Step-by-Step Framing a House

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Things You'll Need

  • Speed square

  • Framing square

  • Carpenter's level

  • Hammer

  • Tape measure

  • Chalk-line

  • Plumb-bob

  • Reciprocating saw

  • Circular saw

  • Scaffolding

  • Ladders

Use the proper tools and materials when framing a house.

Framing your house is an ambitious yet exciting project. Since the frame is the skeleton or backbone of the house supporting the entire structure, using the proper tools and materials is imperative to have a safe and sound home. There are two basic house framing methods: the platform method (most common) and balloon construction (used in older grand houses) and in both methods the wall studs and ceiling and floor joists are repeated over every 16 or 24 inches of the frame.

Step 1

Obtain the necessary permits and learn the codes to be followed. Codes for framing a house are building codes (defining dimensions such as height of ceiling, hallway, and width of doorways) and fire codes which would the cover size of windows.

Step 2

Use dry, good quality lumber for your frame.

Create a list of activities to follow and set aside all tools and materials. Each story normally consists of 8- or 9-foot tall stud walls resting on a plywood sub-floor.

Step 3

Pre-build the outside frame (using dry wood) in 8-foot sections, spacing the 2-by-4-inch studs on 16-inch centers and toenailing each section to a sill plate using the right sized nails specified by the building codes. Placing joists, studs and rafters exactly 16 inches apart gives solid support to panel ends.

Step 4

Insert a special bracing known as a jack stud, which acts as a wall stud and helps brace the trimmers and headers, around the openings for the door and window frames.

Step 5

Stand each 8-foot section of the frame up and toe nail the sill plate to the plywood sub-floor. Insert braces to support each section as you go along. These braces should remain until all the framing is complete. Create extra strong corner posts at each corner of house and attach these posts to the 8-foot sections of the frame as well as to the sub-floor.

Step 6

Follow same procedure for entire perimeter of the house until the first floor is completed and then do the same thing for second floor (if there is one) after first putting down the floor for the second story.

references & resources

Marlene Inglis

Marlene Inglis started writing in 1993. Her papers on creative writing and effective written communication were published in the school magazine "Portico" and her work also appeared in the "Belgian Nursery" magazine. Inglis holds a Bachelor of Science and Ontario Diploma in Horticulture from the University of Guelph.