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Question:

Would using cement board instead of drywall require the use of steel?

I'm making designs for a house I want to build. Initially I wanted to build the house out of primarily concrete, however because of where the house is going to be going, it's not really plausible to get that amount of concrete out there to pour at once (it would be extremely difficult to get a truck out there).So my next consideration would be to build an otherwise traditional frame and instead of using drywall on the inside, I would use cement boards to panel the walls, and go for a clean, future-industrial look. I was also intending on doing something similar to the exterior.However, cement boards obviously weigh significantly more than typical drywall panels, and my main concern is whether or not a regular wood frame would be able to hold that amount of weight. So would that pose a significant issue to the extent that I should also consider using steel for the entire frame, or at least as a support system, or should wood be able to hold up just fine?

Answer:

You had best consult an engineering firm. The reason I say so that you can only answer this by taking into consideration quite a few factors. For example: location, soil, drainage, foundation, reinforced or not, width, height, static load, dynamic load, etc. Anything can be done. Basically you can use wood or steel, as long as they are sized correctly. I have built homes using a combination of wood and steel. Certain types of designs calls for a central core of steel because of various factors; roof design being the main one. Others were all steel or wood. It's the architect working with home owner to decide. Steel Is more expensive because you need deeper footings, welding, steelworkers themselves, etc. The more trades you have on a job the longer it takes and the more expensive it becomes. I question how you are going to treat the seams on the cement board and still get a clean look. If it is extremely difficult to get a truck in, you are going to be severely limited as to anything you want to build. Unless it is deemed safe, a steel co or a lumber co. will refuse to deliver as they will not risk their trucks and the drivers can refuse, if it is too difficult or they deem it dangerous. Of course if money is no object, you can stage sky cranes or improve the road. AS far as concrete goes , you don't have to worry as each truck is time staged and additives added to the mixture to ensure a good pour, in fact the drivers are in constant touch with the plant in case of glitches. They can pour in hot or freezing weather. The only thing I think you have to worry about, as pointed out above, is the road. Everything today is delivered on large trucks and unloaded with a crane. Good Luck!
May 11, 2017
Cement Board Drywall
May 11, 2017
Plaster in the (3) layers they used to install on homes years ago is just as heavy as cement board-if not heavier. No worry about wood being able to support the cement board. As far as your house of concrete - you need to do some serious pricing of materials and labor for all aspects of your dream home. First of all you need to price lots or land, then cost of site work such as driveway, Tap fees for water,sewer, or you may need septic system if rural area. If you choose a building method that is off the wall - you should be prepared to pay $200-$300 or more per square foot.
May 11, 2017
Wood is fine. I am building a house that is using the 1/2 HardieBacker cement board panels attached to sound channel that is attached to wood studs. Works well. Building Dept approved it.
May 11, 2017
Cement board is harmless under the stool, but not very smooth. I had carpet in my bathroom for years and LOVED it!!!!!!!! I was a single guy back then with less than perfect cleaning skills. But the carpet was perfect for that. It was wall-to-wall throw carpet. When it looked bad, pick it up, throw it in the laundry, then back on the floor. It looked NEW any time I wanted! My wife cringes at the idea of carpet now, but she already knows that at our next house my bathroom will have carpet again. The carpet comes in a large piece. You draw out the footprint of the floor then cut it out with scissors. It's just like a throw rug. I really want it again! I would recommend slapping down cheap vinyl tiles under the carpet so you'll have a finished floor on laundry day.
May 11, 2017

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