,Home owners and builders today have so many choices in floor framing materials when building a home. In many ways this is fantastic because these material choices mean there is a solution to almost any tricky framing situation and the answer doesn’t have to be additional posting or bearing. This can cause some confusion as to what the right choice is for a given situation. Typically, when confronted with spans that are too long for conventional floor framing, TJI joists are the logical, cost-effective solution and are readily available in long lengths at most lumber yards. However, with a little planning ahead of time there is another answer, pre-engineered open web floor trusses!
Unlike the TJIs, which are comprised of two wood flanges and an OSB plywood web, pre-engineered floor trusses are typically made up of solid wood components. The components are then either mechanically fastened with metal gusset plates or finger jointed and glued. This means there is no drilling or cutting when it comes to installing utilities (plumbing, HVAC, electric, etc…).
Like TJIs, pre-engineered floor trusses are designed and manufactured to span long distances over multiple bearing points without being broken. Not having to cut and piece together multiple floor joists means time saved. This, combined with a typical layout greater than 16” on center allows pre-engineered trusses to be installed far quicker than traditional 2x framing. The large flanges also provide more surface area for the adhesive to bond to, making a stronger connection which can then be nailed. This makes for a stiffer and quieter floor in your home.
Whether you’re looking for a floor system that is quicker to layout and sheath, or you just want some flexibility when it comes to installing house utilities or you just want to minimize the amount of posting and beams required to support your floor system. Pre-engineered floor trusses are a great option that are sometimes overlooked because of schedule and/or price but with a bit of planning the amount of time saved during construction can offset the extra cost and result in a better product for the home owner.With a bit of planning however the amount of time saved during construction can offset the extra cost and result in a better product for the home owner and an easier build for the contractor.
Recently, I happened to watch NBC Nightly News and there was a story about the Sears Kit Homes of the early 20th Century. I love the history of the Sears & Roebuck homes and I am always trying to guess if a house in town is an original when I drive by. The Sears & Roebuck kit homes were built between 1908 & 1940 throughout the country, primarily on the East Coast & Midwest. The homeowner would order everything from a catalog and it all arrived via boxcar which would then be trucked to the homesite. These kit home packages delivered directly to the consumer could consist of up to 30,000 parts and pieces! Most of the original Sears homes because of their age can only be recognized by certain markings on the homes framing. These numbers & letters used to differentiate the various framing components are typically visible in a home’s basement or attic.
As the story ended, I started to compare a Sears Kit Home to what we do here at Addison Residential. Besides offering design & management services, we also offer framing packages for homes, barns, garages and more. These packages are made up of pre-constructed panelized wall framing, pre-cut floor, roof and ceiling framing and pre-assembled exterior trim elements. Pre-assembling these components saves time in the field thus, allowing a house frame to be put together faster than your average conventionally framed house. It also minimizes the waste of materials on site. Additionally, we can provide the homeowner with the trim, roofing, doors, and windows to complete the exterior of the home. Though we may not have a catalog to choose your house from, we can design a fully customized home for you, produce and deliver it in the same manner as a Sears Kit Home.
In addition to rough framing and exterior components we also offer interior components for homes. We design and build kitchen & bath cabinetry, built-in’s, staircases, mantels & specialty millwork pieces. These items can be fully customized to fit any homeowner’s wants, needs & budget.
Though we don’t supply refrigerators or plumbing fixtures, we can guide you in the right direction for these purchases. Our goal at Addison Residential is to provide an efficient way to build a home without compromising on design. That being said, I think we have taken what we could learn from the Sears Kit Home and we have continued to improve on their concept of pre-built home construction and will continue to do so. The kit home hasn’t died, it has just evolved to meet the needs of today’s homeowner.
Check out the NBC News Story HERE