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What are your thoughts about studs left un-drywalled?

user-5026070 | Posted in GBA Pro Help on

I saw photos on Houzz of exposed interior wall studs – Prentice Architects and HS2 Architecture.
What are your thoughts? The light is attractive. What are your thoughts?

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  1. charlie_sullivan | | #1

    My first thought is that there could be fire code issues and/or fire safety issues. So that would be the first thing to check.

    Then as far as efficiency/durability, it depends what the overall wall construction is. Is it a full 2x4 stud exposed? Or just the surface of the stud flush with drywall between studs? Or something between?

    In general, I think it would work best with insulation exterior to the sheathing--the "REMOTE" or "PERSIST" insulation. A key consideration will be the location of the air barrier.

  2. Expert Member

    If you dig back a bit you'll find exposed stud walls were popular among architects during the 1980's as part of the Deconstructionist movement centred around Frank Gehry.
    If you like the look, the main impediment is that most codes require electrical outlets at specific intervals, and these need mechanical protection, either by drywall or conduits.
    Unless the walls form part of a required fire separation or shear wall, there should be no other concerns from a code point of view.

  3. user-5026070 | | #3

    Thanks! My electrician is ready to run conduit for my required outlets and switch. Thank you for the historical context. I will be sure to tell you how it goes. Also, this service by Green Building Advisor is really terrific and response time is amazing. Thanks, thanks, thanks...!!

  4. user-5026070 | | #4

    Do you think veneer plaster on the 2x4's would be an improvement? The studs are not beautiful. There is a terrific veneer plasterer here who already transformed my bathroom with veneer plaster.

  5. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #5

    I don't think it would be very easy to plaster exposed studs, because there are so many surfaces with a small area, and so many inside and outside corners to finish. (I assume that you are talking about a stud wall, with the exterior sheathing visible in each stud bay.)

    You should heed Charlie's advice on insulation. For more information on placing all of your wall insulation on the exterior side of your wall sheathing, see Getting Insulation Out of Your Walls and Ceilings.

  6. Expert Member

    I'm assuming Mary wants to emulate the look she cites in her OP which are unsheathed interior walls. Like you, I don't think plastering them is wise.

  7. user-5026070 | | #7

    this is the correct photo -

  8. user-5026070 | | #8

    Thank you! I am advised to go with drywall. Is 5/8 drywall on interior wall a good choice in order to make the wall look less flimsy and for fire resistiveness? I am considering it. Attached is the photo of what I saw in HouZZ (that I am not looking into anymore).

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