The Importance of Walls in a Structure

The Importance of Walls in a Structure

The Importance of Walls in a Structure

Exterior walls of a house have several functions. Not only do they define the shape of a house, but they also support the floors, walls, roof and provide security and shelter. Their role is imperative in separating the house’s interior from the outdoors by blocking the weather with systems that insulate, shed water, repel moisture and air infiltration.

Decisions about wall construction have consequences that last as long as the building does, including how much maintenance it will need, how energy efficient the envelope will be, and how difficult the structure will be to repair or modify.

Equally important as exterior walls are interior walls as they define space and affect livability.

Interior walls don’t keep the weather out, but they often do more than just outline the space. How you lay out partitions can affect airflow, solar heat gain, natural lighting, and even how efficiently pipes, wires, and ducts are laid out. Structural demands may dictate where interior walls go, so its best to plan your mechanical systems and framing at the same time.

Wood-framed walls have been the predominant choice for houses in the United States, below is a quick guide for how to build an interior wall.

An interior, partition is typically built from 2-by-4 stud framing, covered with panels of gypsum board that is screwed to the framing members.

1.  Start by installing the top and bottom plates. Carefully measure where each wall stud will go and mark perpendicular lines across the plates, so the studs will align perfectly.

2.   Locate the joists in the ceiling and fasten through the ceiling material and into each joist with two 3 ½ inch nails.

3.  Hang a plumb bob from each end of the top plate, just above the floor to make the bottom plates location. Nail the plate with 3-inch nails staggered and spaced every 16 inches.

4.  Use stud-framing clips to install each wall stud. Lift the stud into position, line it flush with the edges of the top and bottom plates and nail into place.

5.  Form the connections and corners.

6.  Fasten gypsum sheets to studs horizontally, staggering screws every 6-8 inches on the edge and 3 inches on the corners.

Be sure to get your required framing inspection and drywall screw inspection before placing tape, mud and finishing the wall with paint!


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