2x6 construction

homeimprovementdivaJanuary 20, 2009

What is better 16 O.C. or 24 O.C.? We live in CT and are going to have a modular home built. Some companies recommend 16 O.C. but others don't think it's a necessary upgrade.

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"Advanced" or "efficient framing, which includes 24" o.c. stud walls, is designed to enhance thermal efficiency while minimizing wood waste.

It's interesting that a modular company wants to charge you more, evidently, for saving time and material.

Here is a link that might be useful: Advanced Framing

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 11:46AM
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sorry. I meant it to say that the 16 O.C. is an upgrade not 24 O.C.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 12:06PM
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"It's interesting that a modular company wants to charge you more, evidently, for saving time and material"

Another example of outfits capitalizing on the "green" building hype for higher profit.

Personally i dont like running anything on 24" centers unless you are going to run a heavier substrate which typically isn't an even tradeoff. Advanced framing methods make some sense in areas that dont require a higher structural demand, but there are other ways to conserve wood sustainability as well as thermal bridging techniques.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 12:07PM
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Maybe I misread the OP. In any case, it makes sense to charge more for 16" o.c.

Despite the enthusiasm for efficient framing, I know that some engineers (mine, for instance) think it compromises the building stucturally. When I began building, I was told that four-stud corners were the best way to frame. Efficient framing says just 2!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 6:01PM
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I would tend to favor a manufacturer if 16" OC was the ~standard~, rather than an upgrade.

I suggest looking through the National Association of Home Builders directory of manufacturers.


Here is a link that might be useful: Modular Home Directory

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 6:51PM
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thanks. so far 5 of the 6 companies I looked into charge upgrade for 16 O.C. the other one is more expensive probably b/c they use that and Anderson windows as standards so with upgrades at other places it probably evens out. I just want to make sure we are getting a quality structure since that is the most important part of the house besides foundation.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 7:00PM
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I am in CT too and honestly have never seen a house with wall framing 24" OC. !6 is the standard. In new consruction 16 OC 2x6 is the standard. I would not go with anything less in the Nerth East. 16 OC should NOT be an upgrade, find someone with better building standards. Not even sure that would be code in CT.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 9:33PM
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Agreed! I also looked into Advanced Framing, but was told by builder and architect that 24" OC compromises structural integrity. Also figure that if it were structurally sufficient and represented a cost savings to builders, I'd see it used...but at least here in MA, I never have...for regular stick construction at least.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 9:55PM
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I just looked at this particular comapnies building specs again and it says: Exterior Walls 2x4 24 O.C. for one manufacturer and 2x6 16 O.C. for two others. Interior Walls are 2x4 24 O.C. unless you upgrade. I didn't catch the 2x4 standard previously b/c everyone else I believe is 2x6 so this really makes me question them.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 10:21AM
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International Model Codes allow 2x4s @ 24" on centre for single storey homes. (See US Department of Energy link.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Advanced Framing Techniques

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 12:08PM
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I would walk away from any company that uses a 24" OC standard for interior wall. "Upgrading" to a 16" center for interior studs tells you right off the bat how cheap they are.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 1:04PM
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Definitely go 2x6 for exterior walls for insulation, 16" OC for structural strength. Interior walls can be 2x4 (gives you more floor space - important since you're constrained to 13ft wide modules unless you pay for transportation permit for oversized). 16" OC there is best too, though perhaps for non-load-bearing walls it really doesn't matter (at least it gives you more studs to nail baseboard to!). The marriage wall will most likely be 2x4 or even 2x3 24" OC but staggered so when modules are joined you have 12"OC.

We chose a company that offered 16" OC standard and Andersen windows - who are you looking at?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 10:05AM
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we're looking at Ricon homes and Excel as manufacturer. I know Westchester has 16" oc and andersen as standard but they were so much more expensive. who did you go with?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 1:09PM
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Since I consider Modular Homes equal to or even better than on site "stick built homes" (Read my "Modular Homes vs. Stick Built" on www.byoh.com, and since I would not want a 24 " on center framed house for myself, don't go 24" on center.
Read my blog entry on 2 X 4 vs 2 X 6 and 16 vs 24.

Here is a link that might be useful: 2 X 4 vs 2 X 6 and 16 vs 24

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 3:52PM
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We did Westchester - I thought Ricon was Westchester? Actually, the last time I drove through Salem I thought I saw Ricon's model for sale, figured they were out of business?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 5:48PM
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Whatever happened to the 19.2" centers? It breaks on 8' but not 4', maybe that's why it's out of favor, but it does make for a third way.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 5:58PM
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Typical single family building codes in the US (such as the IRC) allow 24" spacing for 2x4 studs only in a one story house and Utility grade studs are not allowed to be used at that spacing. When 24" o.c. stud spacing is used, rafters or trusses must be no more than 5" from a stud unless the top plate consists of double 2x6's or double 3x4's or if there is a third top plate or if solid blocking is installed to support the top plate.

In MA most houses are two stories so 16" stud spacing is standard.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 8:44PM
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skipper 2008

The link you posted above and on other threads goes directly or indirectly to a website run by you for your own financial gain, in fact, "Build Your Own House" is your business. Commercial use of the forum is prohibited by the Garden Web Terms of Service. It is also extremely offensive to those of us who give advice without advertising our professional services.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 7:48AM
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No Ricon uses Westchester (out of NY) as one of their manufacturers. They were like $40-50,000 more than Excel which is a huge difference. Ricon is located in Waterford near the mall. They have a good record with BBB and were priced competively with some other dealers that used manufacturers I wasn't familiar with. I would have loved to go with Westchester but couldn't justify the huge price difference.

Any tips or suggestions when building modular?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 8:45AM
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That's right, it's not Salem, the model is right next to the motel. I guess I thought all builders were affiliated with one manufacturer in an exclusive relationship. That seemed to be the case when we were looking (got quotes from 5 builders, 2 of them with Westchester, 1 might have been Excel but literally called and said "I've got numbers" the day we put deposit down with one of the Westchester builders - we had a deadline and he missed it). We didn't look with Ricon - not sure he was in business in late 2006 when we started looking? And we built outside of his "territory" anyway.

I'll have to get together a list of tips (had emailed some to my cousin who was thinking modular last year) and email them to you. Can I do that by clicking on your page?

I'm sure other people with more experience than my one house can give you better tips. My one big tip is to take a fine toothed comb to the plans, look at *everything* - something as simple as placement of a switch can turn into a major hassle/expense if you want to change it later. And COMMUNICATION is key - I was living in RI, trying to build 100 miles away, communicating via email and phone and there were some misunderstandings, and some questions I had that never got answered about window sizes, vanity lighting placement, door swing, etc. that resulted in unpleasant surprises and remodeling (my expense).

Does Ricon do GC? My builder didn't have GC license, I hired my own subs, and while most of it turned out OK (and saved a lot of $$$ over what a GC would have charged) I have had major problems with my tile installation and will probably have to move all my appliances out and rip up/replace 400 sf of discontinued tile. I've been fighting with installer for a year now, he came out once last summer to replace loose sections and now I've got more, whole floor will probably have to come up but he's saying it's structural, or we walked on it too soon, and I think (confirmed with real pros) that it's b/c he didn't follow manufacturer's instructions and use thinset b/t the subfloor and the backerboard. BTW, if you want tile over 8" square, you will have to do it onsite b/c they won't ship a modular with larger tile installed since it'll crack. Do all your flooring onsite - it's cheaper and will look better if you have seams spanning front-to-back across modules, since they have to do those seams (or half of installation) onsite anyway.

What are Excel's standards? I think we might have looked at them, I forget which builder used them, but if I recall correctly, they were 24 OC 2x4? We thought about "upgrading" too, but then decided that if someone was used to working a certain way, even if they said they'd change it for us, we might end up with "standard" construction and not find out til after delivery, and that would be a huge hassle.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 8:27AM
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We had a house in CT that was built in '89, that was framed with 2x6 at 24" OC. Apparently, that was acceptable to code at the time. I thought the house felt shaky, just not very solid; in strong winds it sounded like the thing was going to blow over. I would never want 24" OC again, whether 2x6 or not.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 8:26AM
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The resistance of a house frame to lateral forces (such as wind) is dependent on the lateral bracing in the plane of the walls rather than the spacing of the studs. For a stiffer house it is best to use specially designed steel braces (not straps) or structural panel sheathing (plywood or OSB) installed vertically (or horizontally with joint blocking) with proper nailing, especially at the corners. For houses with many exterior openings it is sometimes necessary to reinforce interior walls to act as lateral bracing.

All building codes I have used allow 24" o.c. spacing of #2 or better 2x6 studs supporting no more than 2 floors & a roof with a ceiling. Taller structures must have 16" o.c. 2x6 studs.

There are a lot of prejudices in the construction industry and they inevitably filter through to consumers. The bad reputation of 24" framing is probably due to the fact that speculative builders trying to save cost usually don't stop with a larger stud spacing so 24" framing gets associated with poor construction techniques in general.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 9:07AM
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ajsmama: any tips would be greatly appreciated especially since we are getting closer to signing. you can try and see if it will let you email thru profile, if not let me know.

I think Excel does whatever construction you want and when I asked for initial price for Ricon he said they always price with 16 o.c. we are subing the flooring ourselves onsite along with some other things like the kitchen (didn't like Merilatt cabients). Ricon does GC if you want. We are having them give us a price and will deceide how much we want them to do.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 5:57PM
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