Whether you're looking to purchase an existing home or are considering going the custom home building route, one factor that you're likely not taking into consideration is stud spacing.
Why in the world should you care about stud spacing?
Anytime you're going to hang something in your home--whether it be a shelf or large mirror--you'll want to place fasteners into wall studs for proper support.
Also, stud spacing can impact the quality of the construction of your home.
What are the typical options for stud spacing?
During the construction process, framing lumber is typically set 16 or 24 inches "on center." In other words, the spacing of this lumber is either 16 or 24 inches apart. Therefore, if you measure the edge of one stud to the next stud, you'll find that they are generally either 16 or 24 inches apart.
You may encounter some instances where stud spacing is not 16 or 24 inches apart, such as with windows, doors, and corners. Typically, you'll find additional studs and headers around windows and doors to help carry the structural load.
If I-joists are used (common in modern residential construction), you may encounter 19.2 inch spacing. If you own a contractor-grade tape measure, you'll notice that black diamonds are used on the tape measure to mark each of the 19.2 inch centers.
Is there an optimal stud spacing to use?
Often what separates custom home building from buying an existing property is the quality of the construction. A custom home building contractor will typically recommend that stud spacing be kept at 16 inches as the more studs and the thicker the wall, the better built your home will be.
Can you specify stud spacing when building a custom home?
Yes, the advantage to custom home building is that you select the right building contractor to build your dream home from scratch. Keep in mind that a custom home is not only your design, but your specifications as well. You should consider the quality of your stud spacing to be just as important as the finishes used in your home.
When narrowing down your list of building contractor candidates, talk to them about construction quality, and be as specific as asking about their approach for stud spacing. A good building contractor will be able to give you a very clear answer to this question.
To learn more about our approach to stud spacing, please contact us at Empire Custom Builders. We pride ourselves in building a quality home, inside and out, and we consider stud spacing to be a critical part of the custom home building process.