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residential: do you draw 4" or 3 1/2" stud walls?


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slipperypete

Which do you draw and why?

 

I have been drawing residential plans for about a year. I have always drawn my stud walls at 3.5" inches. I am a self-taught acad lt user, and I am starting to play with dynamic blocks which appear will make my life much simpler. The built-in blocks seem to favor 4" walls. As a former builder, the architect that I used to hire drew his walls 3.5", 5.5", etc. While I have seen draftsman use 4" & 6" walls all the time I guess I am wondering what the advantages are to either. To me, precision is important which is why I have always favored the 3.5" wall. However, if there is a convincing reason for me to draw 4&6" then I am open to the change.

 

Also... do you draw dimensions 'stud face to stud face' or do you mark the center of the (interior) wall?

 

thanks!

Edited by slipperypete
added (interior) to last sentence.
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Measure to the actual framing members using real dimensions for plans. Finish materials are noted and dimensioned in the sections and detail views. Framing crews will love you for it.

I agree, this is great advice for the OP

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I draw mine to the dimensional lumber size. My studs are located center-to-center.

 

Disclaimer: I am not an architect but I once played one in a school play. The guy's name was Frank Lloyd Wright.:lol:

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bill_borec

It is interesting to hear an architectural discussion regarding precision! Most architects I have worked with are form over function. *spoken with tongue in cheek*

 

My engineering side wants accuracy and precision. I fear that the 4" and 6" have devolved from the misunderstanding that a 2x4 is not 2-inches by 4-inches in actual measurement.

 

I have heard it argued that by drawing the walls 4" and 6" thick, they are accounting for the drywall/sheeting...whatever, it's still not "accurate".

 

So, I guess there is no RIGHT answer. I tend to agree with you that 3.5 and 5.5 are more accurate.

 

I also locate studs to the o.c.

 

Disclaimer: I am an engineer...although I have seen some of FLW's work! (Some of it looks kinda goofy and wasting space...but, hey, that's just me and my opinion!)

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slipperypete

Out if curiosity, why o.c. for the studs? I guess it is personal preference. I have actually looked at plans from about 20-25 different people. I usually see 3.5' studs marked on the edge or 4" marked o.c.

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Slipperypete, are you an electrician?:lol:

 

O.C. makes sense to me because there is less chance for error, someone marks the bottom plate and forgets which side the wall goes on, or is not sure if that is face of stud or face of gypboard, etc. I am obviously not an architect or carpenter so what do I know.

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2x4 is merely a description, draw lumber/studs at their actual dimensions.

 

16" Center to Center is exactly the same spacing as 16" Face to Face. Tape measures don't hook on the middle of a stud, they hook on faces/ends, and carpenters don't mark the center of studs, they mark one of the faces, even if they have to add/subtract 3/4" from the dimension given on the prints. Start your framing dimension at the end of the walls, and dimension the faces/rough openings.

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slipperypete
Tape measures don't hook on the middle of a stud, they hook on faces/ends, and carpenters don't mark the center of studs, they mark one of the faces, even if they have to add/subtract 3/4" from the dimension given on the prints.

 

This is in line with my thinking. In the little bit of my carpentry experience, I either hook the tape or butt it up against a plate. Marking the center doesn't seem right to me. HOWEVER, I know many people that prefer it this way. That is why I am curious of 'why'. The few carpenters that told me they prefer walls marked on center said they just learned that way so it is easier for them to do it.

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Murph_map

I was taught that you dimension center of wall to center of wall OR center to outside edge of framed exterior wall. Then do detail dwgs for interior walls w/ sheetrock and exterior walls with sheetrock, vapor barrier, sheathing, and brick or siding.

Now being an ex-carpenter I'll tell you just tell me where you want the walls and windows and I'll frame it the way I want to use the less material possible.

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It is interesting to hear an architectural discussion regarding precision! Most architects I have worked with are form over function. *spoken with tongue in cheek*

 

My engineering side wants accuracy and precision. I fear that the 4" and 6" have devolved from the misunderstanding that a 2x4 is not 2-inches by 4-inches in actual measurement.

 

I have heard it argued that by drawing the walls 4" and 6" thick, they are accounting for the drywall/sheeting...whatever, it's still not "accurate".

 

So, I guess there is no RIGHT answer. I tend to agree with you that 3.5 and 5.5 are more accurate.

 

I also locate studs to the o.c.

 

Disclaimer: I am an engineer...although I have seen some of FLW's work! (Some of it looks kinda goofy and wasting space...but, hey, that's just me and my opinion!)

 

FLW was of diminutive stature (architectural work aside). He was known to scale some spaces to his own height (or lack thereof), whence uncomfortably low ceilings in some intimate spaces for anyone of average height or more. :ouch:

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slipperypete

I decided to dig in my office and take a look at house plans that I have from others. I found plans from eight designers & six architects. This is how their plans are done:

 

4” Studs / o.c. – 7 designers, 1 architect

4” studs / stud face – 1 designer, 1 architect

3.5” studs / o.c. – none

3.5” studs / stud face – 4 architects

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SuperCAD

When I draw plans, I always draw objects to the exact dimensions of the product (2x4's are 3-1/2", 2x8's are 7-1/4", LVL's are 9-1/2" or 11-7/8" unless a different size is needed). As far as dimensioning to a wall, I always dimension to the left side of any interior walls. I've never understood why anyone would dimension to the center of a wall since that only creates extra math that the contractor needs to do to properly locate the walls. Not to mention the fact that there would have to be an extra point or line at the intersection to allow for a snap point at the middle of the wall, so it's creating extra work for the drafter as well (using AutoCAD at least, I don't know what Revit can do). Also I never, EVER, dimension to a finished material. I ESPECIALLY never dimension from the brick veneer on any wall. Finishes are going to be what they end up as, regardless of finished dimensions on a plan, so why make it harder for the contractor to build the structure.

 

Drawing 4" or 6" walls is a relic from a bygone era when architects were drawing plans by hand. It was just easier to draw a line 4" off of another than it was to try and scale out 3-1/2". If they show the wall thickness as 4", well that's just lazy architecture in my opinion.

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Jack_O'neill

The subject of this discussion is why there are usually 2 sections in each file....one folder labeled "design" and one "as-built". :D

 

I don't do much residential stuff, almost all of my work is on commercial buildings, and 90% of what I do are the curtain wall elevations and details. These elevations are generally dimensioned like this:

curtainwall dims.png

Curtain wall is a little strange, and follows it's own path, but nearly everything gets dimensioned more than once so that there's no question about where it should go.

 

OD in this case means "opening dimension", not outside diameter. FW is frame height, AR is "architectural reference". As you can see, the actual framing members are measured from the outside of the first to the centers, then to outside of the last. DLO means "daylight opening" and means just that...it's the amount of space daylight can pass through. The 3/8 dims you see at the top and bottom and each side is the caulk joint that goes all the way around the system.

 

Confused yet?

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Draw and dimension the wood framed walls at the actual thickness of your framing material. In the case of 2x4's draw the wall at 3 1/2". The framing carpenters do not know or care what material the wall is going to be covered in. At the same time, they are the only contractors on the job who care exactly where the walls go, because they are the ones who are placing them. Finishings could be anything from 3/8" sheet rock to 5/4 high end wood paneling or even field stone. If all the walls are in the right place, the finish materials have no choice but to be correctly located. The only person who cares how far apart the finish material is, is the permit examiner, and he/she only cares if the hallways and doorways/arches are as wide or wider than the minimum allowable width. That is usually 3'-1" clear space in a hall or stair, by the way.

 

Pulleeze do not depend on the construction crew to do the math for finding the center of a piece of wood called a 2x4 which is not, 2x4 that is. At any rate, they vary enough to make precise measurements impossible, especially in the larger sizes like 2x10's 12's and up.

 

You NEVER dimension the stud spacing in a wall anywhere in the plans. Just note it as 2x4 Studs, Hem-fir, #2 Dense or Better @ 16" OC. The carpenters will place the studs as near as possible over the floor joists for load bearing. Let them figure it out. All they need to know is what the lumber size and spacing requirements are.

But, and it is a big but, ;) when doing floor or roof framing plans you should indicate where the framing measurements are to start and which direction to go from there. Usually, it is as you face the front elevation, from left to right.

 

Just dimension 4 or 5 of the first few joists in a floor. For 16" OC spacing, your first dimension will start at the outside face of the band or ring joist and go 15 1/4" to the first face of the first joist. That accounts for and sets up the 16" spacing. Put in three or four 16" dimensions for a few joists, then run an arrow (leader) in the direction of the rest of the floor and put a note over it - 16" OC. Done.

 

There's a pdf attached to show what I mean.

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Where i work, we draw 4" thickness to account for the 1/2" sheet rock and 6 " to account for the sheetrock and sheathing. If you ask me, it is more precise because you're not ignoring the extra inch those items add to final dimensions.---at least that's what i have always figured.

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Where i work, we draw 4" thickness to account for the 1/2" sheet rock and 6 " to account for the sheetrock and sheathing. If you ask me, it is more precise because you're not ignoring the extra inch those items add to final dimensions.---at least that's what i have always figured.

 

1/2" sheetrock + 3 1/2" stud = 4" ...... what's on the other side of the stud? :lol:

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slipperypete
Where i work, we draw 4" thickness to account for the 1/2" sheet rock and 6 " to account for the sheetrock and sheathing. If you ask me, it is more precise because you're not ignoring the extra inch those items add to final dimensions.---at least that's what i have always figured.

 

So when both sides of the wall is covered in sheetrock, you draw the wall at 4.5" thick?

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haha good catch. I thought about it and i believe my boss tells us to do it this way to keep the outside dimensions correct. I think. lol I may just be overthinking it, but thats what i have always thought. Im really not sure about the interior walls, though. They are always 4". Forget i said anything lol.

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