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Small House Wall Frame Construction

timber framework wall construction

Assembling walls

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For assembly of the walls of wooden tiny house construction, the two by four type structural timber is usually used, especially for the one-storey buildings where walls do not need to support the load of levels above. The principle of building these wood frame structures is very quick. Thanks to the favorable weights of the structures, there is no need for heavy lifting machinery. All of the work can be done by human force. If the foundations and floor structure are ready, the assembly of individual walls can commence.

It is recommended to have all the components cut and ready first. Then a solid wooden board may provide an even surface for the individual wall parts to be assembled, following the building project documentations. The finished walls are erected and anchored to the floor, then they are screwed together. This is done until all the walls of the first floor have been completed.

wall-construction
Process of anchoring of individuals walls to the foundations.
  1. wall pillars
  2. bracing
  3. temporary support (bracing)
  4. footing pillars
  5. strap (bracing)
  6. combined joists
  7. floor board
  8. ladder
  9. upper plate
  10. nogging

The wall structure consists of several wall components, among the main ones are horizontal plates, vertical studs, interior deck, bracing, breathable membrane keeping interior moisture away from other layers of insulation, thermal insulation protecting the interior environment, sheathing, which also acts as bracing, battens securing various layers of the wall, rainscreen preventing the moisture from outside leaking into the wall, exterior cladding against the weather conditions effects and installations.

assemble-the-wall
Assemble the first wall on your base and fasten in position. Balance the wall to a perfect fit using temporary nailed-on planks.
attach-wall-to-the-floor-structure
Apply the same method to the next wall; having balanced it, attach it to the floor structure and the first wall.
temporary-bracing
Again, apply the same method to the remaining walls. Keep adding temporary bracing in the course of work; this makes the unfinished structure stronger and holds it in position.
final-bracing
When all walls have been erected, the final bracing may be put in place to allow removing all the temporary structures.

Corner framing / Multiple studs

There are many ways of tackling the connection of two walls at a corner. If the connection is to be as strong as possible, the option with multiple studs should be chosen. You can also use short blocks between the studs to further strengthen the corner posts. However, there is usually more of a thermal bridge and more material is needed.

corner-stud-framing-types
Stud wall corners types

Non load-bearing walls – Stud walls construction

Besides the strength of the connection, the point of contact between two walls emphasises primarily the elimination of thermal bridges and separation of the structures by means of a separating layer – vapour barrier. There are many ways to proceed with building partition wall and for all of them it is very important to work precisely and make sure all the dimensions and levelling are correct. Otherwise the whole wall could be week and prone to flex and there would be risk of  complication later on when fixing the wall board or installing doors.

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Ways of partition wall connections:

support-for-ceiling-finish
Support for ceiling finish
  1. blocking nailed to ceiling joists
  2. ceiling joists
  3. nailing support
  4. plate
  5. stud
partition-wall-framing
Partition wall framing: Interior stud attached to stud
  1. partition stud
  2. bottom plate
  3. polyethylene strip
  4. insulation in spaces
  5. outer wall stud
non-load-bearing-wall-attached
Interior stud attached to blocking
  1. outer wall stud
  2. blocking
  3. bottom plate
  4. partition stud
non-load-bearing-partition-stud-attached
Interior stud attached after drywall installation
  1. outer wall stud
  2. interior panelling
  3. partition stud
  4. bottom plate

Bracing and insulation

Bracing is one of the crucial parts of wall construction preventing the construction from deformation or collapse caused by lateral forces. It is fixed diagonally to the vertical load-bearing components at ideal angle between 45° and 60°, as too acute or obtuse angle would make the bracing ineffective. The most used types of bracing are either a diagonal blocking made of same material as the structural framework or a perforated windbracing strap, which is placed on top of the load-bearing frame and nailed or screwed to it. Such straps made of wood are most common for example in the traditional roofs where the attic space is about to be inhabited. Also another type of windbracing is made of OSB or plywood boards with the advantage of helping to make the building’s corners more rigid as well.

wall framework diagonal bracing forces
How diagonal blocking bracing works.

Another important part of wall is a thermal insulation maintaining a comfortable environment inside the building regardless the weather and temperature outside. Today there are several options of material used: mineral insulation (rock wool), natural or synthetic (polystyrene). In the load-bearing wall frame it is usually installed after the installations such as water, sewage etc. are in the place and just before putting the final internal wall finishes. The thermal installation is also placed in the roof, between the individual rafters, and in the floor between the joists.

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