This section is from the book "Hicks' Builders' Guide", by I. P. Hicks. Also available from Amazon: Hicks' Builders' Guide.

To estimate studding for the outside walls and partitions in houses, estimate them 12 inches from centers, then when they are set the usual distance, 16 inches from centers, there will be enough for all necessary doubling around doors, windows and corners. I prefer this rule for the following reasons: 1. Because it is easier to count the studding 12 inches from centers than 16, as the number of feet in length of an outside wall or a partition gives the number of studding, and is seen at once. 2. Mistakes are less liable than in estimating 16 inches from centers, and adding for double studding, as in adding for double studding more than one-half the places requiring double studding will be overlooked. This rule is not intended to make up for things left out, but is only for making up the number of double studding required around doors, windows and corners. Plates and other places requiring studding must be estimated separately. Studding is another item of which carpenters usually fall short, for the simple reason that many are used in places that were overlooked in the carpenter's estimate. To prove beyond a doubt that the method of estimating 12 inches from centers can be relied upon, we will give a plan, Fig. 5, of the outside walls and partitions of a one-story cottage, and a practical example illustrating the method of estimating.

Fig. 5. - Floor Plan of a One Story Cottage, Shoving Walls and Partitions.

Referring to the plan, it will be observed that the size is 24 x 32 feet, and that the length of each partition is given. We will suppose it to be a 10-foot story. Now, by the plan it is necessary only to add the length of the outside walls and the partitions together, and to obtain the number of studding required. The operation is as follows:

Feet. | |

Tow outside walls, 33 feet each .............. | 64 |

Tow outside walls, 24 feet each ............. | 32 |

One inside partition ............. | 33 |

One inside partition .............. | 14 |

Three inside partitions, 10 feet each ............... | 30 |

One inside partition ......... | 4 |

Total ........................................ | 192 |

Thus we see that the total number required is 192 studding. Now, by the old way of estimating, we would have to find the feet as above. Multiply by 12, because 12 inches make a foot, and divide the product by 16 inches, the distance the studding are to be placed from centers. By the old method the work of estimating has but just commenced, but we will help it out a little by an occasional short cut. If we multiply 192 feet by 3 and divide by 4 the result will be the same as though we multiplied by 12 and divided by 16, thus 192 x 3 ½ 4 = 144 studding, the number required without any doubling. Now comes the work of counting up the places requiring double studding, which is more bothersome than all the rest put together. In cutting out for the windows the pieces that come out will make the headers ; consequently, if the sides are doubled it will take about three studding to two windows. Now, there are eight windows, which require 12 studding. This amount can nearly always be saved, as most window frames are made for weights, and the studding has to be set far enough away from the jambs to allow the weights to work freely, and when thus set they seldom require doubling. In cutting out for the doors the pieces that come out will double one side, and it will require one 10-foot studding to double the other side and make the header. There are eight doors on the plan, consequently eight 10-foot studding will be required for them. There are four outside corners, to double which will require four studding. There are 12 inside partition angles, which we will suppose in this case to require two studding to the corner, which they will not, as one studding has been included in the partition, but we will call it two to the corner, which will make 24 studding. Now, let us sum up and notice the results.

Number of studding estimated 16 inches from centers... | . 144 |

Number of studding for doubling around windows ......... | , 12 |

Number of studding required for doubling around doors. | 8 |

Number of studding for doubling four outside corners.. | 4 |

Number of studding for doubling 12 partition angles. | 24 |

Total.............................................. | 192 |

Thus, after allowing an abundance for doubling, we still come out even. After all our figuring, the old method has only proven the correctness of the new, and, as it is so much easier than the old, it may meet with favor. As for myself, I can say that I have used the method of estimating studding 12 inches from centers with perfect satisfaction, and have always had a few left. I not only consider it the easiest, but the most accurate way of estimating studding for outside walls and partitions.

At the present day the frame work of most houses is composed principally of studding, such as are used in the outside walls and partitions. This is especially true regarding the plates, rafters and sometimes the ceiling joists. The plates on the outside walls are usually doubled and the partition walls usually have a single plate, top and bottom. The outside walls of small buildings do not require plates across the ends, but on tall buildings it becomes necessary to extend the plates across the ends. To estimate the number of studding required for plates, add together in feet the lengths of the outside walls and partitions which require plates and divide by the length of studding used for plates. For example suppose it is required to put plates all around on the plan shown in Fig. 5, which is 192 feet, including outside walls and partitions, and that the lengths of studding used is 16 feet; then 192 ½ 16 = 12, which represents the number of studding required for a single plate. This amount doubled will give the number required for double plates on the outside walls and single plates top and bottom, on the partition walls, making 24 studding, the net amount, to which should be added one-eighth for waste in cutting, making in all 27, the number required for plates. If the outside walls and partitions do not have the same amount of doubling, or the same number of pieces for plates, then they will have to be estimated separately.

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