Home > Engineering > Building with wood, American style

Building with wood, American style

TRANSLATION NOTES: Please read some comments at the end of this post

The second day was equally interesting; we’ve seen at least four models of construction:

The prefabricated home, other of classic design but built on the site, then one with a special design and finally a reinforced concrete walls.

In this case I want to concentrate on the wood construction, which seems to be the soul of U.S. construction. It’s funny to think about making a two-floor house with at least 3,500 square feet, we shall think on it several months: Americans do it in 25 days from the pre to the delivery of keys, this is common.


The Urbanization

They call subdivision, and it is a procedure that is much planned but it is also a cultural environment linked to many traditions both for residential areas and suburbs.

Sewage goes to general collectors that cities have but storm water goes to artificial lakes called “lakes.” Because of flat topography, there are no rivers where to move the water in a storm, so that each house development has designed an artificial lake where the water comes in large tubes from the gutters.


The Foundation

clip_image004They use the foundation slab, with pre-mix concrete and post-tensioned cables which is done by a machine after melting.

In the perimeter are left few bolts where it’s anchor to the base of the walls and is reinforced with nails kneeling with pressure gun.

The walls


clip_image006Everything is wood, modular panels which are armed at the factory. Each piece bears a laser mark indicating where it is located; the nails are placed with a gun and contain a kind of rubber on the tip, which is fixed by the heat coming out the nail.

At the ends of the walls are used veins in T at 45 degrees for bracing and some special clips on the base to prevent the house is lifted by the wind in a hurricane, but when the tornado comes there is not much to say.

The Mezzanine

It is a kind of plywood that has black marks on the bottom lines of the floor to guide you. The entire structure is wood, use special beams for long runs, which are glued pieces of plywood and wood burned in a special additive, then fill in the gaps with wood joist armed with plates.

clip_image007clip_image008The ceiling and others

All ceilings are of shingle, high and inside there are air conditioning ducts that are an essential obligation (Houston is the city in the world with higher consumption of air conditioning). In the plumbing flexible products are used that are controlled from a panel as we would do with electricity.

Time … All is well industrialized; in the factory there are employees simply making a cut in 45, during its 8 hours labor. A house with two floors, with 1,300 square feet can be completed from the foundations to have it ready to inhabit in 25 days. Although most delayed is finish, because the example I am showing, was built in two days all wooden structure was made with six people in 7-hour labor.

My first day was to see its beginning, the second day I missed seeing the ceiling for come a few minutes late.


One day after



TITLE NOTE: Gringo: It’s very common in Latin America to use the word ‘gringo’ when referring to something or someone native from USA. So, an American is called ‘gringo’ and in this case the original title would be: ‘Building with wood: Gringo style’

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.