Studs form the basis of almost every home in the United States of America. These wooden beams are more-than-likely what form the bones of your house, keeping it upright through storms, wind, and even, for coastal Carolina residents, hurricanes. However, the odds are that you know very little about the studs in your house. Don’t worry; most homeowners don’t! As you read this guide, you will learn more about what precisely studs are, how they work, and why the matter.
Nowadays, studs, like all mass-produced lumber, have standard sizing. If you go to a local lumberyard anywhere in your region of North Carolina or South Carolina, you will see piles of “1-by” and “2-by” boards that can be used as studs. “2-by-4” boards are the most common. Bear in mind that these are actually 1 ½ inches by 3 ½ inches, not a true 2 inches by 4 inches. This same principle holds true for all “2-by” sizes. For instance, a “2-by-8” is actually 1 ½ inches by 7 ½ inches. This is important to know if you are ever shopping for lumber without a contractor’s assistance.
It also bears noting that, if you live in an old house, your studs are extremely unlikely to be the same size as today’s boards. If you are looking for studs in the walls, for instance, you may find that they are 2-3 inches thick instead of the modern 1 ½ inch standard. This is particularly common in homes that are at least 100 years old and has to do with the fact that discrepancies in stud thickness didn’t impact plaster the way it does drywall, so it simply wasn’t a priority for builders to make sure every stud was identical.
Studs are, as you already learned, used in walls. They can also, however, be used underneath of floors. This is because studs have an extremely high compression strength, meaning heavy floorboards can sit directly on 2-by-4s or 2-by-6s in walls without collapsing. Your contractor will figure out what stud size is best for your house, but the more space there is between studs, the more room you will have for insulation. This is, of course, most crucial if your local climate gets cold during the winter months.
Although there are dozens of perks that come with living in both North Carolina and South Carolina, the presence of termites and other bugs is not among them. Because termites can be a major problem in our region, it is important for all of the studs you use during any construction project to be made out of treated lumber. Again, this is something your contractor should be aware of, but if you see any untreated boards being used during your job, speak up, and ask why!
At Hatch Homes, our skilled crew is proud of our commitment to do jobs right the first time. If you turn to us for your next residential renovation job, you will not have to worry about anything. We can tackle any task, from replacing damaged studs in one room to erecting a brand new family home. To get started, call us today.