OSB for building a house??? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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Default OSB for building a house???

Ok, I stopped in and took a look at a house being built not to far from where I live. I was surprised to find that this two story house was being built with OSB framework. The framework for the second story floor is designed like I-beams but it's using what looks like OSB. Is this normal now days? I guess I have seen all the "old school" builders that use 2X12's for most work like this.


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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 12:36 AM
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Hi Tim

That's is norm now days it's very strong plus it saves a ton of money..

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 08:21 AM
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I'm sure they have improved the product by now to some degree. In the mid 80s one of a few developments I worked in tried OSB to cut costs, it failed.

At the time even though it was "KNOWN" that OSB had an exterior face and interior face, once any significant amount of water got into the board it swelled like a sponge and then flaked apart. It was a costly and time consuming mistake requiring removal, disposal and replacement.

In an attempt to recover damage costs and place blame the developer tried to prove the material was installed incorrectly, it wasn't. Then the board had a glossy ext. face and a matte int. face. The glossy face was a water/moisture repellent.

It probably wouldn't have been an issue if the structure could be enclosed, (Tyvek papered or tarped) before any repeated normal or extended rainfall occurred but that isn't/wasn't conducive to condo development.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 09:34 AM
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I have seen on one of the home improvement shows where they were using engineered lumber (studs and such) for the framing. It appeared they were all a type of OSB as well. The big benefit being that they don't warp and to spot on accurate. I would think (and hope!) that the glues used to hold it together would be better able to with stand water, otherwise one good flood and the house would be coming down!
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 09:44 AM
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I'd bet on a marine adhesive.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 10:54 AM
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We use OSB and engineered wood products for the structural components in all our builds for as much as is available. It is much more stable dimensionally. There are no bowed boards with it, and the strength to weight(and size) ratio is really high.

With OSB it make absolutely no difference strength wise which side is out. We always use the rough side out for a couple reasons. On roofs it is for safety, the smooth side is treacherous with just a wee bit of moisture. On most OSB sheets we get the rough side is marked for nailing on 16 and 24" centers, which speeds up the framing. We always push to get the roof on, and at least the moisture barrier on the exterior as prolonged exposure to the elements will cause some damage, but it does take a real long time.

We have used OSB studs as well, but they are still a bit pricey. The excel when balloon framing a second floor and lengths of studs of 20' are needed. We also try to use them in kitchens and wherever building in cabinetry will happen as the perfectly straight run of studs is a blessing when installing cabinets.

I love real wood for finishing work, but for structural give me an engineered product any day.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 02:13 PM
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I know OSB is the standard for roofing but is there any gain to using say 1/2" ply instead of OSB? Money being no concern of course.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 02:16 PM
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BearLeeAlive,
Unless they've changed within the last couple of yrs., the Ext. face (smooth/shiny) is/was for moisture/water proofing.

Are you aware of the number of grades? It's possible that even though you may install the product you may not be aware of all the grade classifications regarding where and when any of them can be used and or bond classes.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanuckGal View Post
I know OSB is the standard for roofing but is there any gain to using say 1/2" ply instead of OSB? Money being no concern of course.
Deb, cost is one of the biggest considerations, but among other things two other factors are key too. OSB is a bit stronger then an equivalent size of plywood sheathing, and has a much lower impact on the environment as fast growing smaller trees can be used putting less stress on old growth forests.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghidrah View Post
BearLeeAlive,
Unless they've changed within the last couple of yrs., the Ext. face (smooth/shiny) is/was for moisture/water proofing.

Are you aware of the number of grades? It's possible that even though you may install the product you may not be aware of all the grade classifications regarding where and when any of them can be used and or bond classes.

Ronald, unless it is a regional thing that I am unaware of, there is no right side out for OSB as far as weather proofing goes, it is made the same right through, the only difference being the surface texture. Both sides are equally water repellent. Some of the first OSB made years ago was smooth on both sides, but it was proven to be a hazard when used on roofs, thus the rough surface now seen on one side. With floor and roof applications the manufacturers grading info does have to be on the underside so it can be identified by a building inspector.

I tried to find a manufacturers spec and could only find where they refer to making sure the textured side is up on roofs, but could really find nothing about walls as far as which side is out. I did find THIS page which has lots of interesting info.

Most OSB used on floors is still smooth on both sides.

JIM
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