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Old 06-04-2017, 06:40 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by joebanana View Post
The UBC states studs and rafters be on 16" centers.
That way 8' long sections of sheeting end up on a stud. Your tape measure has special marks on it every 16" to make it easier.
There are millions of houses built before any UBCexisted.

UBC really doesn't apply to government build housing projects or engineered modular construction.

Rafters can be on 12", 16", or even 24" centers depending on roof decking.

Truss framing or prefab type framing is normally 24" centers.

If you don't want to or can't get into the attic, deep scan stud finder is best in combination with hammer tapping.
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Old 06-04-2017, 06:46 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by joebanana View Post
I have never seen 4' on center framing, anywhere, but I'll take your word for it.
My sister's home uses 48" on center framing for its floor joists... !

Not kidding.

The droop after forty-years was absurd.

I had to remediate... plenty.
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Old 06-04-2017, 06:48 PM   #23
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There was a style of framing and building back in the day.... They would frame out the house with minimal timber, typically 48" on center. Once they framed it up they would apply the interior wall, which was just the exterior wall. It consisted of 1x12's vertically installed.

I can say these houses are scattered throughout the Bay Area and Monterey Bay as I have worked on a number of them.

The only type of framing I have never run into is Balloon Framing, I know it was wildly popular on the East Coast, but it didn't seem to make its way to the West.

Here is a good synopsis... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americ...cal_Plank_wall
I have ran into alot of balloon frames home even commercal buildings before .,, they are pretty easy to snake in the cables but the only drawbacks with most of the balloon frames is fireblocks that you will hit them about half way up it dont have specfic height but expect to hit them.
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Old 06-04-2017, 07:34 PM   #24
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You might not believe this but one of my industrial customers has 10' spacing between beams and NO floor joists. It's a turn of the century (20th) building. The beams and columns are made from 1'x1'x10' wood with steel brackets joining them. It's like a tinkertoy frame.

The floors are 1x8 yellow pine, one layer going north-south, one layer going east-west, and one layer diagonal.

The floors do have some spring and it's noisy the floor below if someone rolls a cart the floor above.

There are joists or an extra beam here and there where there is or was something heavy but they are few and far between.
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Old 06-04-2017, 09:06 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by MechanicalDVR View Post
There are millions of houses built before any UBCexisted.

UBC really doesn't apply to government build housing projects or engineered modular construction.

Rafters can be on 12", 16", or even 24" centers depending on roof decking.

Truss framing or prefab type framing is normally 24" centers.

If you don't want to or can't get into the attic, deep scan stud finder is best in combination with hammer tapping.
Apparently it's not the UBC any more, now it's the IBC.
I was just generalizing. The majority of modern stick frame residential dwellings are 16" o/c.
There are exceptions to every rule, otherwise, we wouldn't need them.
I was just tossing the dude a bone, since he sounded "unsure" of how to apply his craftsmanship to the project at hand.
Geeezee
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Old 06-04-2017, 09:19 PM   #26
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My sister's home uses 48" on center framing for its floor joists... !

Not kidding.

The droop after forty-years was absurd.

I had to remediate... plenty.
That's why they don't build them like that anymore. Is it a custom home? Imagine what a wall built on 4' centers would look like after 40 years. And floors don't have to handle snow load either. Maybe that's why they went to 16" centers, besides it dividing into 8' evenly.
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Old 06-04-2017, 09:24 PM   #27
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I live where we install solar panels on old houses that were just thrown up in there day. The jousts and studs distances vary wildly. You practically have to drill a search whole on some of these houses. Any ideas on how to accurately locate these items. I'll buy a stud finder that actually works if need be. Thanks. Mike.
www.knightsofmiddleengland.com/jousting-displays/
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Old 06-04-2017, 09:28 PM   #28
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WTF?
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Old 06-04-2017, 11:16 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by joebanana View Post
Apparently it's not the UBC any more, now it's the IBC.
I was just generalizing. The majority of modern stick frame residential dwellings are 16" o/c.
There are exceptions to every rule, otherwise, we wouldn't need them.
I was just tossing the dude a bone, since he sounded "unsure" of how to apply his craftsmanship to the project at hand.
Geeezee
I've been involved in many different projects on houses over the years and have found the variances in framing centers very frustrating to say the least.

Wasn't trying to bust balls in the least.
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Old 06-04-2017, 11:19 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joebanana View Post
Apparently it's not the UBC any more, now it's the IBC.
I was just generalizing. The majority of modern stick frame residential dwellings are 16" o/c.
There are exceptions to every rule, otherwise, we wouldn't need them.
I was just tossing the dude a bone, since he sounded "unsure" of how to apply his craftsmanship to the project at hand.
Geeezee
The OP didn't say he didn't know the "standard", read what he said.
He said they are old houses vary from house to house.

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Originally Posted by besc View Post
I live where we install solar panels on old houses that were just thrown up in there day. The joists and studs distances vary wildly. You practically have to drill a search whole on some of these houses. Any ideas on how to accurately locate these items. I'll buy a stud finder that actually works if need be. Thanks. Mike.
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Old 06-05-2017, 02:19 AM   #31
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I've been involved in many different projects on houses over the years and have found the variances in framing centers very frustrating to say the least.

Wasn't trying to bust balls in the least.
Oh yeah, I've had my share, but I have found ~16" o/c gets me in the ball park most of the time. I've got a super small drill bit, around a 1/32" that I use for probing drywall. I'll admit, I haven't done any residential for at least 20 years, but, I don't think it's changed that much. The thing that's changed the most is the NEC. My first code book was the 1975 edition, it was 5"x 7.5" x 1", and easy to understand.
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Old 06-05-2017, 02:42 AM   #32
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The OP didn't say he didn't know the "standard", read what he said.
He said they are old houses vary from house to house.
That's what I gave him, was the "standard". I'm not familiar with "framing joists and studs with distances that Vary Wildly".
I've always had pretty good luck with a tape measure, a chalk line, and the 16" rule. Once you find one the rest aren't that hard. Unless they "vary wildly", then I can't help. Yeah, I know, it's rare to find a tradesman that can read a tape measure these days but, it beats poking a bunch of holes in someones roof. And a stud finder on shake shingle, or Spanish tile roof, is a hit or miss venture, on a good day.
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Old 06-05-2017, 06:31 AM   #33
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Thinking about this some more - I see a lot of old framing methods around here. I have also read some of the old Audel's books and others about construction methods from 50-100 years ago.

I don't remember how the tables were laid out back then but I wonder. Today's framing is almost all platform framing. The lumber is short, but you can get anything from 2x4's to 2x12's. There are lookup tables based on a few standard spacings, telling you how wide your rafters have to be.

I don't remember seeing any huge lumber used for rafters in old houses, and certainly no trusses, usually you just see the old dimensional 2x4's. The lookup tables might have worked the other way around, there were only a couple sizes used, so you looked up your spacing based on the span and load. I see all kinds of odd rafter spacings around here, in houses from around the turn of the century. You'll see 19", 23", all odd stuff.

Another thing with balloon framing. With this method it was no big deal to alter your stud spacing a bit to position doors and windows where you wanted them. (You can do all kinds of crazy things with balloon framing, it's no big deal to have the second story floors at two different levels.) The rafters might then be stacked on the studs, that is, they'd follow the stud spacing.

Whatever the case - working from the attic is going to give your best results. Check the spacing up there, if it's regular then you're set once you find the first rafter.

If the spacing is irregular it is going to be tough - best bet might be to tack up a piece of joint tape across the rafters, mark the rafter locations, and use that as a pattern to locate them on top.
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Old 06-05-2017, 08:46 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by joebanana View Post
The UBC states studs and rafters be on 16" centers.
That way 8' long sections of sheeting end up on a stud. Your tape measure has special marks on it every 16" to make it easier.
Don't get all mad at us when you throw out something like this that is not even close to being right.
16" is a standard but not a code in any way shape or form.
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Old 06-05-2017, 10:40 AM   #35
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Thinking about this some more - I see a lot of old framing methods around here. I have also read some of the old Audel's books and others about construction methods from 50-100 years ago.

I don't remember how the tables were laid out back then but I wonder. Today's framing is almost all platform framing. The lumber is short, but you can get anything from 2x4's to 2x12's. There are lookup tables based on a few standard spacings, telling you how wide your rafters have to be.

I don't remember seeing any huge lumber used for rafters in old houses, and certainly no trusses, usually you just see the old dimensional 2x4's. The lookup tables might have worked the other way around, there were only a couple sizes used, so you looked up your spacing based on the span and load. I see all kinds of odd rafter spacings around here, in houses from around the turn of the century. You'll see 19", 23", all odd stuff.

Another thing with balloon framing. With this method it was no big deal to alter your stud spacing a bit to position doors and windows where you wanted them. (You can do all kinds of crazy things with balloon framing, it's no big deal to have the second story floors at two different levels.) The rafters might then be stacked on the studs, that is, they'd follow the stud spacing.

Whatever the case - working from the attic is going to give your best results. Check the spacing up there, if it's regular then you're set once you find the first rafter.

If the spacing is irregular it is going to be tough - best bet might be to tack up a piece of joint tape across the rafters, mark the rafter locations, and use that as a pattern to locate them on top.

I could be wrong but of all the houses I have ever seen framing standardization doesn't really seemed to have occurred until the 1940's when sub divisions and groups of houses were built.

Also kit homes like the ones Sears and Roebucks sold that had blueprints and cut sheets helped this all along.

When houses were framed without any regard to insulation or plywood sizing things were vastly different as to after those items were considered.

Varying lengths of tongue and groove or shiplap sheathing boards and roof decking made framing member spacing irrelevant and unimportant.
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Old 06-05-2017, 11:08 AM   #36
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I could be wrong but of all the houses I have ever seen framing standardization doesn't really seemed to have occurred until the 1940's when sub divisions and groups of houses were built.

Also kit homes like the ones Sears and Roebucks sold that had blueprints and cut sheets helped this all along.

When houses were framed without any regard to insulation or plywood sizing things were vastly different as to after those items were considered.

Varying lengths of tongue and groove or shiplap sheathing boards and roof decking made framing member spacing irrelevant and unimportant.
That's a real good point about the Craftsman houses and other kit houses. This was literally a do it yourself house out of a catalog, hard to imagine this now! I imagine a person building their own house from a kit might get the roof rafters a little irregular and say "close enough."
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Old 06-05-2017, 11:19 AM   #37
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That's a real good point about the Craftsman houses and other kit houses. This was literally a do it yourself house out of a catalog, hard to imagine this now! I imagine a person building their own house from a kit might get the roof rafters a little irregular and say "close enough."
Of all the kit homes I've seen they all seemed to have had very good 'instructions' and people followed them.

I can't recall the name brand of them but I've also seen homes from the early 50s that had the oldest form of residential trusses I've ever seen.

They were between a wooden ribbon truss and a typical ladder truss, they were basically constructed of 2"x3"s and placed @ 24" on center with 3/8" plywood sheathing and 1/2" plyscore roof decking.
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Old 06-05-2017, 03:05 PM   #38
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Don't get all mad at us when you throw out something like this that is not even close to being right.
16" is a standard but not a code in any way shape or form.
When did I say it was a code? What do YOU think the "C", in UBC stands for? "not even close to being right"? I'm closer than you are.
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Old 06-05-2017, 07:42 PM   #39
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I've done work in a lot of old 'turn of the century' homes here. Most are balloon framed on 36" centers.

Where the door is, they'd move the 36" center to 40, 42 46 ... whatever they needed, and continued on at 36" from there.

The trusses are on the same 36" centers as well.
This is all rough saw mill 2" X 4". On either side were 1" X whatever inch barnboards on either side. Then they had 3/4" tongue and grove on top of that on both sides. Built like a brick sh!t house

Walls are 9 1/2" thick. Most of these homes either had no insulation, or saw dust in the 2X4 opening


Good ol days when wood and nails must have been free
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Old 06-06-2017, 07:23 AM   #40
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