Wood framed walls are a type of construction that uses wood studs to create the skeleton of a wall. The studs are spaced evenly apart and are held in place by horizontal plates at the top and bottom of the wall. The space between the studs is filled with insulation and then covered with drywall, plywood, or other materials. Wood framed walls are a common type of construction for both residential and commercial buildings. They are relatively inexpensive to build and can be easily customized to meet the needs of the specific project.
Wood framed walls have been used for centuries to build homes, barns, and other structures. The earliest wood framed walls were made from logs that were simply stacked on top of each other and held in place with mortise and tenon joints. In the 19th century, balloon framing became popular. Today, wood framed walls are still the most common type of wall construction used in homes and other buildings.
To determine if a wood stud wall is structural, check for headers above doors/windows, as these are often in load-bearing walls. Examine the wall's orientation; if it's perpendicular to floor joists or located directly above/below another wall, it’s likely load-bearing. Also, review original blueprints or consult a professional. Exterior walls are generally load-bearing. In basements, check for support columns or beams aligning with the wall.
To locate a stud in a wall, use a stud finder - an electronic device that detects changes in density behind the wall. Place it flat against the wall and slowly slide it horizontally. When it indicates a stud, mark the location with a pencil. Alternatively, knock on the wall; a solid sound indicates a stud, while a hollow sound signifies a space. Typically, studs are 16 or 24 inches apart, so measuring from a corner or electrical outlet can help estimate locations.
Platform framing is more common today due to its efficiency and safety. It involves constructing one floor at a time, with each floor platform serving as the base for building the next level. This method is more material-efficient, stable, and easier for crews to work on. Balloon framing, where the studs run continuously from the foundation to the roof, is less common because it requires longer lumber and is more labor-intensive and less energy-efficient.