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16" or 24" ceiling joists?

We are building a new house and our contractor typically does the ceiling joists 24" on center. My husband is afraid over time the sheetrock will sag (because we have a spot in our current house that did) and he wants to do 16" on center. This, of course, is extra money because of more trusses. The reason ours failed in the current house has to do with a leaky roof he let go for years, but he doesn't see it that way. Anyways, I would like to know from any of you builders or anyone else that would have some data or input on this.

Re: 16" or 24" ceiling joists?

If they will be using pre-fabricated trusses these will be framing for two areas :

1 - the top cords of the trusses will be the framing for the roof sheeting

2 - the bottom cords will be the framing which the ceiling drywall will be attached to.

Many builders will use the 2 foot center spacing since this is minimum code requirement and is cheaper.

The drywall that will be used ( or should be ) will be 5/8 or a special 1/2 ceiling rated drywall to accomodate the 24 inch spacing , helping to avoid the sagging iussue.

However .... if you can afford a less spacing .... more trusses .... then the roof structure and ceilings will be that much better. Going to the 16 inch spacing would be the ultimate but it will cost extra for more trusses.

There is an spacing that will offer a good compromise to extra strength for minimul extra cost ... 19 3/16. If you look on a tape measure there is a diamond located at approximately 19 3/16 mark .... the reason is for 8 foot dimensional lumber can be divided by five .... 19.2 inches.

For every 8 feet :

at 16 inch spacing = 7 trusses ( 6 spaces)

at 24 inch spacing = 5 trusses ( 4 spaces)

at 19.2 inch spacing = 6 trusses ( 5 spaces )

Hope this helps. :)

Re: 16" or 24" ceiling joists?

Personally, I don't like 24" on center, but that's just me. A cheaper compromise would be to go with 24" on center then run furring strips across 16" on center to attach the drywall to.

Re: 16" or 24" ceiling joists?

Personally, I don't like 24" on center,

It's not just you .... I'll third that.;)

Also consider the wavy roof decking with 2 foot trusses.

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