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Discussion Starter #1
Anybody doing 24 on center vs 16 on center in new construction or in remodeling. I'm running into information about HUD back in the 70s doing these symposiums on value engineered home building and finding 24 on center framing acceptable with 2x4s on non-load bearing exterior gable end walls and interior non-bearing walls, and 24 on center 2x6s for 2 story exterior bearing walls.

It makes a lot of sense obviously from the labor and material savings, as well as how 24 inch units fit better than 16 inch units when it comes to all other materials such as sheathing and drywall since they are in increments of 24. They also talk about 60% of headers are unneccessary as well as all trimmer studs.

The basis of it all comes from building to actual specifications built on load instead of building based on tradition.

I am seriously considering going to 24 on center basement finishing framing for certain, just as long as it passes local code.
 

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Mike,
Many guys do 24" O.C., usually I don't. The exception for me would be an unfinished garage or a barn.

The savings are minimal compared to the price of the whole job, and I hate cheap construction anyway.

I always have used jack studs under my headers, and I always will.

Some people don't think that gable end walls are bearing walls. They ARE. ALL exterior walls are considered to be bearing walls.

IMO you may be trying too hard to save money. If you ever have a dispute, you are going to be DAMN GLAD that you exceeded the code by a WIDE MARGIN.

Want fewer hassles from code enforcement? SHOW them that your standards are MUCH higher than theirs.

Your work gets compared to the other contractor's work in your area, regardless of ration design considerations. If you want to make more money, work longer hours. When you're squeezed, this is your easiest way out.
 

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What mikesewall said.
Most building products are based on 48" and 16" divides into 48 quite nicely.
 

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Teetor,
I know that you like first class construction. I think that Mike does too. I just think that his customers are trying to squeeze him during the toughest part of the year.

Best regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hey, all good stuff. Not being squeezed, at least at this point, just very interested in building to specifications and not over-building due to traditions. When you throw the word cheap in there you are referring to building techniques that are sub-standard and that's is not the point at all. Going from solid log cabins to stick built might have been considered cheap back in 1780 also, or in more modern times going from plank sub-floors to plywood I'm sure was regarded as cheap building by the guys who didn't want to give up plank sub-flooring, you see what I mean? I understand that the 16 inch on center originated from England due to plaster and lath construction standards and was simply carried here.

So please understand that I am exploring only alternatives that make sense, just like driving 3 nails into something instead of 13 if 3 will do. Driving 1 instead of 3 if 3 is what is required due to loads or spec would be a problem, driving 8 just because we always have leaves room for improvement.

The loads have to carry and it still has to be safe, according to HUD this is all true in regard to 24 inch on center framing, and they designate exterior gable end walls as non load bearing, shear is another thing.

The thing about header lumber is really interesting siting so much waste for non-essential headers.
 

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I understand what you are saying about rational design, and as an engineering tech, I agree with most of it. HUD may call gable end walls non-bearing, but the engineering community as a whole generally considers all exterior walls to be load bearing (ask Teetor). Shear from wind loads may be a bigger factor than you realize. There are other factors as well, and I will give them to you if you want, via PM.

My standards for structural work are much higher than what the code calls for, and it's going to stay that way, period. I have many reasons for this, but I do respect your opinion, and I am not criticising you. I know that I am the one that is out of step, not you. You may very well be right. We all have different ways of looking at things. I have read many of your posts, and I am very impressed with what you have written. I can tell that you take great pride in your work, and that you don't cut corners. I realize that you are just looking for efficiency in your design. There's nothing wrong with that.

Most people think that houses are over-built. I do not agree. I am NOT going to enter into a discussion about it on a contractors forum. If you want to do it on an engineering forum or by PM, I will. I know that I am out of step with most of the other contractors on this issue, and I don't want to take the flak for it on a public forum.

Best regards,
 

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Code is the MINIMUM that is acceptable. Nobody says that you can't do it better.
 

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4th generation. My great-grandfather motorized railway inspection cars, invented the piston ring and built Teetor - Hartley engines.
 

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For us, construction is a family tradition. We discuss reinforced concrete, and structural steel during Thanksgiving dinner. It drives my poor mother crazy.
 

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When I was a kid, it was the same way. Everybody had pencils and they would sketch ideas on the tablecloth and napkins, even in restaurants. They often bought these and took them home with them.
The women would leave after the meal was done and all of these fantastic minds would just brainstorm.
 

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I've read the HUD/NAHB white papers on OVE - the principles of load paths is the prevelant point. I've used the methods in new construction and an addition to an existing home.
 

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Yeah - on a house by house basis I don't think you'll see any negligible benefits as far as cost savings.. possibly on a 100 unit subdivision you could see a savings in material costs.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Rich do you see OVE being highly uncommon? I agree that nobody is going to get rich off of the framing savings on one home, but combined ecompassing every system in a house build and I think the savings could be quite a bit.

What negative side-effects could you predict from 24 inch stud spacing on interior non-load bearing walls?
 

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It's like anything else - we've been doing 16" centers with 2x6 so long that if you don't do that then everyone thinks it's going to fall down. So one downside would be trying to convince homeowners that it's ok. That's one reason why I would say it's uncommon.
I'll have to pull the book out and see what they were seeing for savings on their model houses. It really makes pretty good sense when you get down to it. Everything lines up.
Another read is the frost free shallow foundation white papers they put out.
 

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A wall with 24" centers is going to shadow more than 16" centers. You get less shear resistance also.

Besides, unless your building a tract, you don't save squat. On a 12' wall you save 3 studs. What's that, $6?
 

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The shadowing is a concern without providing more blocking between studs.
But as far as shear resistance of 24" versus 16" - it falls within the same misnomer I mentioned above - we've done it this way for this long why change. For standard conditions (wind, seismic, etc) 3/8" sheathing will provide enough shear strength.
Looking at the numbers in the white papers and following all recommendations in it - they are saying a 12% savings on the whole house. These were split down into percentages of the 12% as 31% of it was labor and 69% was material. Most of the savings were in the framing & sheathing. The methods are not just the spacing of studs - but more turning the layout into a modular layout for everything from stud/joist/rafter spacing to window sizes.
Having said all that - I don't advocate using the OVE methods. I have used them and yes it did save some money - but I never saw a 12% savings due to the fact I just couldn't bring myself to only have a single top plate or not having a rim joist (that type of stuff).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Overall I think it is extremely interesting and the very worst that I have gotten out of it was to stop doing everything based on traditions and old timers advice and start opening my eyes, and be more open to opportunities that present themselves logically to save materials and labor. Building is evolving, what we do today we didn't do 20 years ago and what we did 20 years ago we didn't do 30 years before that. The difference is usually a new generation usually has to impliment changes instead of one person adopting to changes through out their building career because we sometimes feel way too comfortable doing it the way we were taught and even worse we feel like the learning part of our career was over long ago and admitting that you are learning something new means you are admitting you don't know something. To me the worst thing I ever hear out of somebody when asking them about something new is them dismissing it because this is the way we always do it and giving you an attitude that even suggesting there are other options means you just don't know well enough to do it the same way too.
 

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Mike Finley said:
Overall I think it is extremely interesting and the very worst that I have gotten out of it was to stop doing everything based on traditions and old timers advice and start opening my eyes, and be more open to opportunities that present themselves logically to save materials and labor. Building is evolving, what we do today we didn't do 20 years ago and what we did 20 years ago we didn't do 30 years before that. The difference is usually a new generation usually has to impliment changes instead of one person adopting to changes through out their building career because we sometimes feel way too comfortable doing it the way we were taught and even worse we feel like the learning part of our career was over long ago and admitting that you are learning something new means you are admitting you don't know something. To me the worst thing I ever hear out of somebody when asking them about something new is them dismissing it because this is the way we always do it and giving you an attitude that even suggesting there are other options means you just don't know well enough to do it the same way too.

Then again, - - that whole logic, - - to a certain extent, - - explains why centuries old houses are still standing, - - and newer homes are practically crumpling as we speak, foundations cracking, - - floors deflecting, - - trusses uplifting, - - windows failing, - - OSB nails popping, - - on and on.

The only 'evolution' I see going on, - - is making everything disposable, - - and that includes newer homes.

Don't let money over-ride logic.

Cheapen your methods, - - cheapen your clientele.

Hard to 'separate' yourself, - - once you jump on the bandwagon.
 

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hatchet said:
The shadowing is a concern without providing more blocking between studs.
Looking at the numbers in the white papers and following all recommendations in it - they are saying a 12% savings on the whole house. These were split down into percentages of the 12% as 31% of it was labor and 69% was material. Most of the savings were in the framing & sheathing. .
I've never seen a house built stick framing with studs 24" oc also but are you saying that if you do 24" oc that you have to put blocking and if so how much blocking and what is the savings when your done with the blocking with time and material spent on doing the blocking?

Also where do you save on sheathing going 24" oc as opposed to 16" oc for the studs if I'm reading you correctly, I'm probably not because I haven't had my coffee yet :confused: :confused: :confused:

Joe Carola
 
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