04 Rough Framing – Preview

Exterior Wall Structure

The choice for exterior wall structure is connected to your insulation strategy (see section 11). Most homes utilize studs at 16” or 24” on center, with cavities between them. 2 x 4 stud walls have become less common recently due to inferior thermal performance. Alternatives to stud construction include Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), stacked log construction, concrete block (CMU) and steel construction.

Select your exterior walls and confirm they are specified properly on your floor plans:

__ 2 x 4 conventional wood studs (species & spacing may vary)

__ 2 x 6 conventional wood studs (species & spacing may vary)

__ 2 x 4 Engineered woods (spacing may vary)

__ 2 x 6 Engineered wood (may be required for tall walls)

__ 3-1/2” deep steel studs

__ 5-1/2” deep steel studs

__ Structural Insulated Panel (SIPs)

__ Stacked log construction

__ CMU, typically 8” wide (concrete masonry units, often referred to as concrete block)

__ Steel post and beam construction (often employed to achieve large openings)

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Once the foundation walls are complete and satisfactory, rough carpentry (framing) can begin. The rough framing stage of construction requires more interaction with the contractor and more oversight than most other phases of construction. Reserve time each day to interact with the rough carpenter and answer his/her questions. Make sure all materials the rough carpenter needs at a given stage are at site. The risk of delays, omissions and conflicts increase drastically if the carpenter does not have materials needed at a given time.