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GeneDavis

Wall height for the walkout level and why not to set it for precut studs

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It varies by region, but in the northeast it is common to see 8 foot and 9 foot ceiling heights specified at 1-1/8" over for rough height, and the lumber yards stock precut studs for both these heights.  Some markets also have precuts for 10 foot walls at the same "plus 1-1/8"" logic.

 

So it is common for me, or had been until now, to do ceiling heights for walkout basements so as to use the same precut studs for wall framing.  It turns out it can cause problems at build time, if using Chief material lists for framing, due to the inaccuracies of foundation wall building and floor slab pours.

 

I use the material lists to provide resonably good takeoff info for builders, and I know the info gets used.  I advise it's just a guide and to add for waste and errors and bracing, blocking, etc.  For all the 2x4 and 2x6 material, I have the material list structural reporting (I generate the buy list) set up to count just the precut stud lengths, and 16 footers.  That is it unless there is some (rare) balloon or tall wall framing happening that needs 18, 20, 22 or even 24 footers.

 

A walkout project with a big footprint and beds baths and closets and more on floor zero can end up with hundreds of 2x6 and 2x4 precuts in the tally, if the walls are set to that precut wall height.  And if the contractor buys to that list, the problem rears its ugly head when the wall height needs to be taller than specified, something that a less-than-precise foundation build can cause.

 

It would be the pour from heaven if for a big walkout basement job, the framers could build all the wall frames using precuts, laying on the slab, then stand all up and have to top plates all nice and level, and level with that big perimeter of mudsill that has been bolted down on the concrete wall tops.  What really happens is that string and levels and lasers come into play and every stud is cut to a mark, and the framing is all a bespoke suit.

 

But you cannot stretch a stud.  If the variance is plus, meaning the walls need to be taller, you either quickly call the yard and get 350 10/0 lengths and return the 350 precut 9s you have, or you extra-plate, usually at the wall bottoms.  Then you need more 16s.

 

So now I go to the nominal number 8/0, 9/0, or 10/0 for the ceiling heights on floor 0, let the material list still count the studs as precuts, and figure that if the pours are perfect, they are gonna whack 1-1/8" off all the studs.  And I hope that the poor joe doesn't have a job that went 1-1/8" the other way.

 

What have you been doing for floor 0 ceiling height?

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Great advice and makes total sense.  The one and only home I did with a walkout, I did per the pre-cut length studs, but did not have to give any kind of list.  So maybe, the home owner- who also was the builder did not purchase these (even though story-pole and section dimensions showed this).  I am going to note this advice though for future plans.  

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