wood walls built like brick walls


R

richard

Purely curiosity.
Every one knows how brick walls are built and why.
But what if you were to replace that brick with wood?
Kind of like the way they do log cabins.
Would such a wall be as sturdy as brick?

I've only seen a few homes built in this style.
Trying to google for a wood built wall gets zillions of hits on brick
walls.
 
H

Hot-Text

richard said:
Purely curiosity.
Every one knows how brick walls are built and why.
But what if you were to replace that brick with wood?
Kind of like the way they do log cabins.
Would such a wall be as sturdy as brick?

I've only seen a few homes built in this style.
Trying to google for a wood built wall gets zillions of hits on brick
walls.
It's call "Wood Frame Building"
key word: frame

< http://www.bing.com/search?q=wood+frame+building&FORM=AWRE >
 
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R

richard

That's closer. But most of what I see are using extremely huge and long
timebers to minimize the work.

What I am asking about involves cutting a 2x?? to four foot lengths, then
laying them on each other row by row as you do brick.
The internal framing would be used to help tie things together and for
support. YOu might say, in the way they do a post and beam.
 
H

HerHusband

Richard,
Purely curiosity. Every one knows how brick walls are built and why.
But what if you were to replace that brick with wood?
Kind of like the way they do log cabins. Would such a wall be as
sturdy as brick? I've only seen a few homes built in this style.
You might be thinking of something like the StackedLumber house:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Modern-Homesteading/1983-07-01/Advice-For-
Building-Wood-Home.aspx

I can see a number of problems with this building method, including:

1. Cost. Unless you can get a lot of 2x scraps for free, it would take a
lot of wood to build even a small house.

2. Air leakage. All those gaps between boards would leak a lot of air.
Real log cabins use chinking between logs and most modern log homes also
use tongue and groove joints to better align and seal between logs. I
suppose you could add some kind of sealant between each course of boards,
but then you're back to the cost issue.

3. Potential rot. It would be very easy for water to seep in between all
those boards and start rotting. You could always add siding on the
outside of the building, but that would negate the reason for stacking
lumber in the first place.

4. Insulation. Wood is not the greatest insulator. I don't remember the
R-value, but I'm pretty sure it's less than 2 per inch. A wall made of
2x4's would be less than R8 and a wall made of 2x6's would be less than
R12. Real log homes usually use logs that are 8" or 10" around.

5. Construction Time. It would take a long time to cut, stack, and nail
all those courses to build a wall.

6. Strength. I don't think a bunch of stacked 2x4's would offer much
lateral strength. You could be in real trouble in an earthquake or with
strong winds (tornado or hurricane). Normal log homes are essentially
large beams spanning from corner to corner.

7. Shrinkage. Just like a traditional log home, you would have to
account for shrinkage in the lumber. Leave spaces above windows and doors
for the building to settle and that sort of thing.

8. Utilities. As with a normal log home, it would be difficult to run
plumbing, electrical, and other utilities in the stacked lumber walls.


You might also search Google for "Cordwood construction". This method
basically uses wood logs embedded in mortar. I've seen similar methods
that use bottles, cans, old tires, and just about any other filler
materials. If I were going to that trouble, I think I would use actual
rocks in the mortar. Just be sure to add rebar reinforcement to keep
things together in an earthquake, or due to settling. I've built some
mortared stone retaining walls, and it's a LOT of work. It gave me a new
respect for those Mayan temples and Egyptian pyramids.

Hope this helps,

Anthony
 
J

jloomis

I have seen this construction and mainly it is from one who has worked at a
lumber mill or is able to get pieces of material free or at low cost.
Her Husband pretty much sums up the whys and why not's....
Interesting enough though, many are now using recyclables and mortar as
mentioned in another post and stacking the units.
Now for the Building Code, this is another question and how it would "fly"

"richard" wrote in message

Purely curiosity.
Every one knows how brick walls are built and why.
But what if you were to replace that brick with wood?
Kind of like the way they do log cabins.
Would such a wall be as sturdy as brick?

I've only seen a few homes built in this style.
Trying to google for a wood built wall gets zillions of hits on brick
walls.
 
R

richard

Richard,


You might be thinking of something like the StackedLumber house:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Modern-Homesteading/1983-07-01/Advice-For-
Building-Wood-Home.aspx

I can see a number of problems with this building method, including:

1. Cost. Unless you can get a lot of 2x scraps for free, it would take a
lot of wood to build even a small house.

2. Air leakage. All those gaps between boards would leak a lot of air.
Real log cabins use chinking between logs and most modern log homes also
use tongue and groove joints to better align and seal between logs. I
suppose you could add some kind of sealant between each course of boards,
but then you're back to the cost issue.

3. Potential rot. It would be very easy for water to seep in between all
those boards and start rotting. You could always add siding on the
outside of the building, but that would negate the reason for stacking
lumber in the first place.

4. Insulation. Wood is not the greatest insulator. I don't remember the
R-value, but I'm pretty sure it's less than 2 per inch. A wall made of
2x4's would be less than R8 and a wall made of 2x6's would be less than
R12. Real log homes usually use logs that are 8" or 10" around.

5. Construction Time. It would take a long time to cut, stack, and nail
all those courses to build a wall.

6. Strength. I don't think a bunch of stacked 2x4's would offer much
lateral strength. You could be in real trouble in an earthquake or with
strong winds (tornado or hurricane). Normal log homes are essentially
large beams spanning from corner to corner.

7. Shrinkage. Just like a traditional log home, you would have to
account for shrinkage in the lumber. Leave spaces above windows and doors
for the building to settle and that sort of thing.

8. Utilities. As with a normal log home, it would be difficult to run
plumbing, electrical, and other utilities in the stacked lumber walls.


You might also search Google for "Cordwood construction". This method
basically uses wood logs embedded in mortar. I've seen similar methods
that use bottles, cans, old tires, and just about any other filler
materials. If I were going to that trouble, I think I would use actual
rocks in the mortar. Just be sure to add rebar reinforcement to keep
things together in an earthquake, or due to settling. I've built some
mortared stone retaining walls, and it's a LOT of work. It gave me a new
respect for those Mayan temples and Egyptian pyramids.

Hope this helps,

Anthony
As for cost, I have checked a few mills for prices on 2x8's.
$4 for an 8 ft board. Delivered. (#2 SYP).

Assume a 60x60 footprint 10ft high.
that's 240 continous feet.
requiring 30 8ft boards.
It takes 16 2x8's stacked on edge to create 10 ft.

16*30=480
480*4=$1,920.

Buy two bundles from the mill and have plenty of lumber for interior walls.
 
H

HerHusband

Richard,
As for cost, I have checked a few mills for prices on 2x8's.
$4 for an 8 ft board. Delivered. (#2 SYP).

Assume a 60x60 footprint 10ft high.
that's 240 continous feet.
requiring 30 8ft boards.
It takes 16 2x8's stacked on edge to create 10 ft.
16*30=480
480*4=$1,920.
Buy two bundles from the mill and have plenty of lumber for interior
walls.
2x8's on edge might work OK for sheathing (houses were sheathed with 1x
boards before plywood was around), but 2x8's on edge would make for a
VERY weak wall with no other structure.

That's a wall only 1-1/2 inches thick. That's only around R-2 or so for
insulation? Hope you live in the tropics.

And how will you fasten the 2x8's together? Toe nailing? Any sideways
force at all would simply buckle the stacked 2x8's and the whole wall
would come crashing down.

Don't believe me? Go grab three 2x8's, set them on top of each other,
than stand on the top edge. Hope you don't injure yourself... :) Now
image stacking 16 of those and putting thousands of pounds of roof
structure on top. Good luck with that...

If the stacked lumber wall is to have any merit, you would have to lay
the 2x8's FLAT, and nail each course together (overlapping joints and
corners).

A 10 ft wall (120 inches) would take 80 courses (1.5" for each 2x8 laid
flat).

You wanted a 60 foot wall, so 80x60=4800 lineal feet per wall.

Four 60 foot walls times 4800 lineal feet = 19200 lineal feet.

19200 lineal feet divided by 8 (the length you quoted) = 2400 boards.

2400 boards times $4 each = $9600

You would probably use a little less due to window and door openings, but
you would probably make up for that with the gable ends, or interior
walls. And, you would still have all the issues mentioned earlier.

-----

Compare that with a traditional 2x6@16" OC framed wall.

About 46 studs for a 60' wall, 16 boards for the top plates, and 8 for
the bottom. That's 70 studs per wall. I'll round up to 80 for the sake
of corner blocking, window framing, extra studs, etc.

80 boards times 4 walls = 320 boards

Assuming your quoted $4 price per board, that would be $1280 for the 2x6
lumber.

Now you need sheathing. 15 sheets per wall = 60 sheets total. Rough
estimate of $20 per sheet, that's $1200.

$1280 for the lumber, plus $1200 for the sheathing = $2480. That's about
one fourth the cost of the stacked lumber method.

To be fair, you now need to add insulation and interior finish, but you
have an extra $7000 left over to more than cover that. If you use a
textured plywood sheathing (such as T-111 Siding), you could skip the
siding on the exterior of the building.

You also have a nice space to run plumbing, electrical, and other
utilities inside the wall as well.

----

Obviously, the stacked lumber method would only make sense if you had a
source of free or extremely low cost lumber (and could overcome the other
issues mentioned earlier).

Keep in mind, the outer shell of the building usually only accounts for
30-50% of the total cost. Most of the expense comes from the mechanical
systems, cabinets, appliances, and interior finishes (lights, flooring,
etc.).

Anthony
 
R

richard

Richard,


2x8's on edge might work OK for sheathing (houses were sheathed with 1x
boards before plywood was around), but 2x8's on edge would make for a
VERY weak wall with no other structure.

That's a wall only 1-1/2 inches thick. That's only around R-2 or so for
insulation? Hope you live in the tropics.

And how will you fasten the 2x8's together? Toe nailing? Any sideways
force at all would simply buckle the stacked 2x8's and the whole wall
would come crashing down.

Don't believe me? Go grab three 2x8's, set them on top of each other,
than stand on the top edge. Hope you don't injure yourself... :) Now
image stacking 16 of those and putting thousands of pounds of roof
structure on top. Good luck with that...

If the stacked lumber wall is to have any merit, you would have to lay
the 2x8's FLAT, and nail each course together (overlapping joints and
corners).

A 10 ft wall (120 inches) would take 80 courses (1.5" for each 2x8 laid
flat).

You wanted a 60 foot wall, so 80x60=4800 lineal feet per wall.

Four 60 foot walls times 4800 lineal feet = 19200 lineal feet.

19200 lineal feet divided by 8 (the length you quoted) = 2400 boards.

2400 boards times $4 each = $9600

You would probably use a little less due to window and door openings, but
you would probably make up for that with the gable ends, or interior
walls. And, you would still have all the issues mentioned earlier.

-----

Compare that with a traditional 2x6@16" OC framed wall.

About 46 studs for a 60' wall, 16 boards for the top plates, and 8 for
the bottom. That's 70 studs per wall. I'll round up to 80 for the sake
of corner blocking, window framing, extra studs, etc.

80 boards times 4 walls = 320 boards

Assuming your quoted $4 price per board, that would be $1280 for the 2x6
lumber.

Now you need sheathing. 15 sheets per wall = 60 sheets total. Rough
estimate of $20 per sheet, that's $1200.

$1280 for the lumber, plus $1200 for the sheathing = $2480. That's about
one fourth the cost of the stacked lumber method.

To be fair, you now need to add insulation and interior finish, but you
have an extra $7000 left over to more than cover that. If you use a
textured plywood sheathing (such as T-111 Siding), you could skip the
siding on the exterior of the building.

You also have a nice space to run plumbing, electrical, and other
utilities inside the wall as well.

----

Obviously, the stacked lumber method would only make sense if you had a
source of free or extremely low cost lumber (and could overcome the other
issues mentioned earlier).

Keep in mind, the outer shell of the building usually only accounts for
30-50% of the total cost. Most of the expense comes from the mechanical
systems, cabinets, appliances, and interior finishes (lights, flooring,
etc.).

Anthony
I did not detail the joining method as I wanted to know if there was any
significant difference between brick and wood stacked in the same manner.
Log Cabins are built with either square, flat timber, or tongue and grooved
"D" timber.
My version would probably employ T&G for joining.
Or, drive stakes between the rows for side movement support.
Or, use a framing system behind the wall inside the home, which would then
be used for insulation purposes.

From what I've been reading, there is virtually no difference between the
two as to which is better. It's a matter of whether or not you want
termites.
And there are tons of ways to deal with them critters.
 
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H

HerHusband

Richard,
I did not detail the joining method as I wanted to know if there was
any significant difference between brick and wood stacked in the same
manner.
We don't have much brick construction in my area, but to my knowledge,
brick walls are usually built as a decorative face in front of the
structure that actually supports the wall (concrete walls, concrete block,
wood framing, etc.). In that instance, yes, you could use wood for the
same function as it's not structural. In fact, 2x lumber would be a waste
of material, you could just go with 1x6 T&G boards.

A single row of brick (i.e. 4" thick) as the building's support structure
would not be all that strong either. It wouldn't take much effort to bring
down a single thickness wall. As with the stacked lumber, it would just
buckle in the middle where it is the weakest.
Or, drive stakes between the rows for side movement support.
Essentially post and beam construction, with the lumber stacked as infill
between posts? I think many old colonial houses were built like that. It
was a way to build log homes using shorter logs.
Or, use a framing system behind the wall inside the home, which would
then be used for insulation purposes.
In other words, your stacked T&G 2x8's are just sheathing. The framing is
supporting the structure and resisting the various loads. What is the
benefit of using 2x material for sheathing as opposed to 1x or plywood
sheathing?

Take care,

Anthony
 
P

PeterD

That's closer. But most of what I see are using extremely huge and long
timebers to minimize the work.
So you have like a million 2x4s that are a bit too short? Remember that
many brick buildings are built with two rows of bricks, and were you to
use wood, you'd probably have to do the same.
 
R

richard

So you have like a million 2x4s that are a bit too short? Remember that
many brick buildings are built with two rows of bricks, and were you to
use wood, you'd probably have to do the same.

No. I am going to use a 2x120.
 
P

PeterD

I did not detail the joining method as I wanted to know if there was any
significant difference between brick and wood stacked in the same manner.
And I said that brick walls are double layer brick, and you are thinking
(for some insane reason) that you can have a wall that is 1.5 inches
thick...

WTF?
 
J

jloomis

There is a "Great Engineering Novel" that has been out for some time.
It is called the 3 little Piggies......
Building with straw, then wood, then brick.......
jloomis

"PeterD" wrote in message
I did not detail the joining method as I wanted to know if there was any
significant difference between brick and wood stacked in the same manner.
And I said that brick walls are double layer brick, and you are thinking
(for some insane reason) that you can have a wall that is 1.5 inches
thick...

WTF?
 
R

richard

There is a "Great Engineering Novel" that has been out for some time.
It is called the 3 little Piggies......
Building with straw, then wood, then brick.......
jloomis
No doubt it was written by a "mason".
Long before geodesic domes were known.
I'd like to see you build a geo-dome out of brick.
 
J

jloomis

If you look at ancient architecture many domes were built with the arch
form. It may not be a geodesic dome, but it comes very close.
Many Cathedrals were built with this concept also.
Buttresses, flying buttresses, aqueducts,
You know a dome could be built with proper support.
You need to support the archway until all is connected and then pull out the
form.

Look up this....
http://givnology.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/81560593/m/493101668/p/2

Amazing.....john

"richard" wrote in message

There is a "Great Engineering Novel" that has been out for some time.
It is called the 3 little Piggies......
Building with straw, then wood, then brick.......
jloomis
No doubt it was written by a "mason".
Long before geodesic domes were known.
I'd like to see you build a geo-dome out of brick.
 
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