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using rough cut lumber to build a house?

Discussion in 'Off the Topic Forum' started by hillbillyjake, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. hillbillyjake

    hillbillyjake ArboristSite Lurker

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    the wife and i have been trying to get things arranged to start on a house in the spring. i was thinking of using rough cut lumber to build with. after looking at the fine lumber that lowes and home depot have to offer:monkey:, i've almost completely decided on it. i realize the tolerances between boards may not be as tight as dimensional, but the stuff the box stores have seemed to be real junk. i think that if i'm going to pay for a crooked board it might as well be cheaper.

    what are the down falls? any one have any good or bad experiences using rough cut as a building material. all info welcome. thanks in advance.
     
  2. Walt41

    Walt41 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Go get real lumber from a lumber yard like 84, most home contractors do not purchase that homeowner stuff from box stores. Consider I-joists for floors and 2x6 walls, you'll be glad you did.
     
  3. Art Vandelay

    Art Vandelay Bovinius Maximus

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    Are there any lumber yards in your area besides the box stores? You'd be surprised how comparable they are if you're willing to order all of your building material from them. I've never used rough cut before for building a home. Inconsistencies will make all of your finish work look like ####. You'll have to rip all your lumber around your doors so the jamb fits just right. If you insist on it pick out the best lumber for your kitchen. It would be a pain in the ass hanging cabinets with that stuff I suppose.
     
  4. biggenius29

    biggenius29 Banned

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    My whole house is built from rough sawn lumber from the woods in the back, my barn was too.

    Do it out of hardwood for sure. The oak studs in my house, when remodeling I gave up using nails and used skrews.

    Who cares what the boards look like, as long as you are a good drywaller, or hire a good drywaller they can make anything look good.


    The only thing I could think of is to make sure the lumber is dry, real dry. Otherwise once the house is finished a year or 2 down the wall you will get cracks like crazy in the drywall from everything settling and shrinking.
     
  5. biggenius29

    biggenius29 Banned

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    Yea, go with 2x6 or even better even bigger.
     
  6. deeker

    deeker Tree Freak

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    As a saw mill owner, and a part time builder ( with a contractor to take the heat ) we use rough cut lumber for all kinds of stuff.

    One problem is that the local "codes" require "stamped" lumber. The price of being able to grade stamp my own lumber...includes paying royalties ( in my honest opinion ) to stop/discourage all small mills from competing with the larger mills, is well beyond my means.

    To circumvent this little hiccup, we hire a "building engineer" to approve of our work, or re-do it until he approves it. Codes are met and all are happy.

    I agree with the "84" lumber, ( hey they even buy some of my stuff ) for better quality building materials than home desperate or Lowes. Rough cut is fine, most is of higher quality than can be bought locally.

    I also second the 2x6's for all framing.

    Good luck.

    Kevin
     
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  7. Walt41

    Walt41 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I almost forgot that big blue binder on my back seat that I use to keep my pizza level...my code book...better check to see what your area specs for home construction lumber...Damn rules and what Art said, waves are cool at the beach, not so much in walls.
     
  8. Mastermind

    Mastermind Work Saw Specialist

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    I built my house with band sawn oak 2 x 8 for floor joist, 6 x 10 white oak for beams. Band sawn 2 x 4 white pine for wall studs and white pine 1 x 4 for plates. I put oriented strand board (osb) on the walls and roof. This house is two story with over 2400 sq ft.

    I built this house over 15 years ago and it is holding up well, but a lot of planning, (lumber stacking and drying, planing, moving of heavy green wood, etc) was done well in advance of the actual construction. Also, I have been in the building business nearly all of my life.

    You must consider the fact that rough sawn lumber is not dimensionally correct, and has not been kiln dried. A little known fact about kiln dried lumber is that the heat kills any insects, insect eggs or larve that could be present in the wood.

    Also your local building codes must be considered, as lumber grading stamps must be present on the lumber in certain areas.

    I would listen to what Walt has said, and consider all pros and cons of using what really is the correct material. Doing it the way I did is a lot of hard work.
     
  9. volks-man

    volks-man Arboristsite.com Spooner

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    i would not build an entire house from rough sawn. too much dimensional variation. though, if there were somewhere to incorporate some large, exposed, rough sawn post or beams......... i'd do it.



    sidenote:
    along the lines of what others have stated above about 2x6:
    i would consider building with 2x6 plates and 2x4 studs. essentially you build two offset studwalls on a single plate.... staggered on the layout. the outside line of 2x4 catches the sheathing and the inner supports the drywall. this gets you a 2x6 wall but with the advantage of better insulation by not having the studs contact both the living space and the outside. you get a nearly 'superinsulated' home with only a 6" wall.

    it is labor intensive and prohibitively expensive to pay someone else to do, but YOUR OWN LABOR is cheap!;)
     
  10. timberwolf

    timberwolf Addicted to ArboristSite

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    What a bunch of BS stamped lumber is. (Edit... I guess it is needed though to protect those buying row housed in the berbs from short cutting contractors.)

    In the last two weeks I have had stamped lumber from box store#2 "stud grade" and "select or better" that was easily 50% bark on one surface and two other pieces that were totaly dry rotted. I stepped on a new 2x6 laying on the ground and it broke and one 2x4 broke just from me tossing it on the ground. I'm going to post a pic, I think at least one of the boards is still out back.

    I have had discussions with the local code guy in the past, he did not like a couple 2x6s I milled myself and used to support a short span of roof. They are full 2.0x6.25 with nearly dead straight grain. Finnaly showed him my board and a stamped board side by side asked him as a building proffesional if I was to take my board off and put a stamped 2x6 (1.5x5.5) up would my roof be stronger? He walked off saying does not matter because there is no stamp, not seen him since, boards have not moved and roof has not collapsed.

    Hopefully you have a code guy who is willing to work with you. Might have fewer troubles with them if you go to a more post and beam construction than try traditional stick framing with non standard lumber. Realy post and beam is a safer longer lasting construction anyway.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
  11. volks-man

    volks-man Arboristsite.com Spooner

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    this is the problem with robot-like inspectors. the do not use common sense and apply the codes in a practical way.

    our local guy expects us to leave a freshly sheathed roof on an occupied house uncovered untill he can come by and look at the sheathing nailing.
    try and explain to a homeowner why you are leaving in the middle of the day with their roof open........................
     
  12. BlueRidgeMark

    BlueRidgeMark Addicted to ArboristSite

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    :agree2:
     
  13. Marco

    Marco Addicted to ArboristSite

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    A big gosh darned table saw and planer helps. Depending where the piece is headed you may have to use only one, wall stud...table saw. In the right spots 3x6s are nice to join sheeting on, gets Sparky POed when running wire.
    Think of all the money you saved when you get a 1/4 of a mile of beefy
    2x10s over a table saw.
     
  14. teatersroad

    teatersroad Addicted to ArboristSite

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    ditto on lumber yards (though not all). I get a much better buy at my local yard. Set up an account and you may get even more of a discount. If it is permit work, the rough-cut lumber may have to be graded. 'bout the only place you may find it is some gypo outfit, and you may even pay more.
     
  15. craddock

    craddock ArboristSite Operative

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    When I had my house built 5 years ago I decided to build a pole building, 40x40. talked to the building inspector and he would agree with with me that my rough sawn lumber was stronger and better but it had to be graded and stamped or I could not use it. After trying everything I talked to a friend in the building business and he told me to declare the building as agricultural. So I called the inspector again and told him that it was going be agricultural and he said thats fine it won't even need inspected then. I think that the stamped lumber stuff is bs if you use common sense
     
  16. mtfallsmikey

    mtfallsmikey Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I'm closing in the carport I built on the side of my shop, using 2 x 6 for the walls...some were 5 1/4" wide, some 5 1/2"....used 2 x 8 for trim around the garage door opening, some was 7 1/2", some 7 1/4".....real b.s. IMHO.
     
  17. cassandrasdaddy

    cassandrasdaddy Addicted to ArboristSite

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    want a laugh?

    build in ny city every piece of wood has to have a stamp including bracing i'm talking 16 inch long braces. so you cut off 14.5 inches and the rest goes in the dumpster. i hear you can bribe your way around it but i wasn't playing that game there
     
  18. turnkey4099

    turnkey4099 Tree Freak

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    Before using rought cut realize that rough cut and milled dimensions do not mix well, i.e., door/window jambs will not fit for example.

    I tore down a schoolhouse planning to use the lumber (all roughcut) in an addition. AFter much sorting I managed to get ONE 18' wall worth of 2x4. Got enough 2x6 for all the joists in the 18x30' floor but only by notchign or shimming almost every end on every 2x6.

    Not worth the time/labor to me.

    Seems that planed dimensions changed again. At least I bought 1x6 for pickup racks last year. They were barely over 1/2" (7/16 Ithink) instead of the old 3/4" I was expecting.

    Harry K
     
  19. mckeetree

    mckeetree Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Mmmmmmmmm.
     
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  20. discounthunter

    discounthunter Addicted to ArboristSite

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    now try to get homeowners insurance for that.
     

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