In the southwest, stucco walls are constructed with a concrete beam or footer for a foundation. Then a cinder block wall is built on top of that. The excavation for the footer is labor intensive if heavy equipment can’t be used. The cinder block wall must be built by experienced masons or any flaws will show up in the finished product after the stucco finish is applied.
I propose a different way of doing it using pipe posts, proprietary brackets, standard four inch C purlins, and expanded metal fine enough for use as a lathe screen.
The pipe posts are set in concrete footers. Then the standard four inch purlins are placed using our brackets and standard self tapping tek screws.
The brackets slide over two inch (2 3/8″ O.D.) pipe. The brackets are held in place with a special clip and self tapping screw combination. This is a picture of a straight through bracket being installed to frame a metal building.
There are three basic brackets. The one above for straight runs connecting posts in a straight line.
For the ends and corners we have right and left brackets.
The standard 1 1/2″ X 4″ C purlins fit over the brackets and are attached with self tapping screws.
The expanded metal/lathe material would then be attached to the C purlins with self tapping sheet metal screws. The stucco finish would then be applied per standard practices.
I don’t have any pictures of a completed stucco finish wall. That’s because those kinds of walls aren’t built here where I live in north Texas. Here we have gumbo clay, also known as expansive soil. The ground here moves swimming pools, home foundations, and retaining walls. Fences don’t stand a chance and a stucco finished one would break up in one season without the post holes going into limestone and the fence suspended above the ground.
I originally came up with this product to enable someone unable to weld to build a metal framed building easily. The fence man part of me saw building a metal screen wall with the system could be easily done by a competent do-it-yourselfer or a minimally experienced fence crew. Since I was born and raised in Arizona and then moved to California the stucco fence idea was a natural.
The advantages of the system are many.
First there’s the fudge factor built in with the brackets. The cuts don’t have to be ninety degrees necessarily and they can be up to two inches shorter than the optimal measurement without compromising the integrity of the connections. This is true when framing up a metal building or building a stucco fence with the system.
There are no mitre cuts required. All the cuts made on the purlins can be made with a chop saw, a portable band saw, a Sawsall, or even a cutting torch. All the cuts are ninety degrees more or less, close is good enough because the end and corner brackets move around the post and can be placed at any angle to accomodate change of direction in the fence line.
The footer or concrete for the posts is more critical with the stucco than that required for wood or wire fencing because stucco is concrete and won’t tolerate much movement.
We’re now setting up to produce and market the brackets. We hope to have pricing and product availability soon.
Here are some pictures of a horse barn being framed with the system.