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PATH Case Study

Save Thousands with Advanced Framing


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"Although advanced framing was paying off for me when I framed my houses, the breakthrough came when a panel plant opened locally," Pages-Ruiz says. "We now detail our walls stud by stud to minimize the amount of lumber needed at the factory that builds them. The factory can knock out 5 or 6 of our houses in a day."

"Using a factory to build our walls makes advanced framing a cinch. The engineers at the panel plant and I now walk through the entire blueprint fine-tuning the framing."

"For example, every header is individually calculated so we have exactly the structure that we need. You'll see in some places we won't have a header at all. Instead, we'll have a 2x4 on its side to serve as a nailing area. In other areas, we may have a 4x4. For external walls, I always prefer one 2x10, because it allows me to put insulation in it."

"The day that the concrete is done, the walls arrive. We take the wall panels off the delivery truck with a forklift and pile them on site. The next day, we start standing up walls--and all the advanced framing detailing is already in them."


"The panel factory has helped me cut costs in many areas," Pages-Ruiz says. "I have lower labor costs, faster construction, lower material costs, and less expensive change orders."

"By having the panels delivered out to the jobsite, I can use a much more cost-effective crew. Rather than a framing crew, we have an erection crew, which saves us some money. With panels, you don't need experienced framers: what you need is an older and wiser superintendent. One superintendent can supervise 5 or 6 crews, because the assembly is simpler."

"Time is money in construction. We are framing the walls at the factory the same time that we are pouring the foundation. It takes us one week on average to frame one of our houses, compared to a month, which is what it used to take. That saves us money."

"The framing lumber costs are much lower. In fact, by very carefully detailing one house with advanced framing techniques, we saved nearly $1,000. Every other similar house that you produce can benefit from these savings as well."

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What is Advanced Framing?

Advanced framing is a series of techniques designed to use less lumber in framing a house, while meeting model building code structural performance requirements. Using less lumber reduces material costs, and opens cavities to allow for higher levels of insulation.

Advanced framing techniques include studs spaced at 24"; 2-foot modular design that reduces cut-off waste from standard-sized building materials; in-line framing that reduces the need for double top plates; blocking ladders for intersecting walls; two-stud corners; and insulated headers over exterior building openings (or no headers for non-load bearing walls).

Read the PATH TechSpec.

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Content updated on 9/1/2006

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