Wall Construction SimplifiedThere are two main types of wall construction, interior walls, and exterior walls. Althoughper...
studwork, often on 24" centers, nailed to them. Locations that this type of wall is used includewalls parallel to joists, ...
Gypsum board (often referred to by the trade name "drywall") is probably the most popularlyinstalled interior finish. Gyps...
or stone, cut to fit. Brick is installed by laying the units in a 1/2" bed of mortar, called a joint, andconnected to the ...
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Wall construction simplified

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Wall Construction Simplified
There are two main types of wall construction, interior walls, and exterior walls. Although performing a basic function of dividing and defining space, they also provide sound and heat controls, a space for installing utilities, separation from the outdoor elements, as well as structural support for the building.

Walls are built as two primary components, they are the structure, and the finish materials.
Structure
The structure is used to house service utilities, provide support for the upper portions of the building, and as means of attachment for finish materials or insulation. They are constructed in two major divisions, interior walls, and exterior walls.
Interior wall structure is constructed in two primary categories, load bearing, and non-load bearing. Although not common, many homeowners opt to insulate the wall system to reduce sound transmission and lower heat loss in unused rooms.
Interior load-bearing walls are primarily constructed of 2"x4" or 2"x6" dimensioned lumber, with a two top plates, and one bottom plate, nailed to vertical members called "studs" spaced 16" apart. They are located over bearing beams, columns or footings, capable of supporting the loads that will be placed on them. Most often, load-bearing walls are installed perpendicular to, and as support for upper floor joists, ceiling joists or framed roof assemblies. Openings in load bearing walls are installed with headers, or small beams, supported on shorter studs, spanning the required height and width of the opening in the wall. Often cross bracing is required to prevent parallel deformation from external forces, and holds the building square.
Interior non-load bearing walls are installed in locations where the upper structural components do not rest or require support. They are built usually from single top and bottom plates, with studwork, often on 24" centers, nailed to them. Locations that this type of wall is used include walls parallel to joists, and in buildings with clear spanning truss's or manufactured/framed joist work. Openings in these walls generally do not require the use of structural headers or supports, but often do need diagonal bracing to prevent lateral movement.
Exterior walls always provide support for the upper structure, including floor and roof assemblies. They are always load-bearing, requiring diagonal supports or shear panels, and enough space for insulation. In Northern Ontario, these walls are generally constructed from 2"x6" material, but often double wall systems for added insulation are constructed. In the wall assemblies, windows and doors are installed to provide access to the building, as well as allowing for natural light or ventilation of the indoor environment. They are constructed from a framework of studs, usually 16" apart, nailed to a double top plate, and single bottom plate. Within the cavity, utility lines and insulation is placed. The interior surface is treated with a vapor barrier, and finish, with the exterior surface having an air barrier and exterior finish or "siding" installed. Openings are framed with beams or lintels, supported on shorter studs, called "jacks", and nailed to the top and bottom plates. Although there are many configurations, builders utilize, for diagonal support, it is most often installed as shear panels, which are sheets of plywood or aspenite, nailed to the exterior of the walls framework. Other methods of diagonal support include wood or metal wind bracing which is a member placed diagonally from the bottom plate, through the studs, to the top plate.

Finish
There are two main areas on walls over which a finish will be applied, they include the interior exposed surface and the exterior exposed surface. The finish materials provide an esthetic surface, protect the utility lines, and reduce the transmission of sound and heat.
Interior exposed surfaces
Finishes applied to interior walls are very much the more important consideration to homeow

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Transcript of "Wall construction simplified"

  1. 1. Wall Construction SimplifiedThere are two main types of wall construction, interior walls, and exterior walls. Althoughperforming a basic function of dividing and defining space, they also provide sound andheat controls, a space for installing utilities, separation from the outdoor elements, as wellas structural support for the building.Walls are built as two primary components, they are the structure, and the finish materials.StructureThe structure is used to house service utilities, provide support for the upper portions of thebuilding, and as means of attachment for finish materials or insulation. They are constructed intwo major divisions, interior walls, and exterior walls.Interior wall structure is constructed in two primary categories, load bearing, and non-loadbearing. Although not common, many homeowners opt to insulate the wall system to reducesound transmission and lower heat loss in unused rooms.Interior load-bearing walls are primarily constructed of 2"x4" or 2"x6" dimensioned lumber,with a two top plates, and one bottom plate, nailed to vertical members called "studs" spaced 16"apart. They are located over bearing beams, columns or footings, capable of supporting the loadsthat will be placed on them. Most often, load-bearing walls are installed perpendicular to, and assupport for upper floor joists, ceiling joists or framed roof assemblies. Openings in load bearingwalls are installed with headers, or small beams, supported on shorter studs, spanning therequired height and width of the opening in the wall. Often cross bracing is required to preventparallel deformation from external forces, and holds the building square.Interior non-load bearing walls are installed in locations where the upper structural componentsdo not rest or require support. They are built usually from single top and bottom plates, with
  2. 2. studwork, often on 24" centers, nailed to them. Locations that this type of wall is used includewalls parallel to joists, and in buildings with clear spanning trusss or manufactured/framed joistwork. Openings in these walls generally do not require the use of structural headers or supports,but often do need diagonal bracing to prevent lateral movement.Exterior walls always provide support for the upper structure, including floor and roofassemblies. They are always load-bearing, requiring diagonal supports or shear panels, andenough space for insulation. In Northern Ontario, these walls are generally constructed from2"x6" material, but often double wall systems for added insulation are constructed. In the wallassemblies, windows and doors are installed to provide access to the building, as well asallowing for natural light or ventilation of the indoor environment. They are constructed from aframework of studs, usually 16" apart, nailed to a double top plate, and single bottom plate.Within the cavity, utility lines and insulation is placed. The interior surface is treated with avapor barrier, and finish, with the exterior surface having an air barrier and exterior finish or"siding" installed. Openings are framed with beams or lintels, supported on shorter studs, called"jacks", and nailed to the top and bottom plates. Although there are many configurations,builders utilize, for diagonal support, it is most often installed as shear panels, which are sheetsof plywood or aspenite, nailed to the exterior of the walls framework. Other methods of diagonalsupport include wood or metal wind bracing which is a member placed diagonally from thebottom plate, through the studs, to the top plate.FinishThere are two main areas on walls over which a finish will be applied, they include the interiorexposed surface and the exterior exposed surface. The finish materials provide an estheticsurface, protect the utility lines, and reduce the transmission of sound and heat.Interior exposed surfacesFinishes applied to interior walls are very much the more important consideration tohomeowners. This is the surface, which they will see each day, and must be visually appealing,yet, durable and require little maintenance. Of the multitude of finishes, we will discusspaneling, gypsum board, and interlocking wood.Paneling is thin sheets of wood products, typically 4x8 in size, and come with a variety offinish textures, colors and patterns. It is manufactured for use in general locations, but sometypes can be installed in wet areas, like shower stalls and laundry rooms. It is easily put on,requiring no finish work other than trim and caulking, when required. Advantages to this type offinish is that it can be quickly installed and requires no maintenance or upkeep. Onedisadvantage is that the finishes are generally only available for a few years, so future repair,tends to require the complete replacement the damaged panel, and all adjacent panels, to ensurea match.
  3. 3. Gypsum board (often referred to by the trade name "drywall") is probably the most popularlyinstalled interior finish. Gypsum board provides a smooth, flat surface finish, which is durable,can be altered by painting over to change its appearance, easily repaired and requires littlemaintenance. It is relatively cheap to install, but does tend to be a bit messy. This is due to theneed for repetitive coats of a plaster based compound, required to fill in all the joints andpenetrations located between the individual sheets, which need to be sanded down. It is a goodsound and heat barrier, in that its smooth and light colored surface easily reflects both soundwaves, and radiates heat, back into the room.Interlocking wood finishes, are very natural surface treatments. They are simply strips of wood,designed to interlock with each other. This type of finish, can be manufactured from oak, birch,maple, cedar, or most commonly, pine. Installers normally use small nails to fasten the individualslats, but often they will opt to glue the sections in place. This type of finish requires trim workto hide any exposed edges. Interlocking wood, is more expensive to install, both due to materialcosts, and higher labour time. It requires occasional sealing with shellacs, sealers, oils, or stainsto maintain, and repair work is rather difficult. Finishes of this type, are most often installed inareas requiring less noise, like dens, living rooms or libraries.Exterior Exposed SurfacesFinishes applied to exterior exposed wall surfaces are an important consideration tohomeowners. This is the surface, which the neighbors and passerbys will see, each day, andmust be visually appealing, yet, durable and require little maintenance. Of the multitude offinishes, we will discuss paneling, vinyl or aluminum siding, brick, and interlocking wood.Paneling is thin sheets of wood products, typically 4x8 in size, and comes with a variety offinish textures, colors and patterns. It is manufactured for use in exterior locations. It is easilyinstalled, requiring no finish work other than trim and caulking. Advantages to this type of finishare that it can be quickly installed and require little maintenance or upkeep. One disadvantage isthat the finishes are generally only available for a few years, so future repair tends to require thecomplete replacement the damaged panel, and all adjacent panels, to ensure a match.Vinyl or aluminum siding is by far the most popular type of siding, installed in modern homes.It is a product manufactured by extruding, or pressing poly vinyl through a mould, or bystamping aluminum sheets into shape. It comes in a wide variety of colors and textures, as wellas varying in width. It is fastened to the building with small, large headed nails, which are leftloose to allow for thermal expansion. This is a durable, maintenance free type of finish, with avery long life span. Because of this, and the fact that it is one of the cheaper sidings to install, ittends to be the siding of choice for builders. The only disadvantage to this type of siding is thatthey damage easily, and repairs are difficult, at best, to make.The most durable and expensive, exterior finish, is the popular brick siding. Bricks are madefrom clay or cement, molded or extruded to form small 4"x3-1/2"x8" bricks (typically). Theycome in a variety of colors, and a variety of textures. Other types of brick siding can include rock
  4. 4. or stone, cut to fit. Brick is installed by laying the units in a 1/2" bed of mortar, called a joint, andconnected to the walls with brick ties. The mortar can be tinted to accent or match the brickwork.Brick siding is a very durable and maintenance free finish, requiring no maintenance or upkeep,while giving a very solid or stoic feel to the home. It is quite expensive to install but still remainsa popular choice for modern buildings.Interlocking wood finishes, are very natural surface treatments. They are simple strips of wood,designed to interlock with each other. This type of finish can be manufactured from pine, ormore commonly, cedar. Installers use small-galvanized nails to fasten the individual slats.Interlocking wood requires trim work to hide any exposed edges, and caulking to seal theexterior penetrations. It is a moderately expensive finish to install, both due to material costs, andhigher labour time. It requires occasional sealing with shellacs, sealers, oils, or stains tomaintain, and repair work is rather difficult. Finishes of this type, are most often installed incottages or rural building locations because of its natural look.Julian Arhire is a Manager with DtiCorp.com - DtiCorp.com carries more than 35,000 HVACproducts, including industrial, commercial and residential parts and equipment fromHoneywell, Johnson Contols, Robertshaw, Jandy, Grundfos, Armstrong and more.Wall construction, interior walls, exterior walls, drywall, paneling, aluminum siding, brick,interlocking wood

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