Tag Archives: stud walls

Bookshelf Girts or Stud Walls?

Why Use Bookshelf Girts Rather Than Studs?

Long time readers may recall my Grandpa Pete was a home builder and his sons – Sid (my father), Neil, Lyle, Gil, Dave and Amund were all framing contractors. https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/06/before-the-pole-barn-guru/. Besides being raised with “wood is good”, I had a concept of vertical stud walls permanently ingrained in my head!

Stud walls led to my losing my posterior erecting my first post frame (pole barn) building. I struggled with this 90 degree ‘flip’ in framing concept far more than I needed to. Luckily, I was able to wrap my head around left-to-right rather than up and down when it came to my second building and I actually made some very good money!

Reader TRENT in WALLA WALLA writes:

“I am currently working on plans for building my first post frame home. It will be 30×48 single story. I am trying to figure out the best wall girt design. I am looking at going with 2×8 bookshelf wall girts or vertical stud walls between the posts. I see more people going with bookshelf girts vs vertical studs. Is there any drawbacks or reasons not to use vertical stud wall framing between the posts?”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru responds:

Installing a ceilingPretty straightforward – vertical stud walls will take more lumber. Besides increased material investment, more pieces mean more connections and more labor.

Imagine, if you will, a pole building with a 10′ eave height and columns every 12 feet. Bookshelf girts take (1) 2x4x12′ pressure treated, (4) 2x8x12′, (2) 2x4x8′ for blocking girts ends and (2) 2x4x12′ to attach drywall at the ceiling level – 98.67 board feet of lumber. For stud walls (1) 2x6x12′ pressure treated, (7) 2x6x10′ studs, (1) 2x6x12′ top plate, (1) 2x4x12′ to attach drywall at ceiling level, (4) 2x4x12′ horizontally to attach steel to wall studs – 134 board feet of lumber. From a structural aspect, care will need to be exercised in attachment of the top plate and end studs to adequately transfer wall bay wind loads to columns. It may necessitate some sort of Simpson strap to properly anchor the plate to columns.





Vertical Flush Walls

There is a builder in my neck of the woods who advertises as “the only company around that offers…Vertical Flush Walls, for your pole building, shop or garage, which allows you to sheetrock inside your building without having to re-frame the inside!”

In the photo with this article, wall girts have been placed “barn” style flat on the outsides of the columns, where they would have failed in bending (read why they fail on their own here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/03/girts/).

vertical flush wallsTo me, vertical flush walls look like a stick framed stud wall has been built on the inside, which supports the wall girts and does exactly what it purports to do.

However there is an easier, faster and less expensive method, which provides for an insulation cavity deeper than the adding a second wall inside of the first, bookshelf style wall girts: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2011/09/commercial-girts-what-are-they/

In an typical 12 wide bay of this building, with a 14 foot high eave, to commercially girt a bay and be totally gypsum wallboard framed ready, it would require six 12 foot 2×8 for wall girts, a 12’ pressure treated 2×4, and 4 2x4x12 for blocking and backing. Total Board footage of lumber – 136.

As farmed in the photo shown, materials required are a 12’ pressure treated 2×6, seven 2x6x14 studs and a 2x6x12 top plate. Wall girts are six 12 foot long 2×6. Total board footage – 194, or 42% more lumber. Besides not making economic sense, the concrete slab is also required to be installed, in order to place the vertical stud wall.

Whilst it is wonderful for the builder to have added this interior “liner” wall in, there is something the builder missed, which is pretty important in buildings which will be insulated and climate controlled – building wrap (read more about building wrap here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/11/house-wrap/).

Great sounding marketing ploy, but in reality, just not very effective.