doesn't mean it's square...
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:35 PM   #11
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What is acceptable tolerance for framing walls?


Quote:
Originally Posted by CopperClad View Post
Willie T. I'm going to assume that you are being sarcastic and making a joke out of his situation. If you are serious then... ouch.
Not at all. What's the customer going to do?

You have three choices:

1. Tear the block walls down and relay them.
2. Pad out the East and West ends of the blocks... throwing away a bit of space, and totally screwing up the windows.
3. Ask the HO how to fix it.

Granted, the framer should have explained it all to the HO, and let him decide....... but we've all be there. That's asking for a huge cluster ____.
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:41 PM   #12
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What is acceptable tolerance for framing walls?


Are you kidding me???? You would build bathroom walls 2 inches out of parallel????? If the block is out of square you fir it out to make it square. Tear the block walls down?? Seriously?? If it was done right.. It seriously would have taken an extra 15 minutes.. Ask the homeowner??? NO. You tell the homeowner. "Hey, your block is 1 1/2 out of parallel. I value you as a customer and I pride myself on doing things right, therefore you are going to lose 1 1/2'' of space but all of your rooms will be square and your tiles will look 10000 times better ." Are they going to say no ???
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:41 PM   #13
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What is acceptable tolerance for framing walls?


Quote:
Originally Posted by miamicuse View Post
Copperclad, I choked them to death, now they arrested me and wanted to execute me by hanging. However the beam they throw the rope over is not level. I told them I might slide to the low side if they don't fix it...LOL

OK, this is what I am thinking.

If you refer to the diagram, if I move point B, the NE corner of the hallway to the left by 3/4". My closet will be 78-1/2" even.

If I then move point A, the NW corner of the hallway over by 3/4", it will make the bathroom area even at 82-5/8".

The hallway widths stay the same.

I think this is the best way to even things out. I don't need to mess with the wall to the south with lots of pipes going through the top plate.

I have already freed up point A. I must have 50 screws on the floor now.

Stay tuned.
Before you go cocking that hallway off at an angle..... Do you need to run any sort of pattern into that hallway from the bedroom? Such as tile or wood?
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:45 PM   #14
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What is acceptable tolerance for framing walls?


The padding would have been a problem at either end. They both have windows that would glaringly show the twist.
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:58 PM   #15
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What is acceptable tolerance for framing walls?


Padding would have been a problem??? Gosh.. Let's see... Ummm.. Walls 2'' out of parallel... or a window sill with a 3/8's or less reveal from jamb to jamb. I will take option B please.

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