Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Residental Framing

The framing of a new home or addition is probably one of the most exciting as well as challengeing aspects of building , this the part where the home owner can actually visualize what their new home is going to look like.This is also where if you plan on making any changes, now is the time to do it. The framing of a new home is also one of the most complex, your framer has to know local and state building code as well as how the pieces of the puzzle go together.I'll give you some examples, interior trim-door size openning and what type of trim are you going to use, cabinet-dimensions are critical here you don't want your cabinets to stick out past your wall or go beyond your door openning.These may sound like insignificant issues but in the whole scheme of house framing they are paramount if you want your home to look its best.

The importance of finding a good qualified framer just cannot be over stated.A truly good framer will show up to start work and the first thing he should do is check your foundation to make sure it is square and all your support piers are in place, after verifying all is right he can then begin to work.

This is a picture of foundation being inspected by the framer.

Your framer should now start sorting out your lumber package to not only separate the different types of material but to also cull out any building material that is not fit to use.The framer can now start cutting the blocks for your piers and sill plate.In case you are wandering a sill plate is a treated board that goes beneath your outside bands.You can not attach untreaed lumber to any type of masonary product or concrete. The next step would be to attach your bands and then  install your floor joist making sure you place your double joist and main girders in the correct place.A doube joist goes everywhere you have a bearing wall and girders are placed at critial spacing to give even more support for the entire structure.At this point you have to stop and call for an inpection, usually a city or county official will does this to make sure the framer and mason followed all applicable building codes, if you passed they can continue framing, if not they have to fix any issue that the inspector stated and call for another inspection.

This picture is courtesy of Custom Living.

Now that we have passed our inspecton we can lay the plywood and begin to build our walls, simple so far.There are so many issues on building walls so far as code goes we can not even begin to go over eveything that you need to know to frame correctly here.The basics you need to know are wall heights, spans for window and door opennings,or whether you can conventional lumber or do you need to use engineered lumber for your headers.

This house was built using convential stick frame methods.

The same rules apply for second floor walls as the first floor walls.We now move on to the roof framing, this can vary a lot by the locaion of were you are building.The roof is absolutely the most difficult aspect of framing, especially if you plan on stick framing, that is if you are not going to be using ready to install trusses.Trusses are pre-manufactured rafters that have designed by an engineer and laid out so that even the most novice of framers can do, I personally prefer stick built, but there is a steep learnig curve and years of expeience needed for this type of roof framing.The benefits of stick built rafters are usualy more attic space and appearence,trusses are usually 24" on center ,where stick built is 16" on center so you don't get that wavey look when you look up at roof.

The framing is done, you can now move on to your other trades.

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