Wall Studs

I’m new to the site and posting, so I hope this in the correct area and not only for you expert inspectors.
However, I am adding on to a home, living on a small mountain (1500-1800ft) in Northern, VA. It gets quite windy and cold up here and was considering 2x6 wall studs on a 30x30’ two-story addition with basement (so three actually) and was wondering if 24" o.c. is acceptable or should I use my initial intent of 16" o.c.? The reason for 2x6’s is I want to add the highest R-Rating insolation; therefore, any direction in these areas would be greatly appreciated. Regards, pt

You need to check your local building codes.

just in from a Frisco, TX Phase Inspection

with all the hype for “advanced wall framing”](https://www.google.com/search?q=advanced+wall+framing&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=sb) it’s telling that none of the production builders have adopted these techniques in the D/FW market

I have been in this industry since 1972. I have built thousands of homes and commercial buildings. I have conducted tens of thousands of inspections.

You need to go with 2 x 6 wall studs 16 inches on center.

I’m not trying to be sarcastic and I certainly don’t want to hurt your feelings!

That being said… The fact that you would even ask this question tells me that you need a qualified and reputable contractor to do this project for you.

I wish you the best of luck:nachi:

For a single story structure I’ve seen it. Two stories or more might require some additional strapping, diagonal metal in addition to a structural 5/8" (not OSB) shear wall, stack those walls (studs) and double plate everything…!

If you find that you are going 24"oc, make sure you crown all studs out. Don’t use studs with extreme crown or you will see the bow in the wall.

I would also recommend 2x6, 16" oc. Plywood sheathing will tend to bow on 24" oc, which is not good for hard coat stucco. Thermal bridging is negligible between the two.

Well I hate to disagree, but I disagree.

I have been building since 1969 and anything framed at 24" on center saves money and adds R-Factor to the assembly.

One thing most forget is that if you want to frame at 24" you need to change a few things that all are custom with like 1/2" drywall.
Change that to 5/8" drywall.

7/16" osb to 1/2" or plywood exterior sheathing.

The thermal loss due to the wood studs that have an R-factor of 1 is roughly 10%.

The ideal condition for thermal loss on exterior walls would be to add a 1" layer of XPS insulation on the exterior, but if the builder is to cheap to increase the sheathing thickness, that will not happen.

It is a well known fact that when using a steel stud for exterior walls, there is nothing worse in Thermal loss than that.
Installing a 2" XPS on the exterior to stop the thermal bridging adds enough R-factor total wall to enable no insulation in the wall cavity.

As far as wall performace Thermally, check it out for yourself here;


I am not much of a strong advocate of Advanced Framing as mentioned, but I am a strong believer in 24" O. C. Framing when it comes to energy conservation and green building sort of.

The cost savings in the lumber compensates for the added drywall and sheathing thickness.

I also believe that the drywall on the ceiling trusses should be 5/8" or 1/2" on furring at 16".


Some might also be interested in what Advance Framing looks like.
The are good photos and illustrations on this link here;


Once again you have come through with some really outstanding information. I believe that any “builder/contractor” would be able to fully appreciate it.

That being said… {Not trying to be disrespectful} I could be wrong but from what I read of the original post he is not a contractor but rather a homeowner who is trying a “do-it-yourself project”.
I did not want to “overwhelm him with extensive information” that he would not be able to retain.
This is a 30 x 30 two-story addition on top of a new basement. I believe that this person should go “old school” and not take a chance on a 24 inch on center construction with all of the small “nuances/changes” that must be followed for that type of construction.

You know that I have nothing but the utmost respect for you and for your knowledge in construction.
I want to sincerely thank you for taking the time and trouble and try to educate us {me included} as I always learn something from you.

Warmest regards, Frank:nachi:

Thanks Frank, just trying to help. Always a compliment taken coming from you. You are well experienced yourself and learn from you also.
Thanks. :slight_smile:

Using this calculator, the difference in R-value on a standard R-19 batt wall assembly is only about 1.5. With using 5/8" drywall and 1/2" 4-ply plywood wall sheathing verses a few extra studs, where is the cost savings in material? Framing at 24" oc is not a viable option in my opinion, and not standard practice at all in Florida.:cool:

That might be why the homes fly away in a hurricane. :mrgreen: And we all have opinions, right?:slight_smile:

[FONT=GillSans-Bold][size=3][size=2]Below copied from:[/size][/size][/FONT]

[size=3][FONT=GillSans-Bold]Savings for case study[/FONT][/size]
[size=3][FONT=GillSans-Bold]Element Material saving Cost savings
[/FONT][/size][FONT=GillSans][size=3]Studs 400 board feet 151.60[/size][/FONT] [size=3][FONT=GillSans]Lintels 26 board feet 6.27[/FONT][/size]
[size=3][FONT=GillSans]Plates (single top plate) 156 board feet 55.33 Plates (89 mm (3[/FONT][/size][FONT=GillSans][size=1]1[/size][/FONT][FONT=GillSans][size=3]⁄[/size][/FONT][FONT=GillSans][size=1]2 [/size][/FONT][FONT=GillSans][size=3]inch)[/size][/FONT] [size=3][FONT=GillSans]sill plate) 48 board feet 19.15[/FONT][/size]

[size=3][FONT=GillSans]Total $ 232.35

I was reading all the responses yesterday and today and Frank has it correctly. I’m not new to carpentry, but I am to all the “nuances” that comes with 24oc. I was already leaning toward 16oc, so I’m convinced it is the easier way for me. I am acting as owner/GC, but I am using some guidance from what I believe are excellent (various) contractor/friends…and I always second guess or check their recommendations, for as; I’ve read some other threads on some outrageous practices used in construction. This final framing will be completed by some framing contractors. Some of the data that I have retained from all here is for my upcoming meeting with the county inspectors and wanted to have my “Typical Wall Section” sheet filled out as accurately as possible. EVERYONE here has really offered wonderful information and I truly appreciate all the input and/or constructive criticism, I can only learn from it! Many Thanks, pt

Phillip I have to say Thank You It seems your doing your homework good for you. I see so many cut and paste jobs done on homes around here, example last week the guy cut the rafters so bad the new owners have to take the roof and rafters off and install new trusses.