Smarter Framing – Part II

September 30th, 2005 by Peter Schmelzer

Via e-mail, Ray Cox of Northfield Construction said:

I’m aware of this and have even tried it out a few times. It takes some work to both get used to it and get code officials to accept. For example. a single top plate works in theory but inspectors really give a hard time about it. There are some other things that come into play. For example, if a top plate is left off then you have to decide how you are going to handle the studs….custom cut each one from longer lumber instead of using pre-cuts….or if you use pre-cuts you will most likely have to cut down sheets of drywall. Those things pop up.

We have made major advances in framing for corners, wall partitions, rim joists, etc. to allow better insulation. The code officals accept those changes.

This framing discussion brings my line of thought back to Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), which we used for the Hougen-Eitzman Residence in Nerstrand. SIPs seem to embody the best of OVE framing: limited use of lumber, high R-value, and quick assembly in the field. In addition they provide a tight house, by nature of the system. They, too, have been around for a long time: 50 years according to one source.

For more on SIPs, see the Structural Insulated Panel Association‘s website.

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