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ThermoPly vs. OSB for Exterior Sheathing

Discussion in 'Homeowners Corner' started by rharse, Mar 30, 2005.

  1. rharse

    rharse New Member

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    I've been noticing a stochastic approach to the construction of the homes in Southern Walk. I see most houses being built with ThermoPly exterior sheathing and some (not many) with OSB which I certainly prefer. Plus, on the interior, I see some wood 2x4's and some stell 2x4's. Anybody know why VM uses one over the other ro why the approach seems random?

    It was a shock to me that TermoPly was used at all since it seems pretty flimsy (will it last 40 or 50 years like typical OSB or plywood sheathing will?). I can't think of any advantages other than weight and perhaps cost (probably the real driver).

    Thoughts?
     
  2. neilz

    neilz New Member

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    Most of the homes in the area (excepting those that are custom built) are built with cardboard 'Themoply'. If I ever decide to re-side my house, I'm going to replace that stuff with OSB to make the house alot stronger. I joke that I know my deck will survive a hurricane, not sure of the house.

    I know VM was not offering OSB as an option when I bought mine, perhaps they are doing it now, or the future owner demanded it.

    As far as studs .. VM uses wood studs along the exterior of the house, as those are prebuilt offsite. The interiors are steel, which actually makes for straighter interior walls, which was a selling point for my wife.

    She remembers her first townhouse, where there was a bow in a wall large enough to silde the Washington Post Loudoun Extra under the chair rail before she screwed it down.



    Neil Z.
    Resident since 1999
     
  3. kat

    kat New Member

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    Being a real novice about any of this... can anybody say what it looks like Miller & Smith is using in the TH section? Thanks!
     
  4. maeve

    maeve New Member

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    Kat,
    I live in a Miller and Smith single family and they use OSB and wood studs for all walls (interior and exterior). If I recall the construction of the Miller & Smith townhomes near us, they also were OSB and wood studs.
     
  5. neilz

    neilz New Member

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    I had thought the original post was about SFH ... is VM using OSB in their townhomes ?? AFAIK .. M&S used OSB in their magic series of THs just off Claiborne also.



    Neil Z.
    Resident since 1999
     
  6. southernwalkres

    southernwalkres New Member

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    The steel studs do make it more difficult to hang things on the walls i.e. pictures, chair rail, crown moulding, etc.

    The cost of OSB and plywood these days (and the fact that Van Metre uses pre-fab exterior wall sections) may be the main reason we get the flimsy thermoply.

    It's really nice in the Spring when you don't have to open windows to feel the cool breeze coming through the house! :)
     
  7. L0stS0ul

    L0stS0ul hmmmm

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    You just don't use nails with the metal studs. I've been using the self tapping metal screws when I need to go into the studs and it works just fine. I hung some cabinets up in the laundry room and their up there really solid.

    Being that they are thin studs I did use some reinforcement L brackets just to make sure but they were probably not nessasary
     
  8. kat

    kat New Member

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    Thanks- I know very little about this stuff. It looked like they (M&S) were using OSB for the new TH's in Southern Walk. Sorry if I confused the topic- SF verses TH....
     
  9. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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    It's pretty scary how flimsy exterior walls are with the cardboard thermoply. Vinyl siding, 1/8" of thermoply, insulation, sheetrock.... not that solid =)
     
  10. kat

    kat New Member

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    Not a good place to be for a tornado? ;)
     
  11. L0stS0ul

    L0stS0ul hmmmm

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    Our SFH in southern walk has that James Hardy Siding. the cardboard thermoply may suck but that siding is pretty good.
     
  12. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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    Yeah Hardiplank is pretty nice... they use it a ton down south, but I'm seeing it more and more up here. I guess it's a fiberglass/cement hybrid which really stands up to weather...
     
  13. Zansu

    Zansu New Member

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    and I put that alarm system on the door because..... someone could go through the walls with no problem if they wanted to.
     
  14. rharse

    rharse New Member

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    Yes, we have HardiPlank also and it's the only reason I decided that the thermoply was acceptable. I honestly think it's cheap material and I'm more frustrated that the building codes allow it.

    I'm also not sure I agree that the steel 2x4's provide for straighter walls. I definitely don't see this in my house. And I'm convinced that the reason that my house shakes when the washing machine is on the spin cycle is because of the flimsy steel 2x4s and 20 (or is it 24) inch on-center stud separation. Again, I don't like that VM built it this way but I'm more upset that code allows it.

    And hanging things that require screwing into studs is a b***h with steel studs. Hate it! I guess I love a wooden house more that steel and cardboard.
     
  15. L0stS0ul

    L0stS0ul hmmmm

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    Technically ,the steel 2x4's should be much better for inner walls than the wood 2x4's because they are supposed to be more solid. Unfortunatly many times the people that put them up twist and bend and distort them. Then when the drywall is drilled into them they tend to buckle and pull in places. We have that in a several areas in our house. Overall though our walls are pretty straight compared to my townhouse. Our ceilings though leave a lot to be desired. The family room and kitchen are showing some serious seams these days. VM came out and put a ton of putty up there but it really didn't do much to hide the seams. One day I'll need to go up there and throw some screws in to reinforce the ceiling.

    At Home Depot they sell the steel drywall screws of various size and thickness. These are self tapping screws that go right thru the drywall and right into the stud with no problem. I use these all the time now and they are great. You just need to be careful that it is indead a steel stud that you are going into and not a wood one. They don't hold to well in wood.

    Our house also shakes when we are running the washer and dryer. Kinda scary watching the floor give like that. I'm currently finishing the room below that and I'm looking at reinforcing the floor some more. I'm also looking at ripping up the current flooring and putting down some 12x12 tile. With the sub-floor that I would need to put in, the reinforcement in the basement, and the tile, that should fix the house shaking. At least I can hope [8D]
     
  16. sens25

    sens25 New Member

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    Had a home inspector out today in prep for my 1 yr walkthrough with Van Metre. While he was here, I asked him why some of the VM homes on my street had thermoply and others OSB. He said he though OBS has very recently become a code requirement. He may be correct as the latest two homes being constructed are the ones with OSB.
     
  17. rharse

    rharse New Member

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    If code now requires OSB I wish I had waited a few months. Oh well... I did see some of the model homes being built with thermoply so not sure what the story is.
     
  18. neilz

    neilz New Member

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    Gee .. no wonder the same model I'm in is now 200K more !!

    :)

    Neil Z.
    Resident since 1999
     
  19. rharse

    rharse New Member

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    I see more and more houses using OSB instead of TP (short for thermoply and just as strong!). As a matter of fact, the house that burned donw on Stone Hollow isbeing rebuilt and a couple of weeks ago was TP. As I drove past it tonight I noticed that the TP has been removed and OSB is going up (or is up on most of the house). While I'm happy for those folks, I'm upset (yes, even pissed) that OSB wasn't the standard before.
     
  20. neilz

    neilz New Member

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    Blame the Virginia Building Codes, which were not as current as the National codes The national codes were updated since the major spate of hurricanes and tornadoes the past few years to require</u> solid structural sheathing.

    Virginia's codes were never updated until a hurricane blew through here a few years ago, and the insurance companies had to pay through the nose. All of a sudden, they're lobbying for stronger structures ...



    Neil Z.
    Resident since 1999
     

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