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Old 06-24-2013, 11:15 AM   #1
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Twenty four inches on center framing


I'm working with a contractor in South Carolina who has asked me to consider 24 inch on center framing with 2 x 6 studs & roof trusses. The goal being to reduce framing material costs & labor while gaining a lot of R value in the insulation. I understand a little about value engineering & the reduction in materials while increasing the building's performance. But I also see other issues with this construction like wavey walls, higher risks in hanging heavy items like cabinets on 24" centers, limitations of vynal siding due to stud spaceing, use of sheet rock corner clips & not nailed, crazy nailing patterns, etc.

Most of all if the framer has no understanding of the engineering principles behind this kind of construction, I could be in a world of structural problems. Twenty four inch on center requires very precise alignment of framing members from the trusses on down to the foundation wall. I also am not comfortable with the single top plates & the reduced corner studs.
Also no one is addressing the horizontal load conditions from wind hitting a building at 40 mph plus. Are all these issue just my worry over nothing? Is this worth the savings in materials & labor? I see maybe a material savings of $ 1,500 max on this 2,300 sq.ft. single family home. Labor savings of maybe 3% overall if that. The best thing is the added R value of the insulation in a very hot climate down here in SC. But the unanswered questions of wall loads & strength of the building are a concern to me. Anyone have any experience with this. And lastly, this would be the first 24 inch on center home my contractor would be building. That worries me a lot too going to construction with a GC having no practical experience in the 24" on center construction. Thanks for your input.
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:32 AM   #2
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Twenty four inches on center framing


Hey, I'm with you all the way, MadDog.

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Old 06-24-2013, 11:45 AM   #3
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Twenty four inches on center framing


I think you have a pretty good grasp on the situation.

I'm a big fan of 2x6 lumber for walls. I did my garage that way and was very happy with how much straighter the walls are. On some of the 2x4 walls on my 2-story addition, I was having to reject studs because they were not straight enough. It's just a lot less issue with 2x6 IMO.

Now, with that said...2x4 is fine for walls...16" OC or closer. But 24" OC? Yuk....even with 2x6's...I wouldn't do it. I personally don't think there will be any labor savings....your going to spend more time making sure they are perfect. And if one is off....your potential waste is a lot higher. It's one thing to have to chop off 15" of drywall because the sheet comes up short...but 23"?

Then add in what happens 10 years from now....if you sell the house the next guy is going to come along and start looking for studs to be 16" OC.

And....at 24" OC for walls, your most likely going to have to use 5/8" drywall for the walls....1/2" would be too flexible....

In a nut shell...I totally agree with your position...2x6" on 16" OC....

I'm thinking you might want to find another guy....
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:55 PM   #4
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Twenty four inches on center framing


For a garage, maybe. For a house, not something I'd do.
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:28 PM   #5
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Twenty four inches on center framing


Thanks to all the advice & opinions.
I thin 24" O.C. is too new in the field & an unknown risk.

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Old 06-24-2013, 05:33 PM   #6
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Twenty four inches on center framing


Actually....I think it's old school...it was tried and had too many issues.
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:35 PM   #7
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Twenty four inches on center framing


Yeah, 24" centers was around 40 years ago.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:31 PM   #8
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Twenty four inches on center framing


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Originally Posted by maddog1 View Post
I'm working with a contractor in South Carolina who has asked me to consider 24 inch on center framing with 2 x 6 studs & roof trusses. The goal being to reduce framing material costs & labor while gaining a lot of R value in the insulation. I understand a little about value engineering & the reduction in materials while increasing the building's performance. But I also see other issues with this construction like wavey walls, higher risks in hanging heavy items like cabinets on 24" centers, limitations of vynal siding due to stud spaceing, use of sheet rock corner clips & not nailed, crazy nailing patterns, etc.

Most of all if the framer has no understanding of the engineering principles behind this kind of construction, I could be in a world of structural problems. Twenty four inch on center requires very precise alignment of framing members from the trusses on down to the foundation wall. I also am not comfortable with the single top plates & the reduced corner studs.
Also no one is addressing the horizontal load conditions from wind hitting a building at 40 mph plus. Are all these issue just my worry over nothing? Is this worth the savings in materials & labor? I see maybe a material savings of $ 1,500 max on this 2,300 sq.ft. single family home. Labor savings of maybe 3% overall if that. The best thing is the added R value of the insulation in a very hot climate down here in SC. But the unanswered questions of wall loads & strength of the building are a concern to me. Anyone have any experience with this. And lastly, this would be the first 24 inch on center home my contractor would be building. That worries me a lot too going to construction with a GC having no practical experience in the 24" on center construction. Thanks for your input.
Maddog1
Sounds like you know more than your GC does send him over to Contractor Talk and maybe we can teach him a thing or two about a thing or two.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:40 PM   #9
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Twenty four inches on center framing


Simply stated, you do not gain enough in savings to offset the loss of quality.

Forget it, go with a less expensive counter top
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:02 PM   #10
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Twenty four inches on center framing


I thought code doesn't allow for 24 on center on exterior walls?
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:57 PM   #11
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Twenty four inches on center framing


Code does allow for 24" o.c. spacing.

It is somewhat more restrictive though for wall bracing, and many other things but it is doable.

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Old 06-25-2013, 08:54 AM   #12
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Twenty four inches on center framing


One other point....on another forum I'm on dedicated to just garages...there are way too many guys dealing with the negative issues of 24" OC. Most common with pole barns. It's harder to hang drywall....you have to put up extra backing for cabinets....walls are wavy....
Insulation.....

Just not worth it....
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:21 AM   #13
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Twenty four inches on center framing


We have a builder here that does 24" framing. He's a real stickler for energy homes. He builds to those special "green" specs- I can't remember the programs name.
Another builder here does interior walls only at 24"
A lot of commercial projects I've been on- the interior non bearing walls are 24" steel studs with 5/8 drywall
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:25 AM   #14
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Twenty four inches on center framing


I still think that, mostly, it's really just cheapness.
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:30 AM   #15
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Twenty four inches on center framing


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I still think that, mostly, it's really just cheapness.
Of course it is- The home building market is full of "contractors" in every trade looking for shortcuts.

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