Build Warmer Walls

By Robert Robillard on Design, Energy Saving

Advanced Wall Framing

Many builders use too many wall studs in their corners, sometimes tripling up on studs to create the corner and adequate nailers for wallboard. The problem with this is that the triple studs do not perform as well thermally as fiberglass insulation does.

T-Wall Intersection:

Others carpenters and builders deal with this situation by building a “wall pocket” but unfortunately,  in most cases, do not bother to add insulation to the back side of the wall pocket on exterior walls.

These types of pockets are often installed as corners of a building and work great to provide as a nailing support for interior walls and subsequent wall board.   The problem is, if they are not insulated you have an uninsulated cavity in your wall.

Photo:  insulated, T-Wall pockets on either side of door opening

Optimum Value Engineering – Build Warmer Walls

Optimum Value Engineering (OVE), refers to construction techniques designed to reduce the amount of lumber used and waste generated in the construction of a wood-framed house.  Some of these methods are detailed below.

The T-Wall intersection and the Advanced corner are two that we use on our projects.  Both of these methods allow insulation to be added, creating  a thermal break and use less framing material. [Diagram below]

These construction techniques also improve a home’s energy efficiency as well as increase the thermal efficiency / R value of the wall framing.

The techniques still allow you to create a structurally sound home, and use less wood than a conventionally framed house.  This method  also gives you the added benefit of reduced waste disposal, which also helps the environment.

Here’s a breakdown of the benefit:

  • Materials cost savings of about $500 or $1000 (for a 1,200- and 2,400-square-foot house, respectively)
  • Labor cost savings of between 3% and 5%
  • Annual heating and cooling cost savings of up to 5%.

Photo: concord carpenter

Insulate Before Plywood Is Installed:

In the above photo, click to enlarge, you will see the building corners have yellow insulation at the top of the wall, left corner.  This corner pocket was insulated during the framing stage and at the time of plywood installation.  Once the plywood is installed this corner is not accessible to insulate.   

Insulation is also located in pockets in the front wall on both sides of the door, where T-Wall nailing pockets are located for the two interior walls.

~ concord carpenter

Diagram  Source: energystar

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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