A house has a skeleton that gives it support and a shape for outer coverings. This structure is called the frame. Framing a house correctly is extremely important. If the walls and joists are not straight. every subsequent phase of construction will suffer for it. Doors and windows won't hang properly and the drywall and roof decking will be difficult to work with.
To ensure the strength of a house, there are framing components that are sized and connected by following building codes. These codes set the minimum requirements for most aspects of building a house. Building according to code is your assurance that the house will be strong and safe.
A Home’s Framework
To protect the inhabitants of a home as well as the people who build them, it’s important to know which parts are critical to a house’s structure so that you don’t compromise its strength when constructing or remodeling it. Before you frame a house, you need to know the parts of the frame and how they work.
1. The Floor
The framers will start with laying 2x6s or 2x8s across the foundation walls which become the floor joists. This makes up the support for the floor of the home and the platform that the wall panels will attach to. Sheets of plywood are then placed across the top of these joists, creating subfloors.
A floor truss is made of 2x4s connected to metal plates that provides support to the floor. Around the outside of the home, the framers will tack sheathing, mostly sheets of plywood, to the 2x4s. It carries the load from above to the floor joists below.
2. The Walls
The walls of a house frame fall into two categories: load-bearing and non-load-bearing. Non-load-bearing walls may be either perpendicular or parallel to joists or rafters. These walls function as a divider but supports no weight. Because they don’t support loads, they usually can be removed without compromising a structure’s strength.
Load-bearing walls carry the loads of the ceiling, roof, or upper-floor with the foundation. Bearing walls usually have perpendicular joists or rafters crossing or resting on top of them and foundations underneath them. Other wall framing components include:
- The sill anchors the house to the foundation. The first-floor frame is built on top of the sill plates.
- Top and Bottom Plates. The top plate is the piece of timber that runs along the top of the wall frame and supports the roof and ceiling. The bottom plate is a piece of timber that sits on the floor and forms the bottom of the wall.
- Studs. These are framing components that run between the top and bottom plate. They are usually spaced 16 or 24 inches apart and are the most common elements of the wall panel.
- Sheathing. Exterior wall sheathing strengthens the walls by tying the studs together. Builders commonly use wall panels such as gypsum, reinforced cement board, or plywood. The sheathing is secured to the frame, then holes are cut for the windows and doors openings. Exterior materials like siding are attached to the sheathing.
3. The Ceiling
Ceiling joists transfer the load of the roof to the studs. They are installed horizontally and span the length of the entire ceiling.
4. The Roof
One of the most important structures of a home is the roof. It protects the occupants and their interior possessions from the elements. The frame of the roof contains structural components that include:
- Rafters support the roof sheathing. This type of roof construction is known as stick framing. These are good for homebuyers who want vaulted ceilings or a room in the attic. Rafters start from the roof to the plate of the external wall.
- Trusses are designed to distribute the weight of a roof. They determine the shape of the roof and ceiling. Trusses are pre-engineered in a factory using lightweight materials. Fink trusses are the most common trusses seen in residential roof construction. The webbing in fink trusses has a ‘W’ shape, giving them a great load-carrying capacity.
- The roof decking sits on top of the rafters or roof trusses. It provides the base for waterproofing roof layers. It is usually made of plywood.
Ready To Build Your Dream Home?
Framing is one of the most important steps in building homes. It is integral to every aspect of construction, including the interior and exterior finishes. Most people take their home’s framing for granted, assuming that the builder has created a skeletal structure to last for decades, if not centuries.
RT Construction can build the home of your dreams with expert skill and the best quality in mind. We have the experience to create a structurally sound home that will last for generations.
Give us a call today to start the process of creating the home you’ve always wanted.