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PATH Case Study

Save Thousands with Advanced Framing


Continued from Page 3


"Instead of putting two 2x10s with a piece of plywood in between, we use just one 2x10 and the rest of the hollow gets filled with insulation. Two 2x10s and a piece of plywood provide very little insulation value (less than R-2), but one 2x10 with even an inch-and-a-half of insulation provides a great deal more (R-9), which makes a big difference. When you multiply this by all the windows and doors in the house, that's a substantial improvement."

"Because advanced framing reduces the amount of wood used to hold up a house, you have to be very careful to make sure that whatever is required structurally is there. The traditional way of building a wall--by framing with a lot of overkill--sort of guarantees that at least you are close to being structurally sound."

"When you go to advanced framing, you have to be really conscious of what's required structurally at every point in the house. If there is supposed to be a 4x4 stud underneath a particular beam, then you need to be sure that that 4x4 is squarely under that particular beam."

"A quality control system helps ensure that you are meeting the structural requirements. We now have quality control personnel that make sure the framing is installed the way it is supposed to be."

"The quality control sometimes affects our schedule negatively, because when we spot a problem, we fix it. But I prefer to fix a problem in the field before the buyer moves into the house, than afterward when they call with a complaint. So although quality control always involves slowing down a little bit, you only do things once."

Advanced framing illustration.


"The 2000 and 2003 IRC allow you to use advanced framing techniques. When I first started doing advanced framing, the local inspectors didn't realize that they had actually approved these techniques by adapting the new IRC.

In some of the smaller towns where the building department is the building inspector, they would amend the code to their taste. So a year later, I wouldn't be able to do the same things.

The only way to combat this is to try to educate the local building department and code officials. A lot of times I've done it by getting an engineer to sign off on my drawings. Sometimes the building department has it reviewed and challenged, but I usually prevail."

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Content updated on 9/1/2006

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