Tips and Tricks for Framing
Framing a home is a big job, and it’s one that does need to be done right. Shortcuts taken here can have a significant impact on how well the house holds up over time. Yet, there are some tips and tricks the pros use to get the job done faster without sacrificing on quality. Read below to learn more about what you need to know before framing a house, shed, or other building.
Keep the Workspace Clean
A clean workplace means a smaller chance of an accident. When the weather isn’t perfect outside, it’s all too easy for water or snow to get inside the building and make everything slippery. Outside of the building, use mulch to create a walkway that can be used coming and going. This helps keep your boots clean and dry, so you’re less likely to slip and fall inside the house, especially when you’re carrying heavy supplies. The mulch will break down over time, so it can be left on the property and covered with soil when the framing is done.
Get the Right Tools for the Job
It’s possible to use a hammer and nails to create a frame. It’s just not very practical or fast. Instead, make sure you have the right tools for the job, such as a pneumatic nail gun to make everything go faster. The right tools are going to make the job easier, as well, so you’re sure everything is done right and you don’t need to use shortcuts that could sacrifice the quality just to get the job done on time.
Don’t just think about power tools, though. A v-line clamp can make a huge difference when you’re drawing a straight line on plywood. It’s a smaller, inexpensive tool, but it can make a huge difference when you’re trying to draw lines across multiple pieces of plywood.
Use the Right Materials
The right materials can make a difference, as well. For nails, make sure the right size is used based on local code, and be sure to avoid nailing them in too far. For wood, make sure it is fully dry, as straight as possible, and that it has flat edges. Flat edges aren’t really a huge deal, but they make it easier to hook a measuring tape to the wood when measuring and it’s easier to line up the pencil or chalk lines on the wood. It also ends up looking more professional in the end.
Learn How to Create Chalk Lines
Chalk lines seem easy enough to do – simply hold the beginning of the chalk line where the measurement should be, pull it across to where the end of the measurement is, and then snap the line to leave behind chalk on the surface. When doing this over long distances, though, the chalk line is going to fade the further you get from where it was snapped. To be able to see the full line, have someone hold it down in the middle and then snap the line on either side. When creating a chalk line on plywood, use a v-line clamp to hold the chalk line in place easier.
Keep in Mind What Happens Next
A lot of the construction of a home happens after the framing, and the framing is the basis for most of what comes next. While doing the framing, keep in mind what’s going to happen in the future, whether it’s during the building phase or after. For instance, backers can be placed in the frame to make it sturdier and to provide added support for handrails near staircases. They can also be used anywhere something heavy will hang, such as a TV. Installing them during the framing process means it’s easier to hang things later, and it doesn’t take much time to add them in.
If backers are installed, take photos of their placement. While the studs themselves should be a set amount of distance apart, there’s no set placement for backers. It’s all too easy to forget where they are once the drywall is installed. If there are backers for televisions or other heavy items that will be hung on the walls, having photos makes it easier to find them once the house is built.
Keep Spacing Consistent
Keep the spacing between the studs as consistent as possible. Most of the time, studs should be placed 16 inches on center from each other. This means the measured distance from the middle of one stud to the middle of the next is 16 inches. This is done because drywall and other materials that may be attached to the studs are made to fit that distance. If other measurements are used, it’s possible that there won’t be studs where they need to be, so the drywall will need to be cut to fit. This ends up creating a lot more work in the long run, which means it’s going to be a lot longer before the house is done.
Consider New Technology in Framing
There’s some innovation happening in the construction world right now, and some of it can have an impact on framing. Foam adhesives are now available, and they make it easier to place the adhesive where it should go. There are also new sheathing nails designed to hold up against force better as well as laminated strand lumber, which isn’t going to warp or bow over time. Before beginning any framing project, look into what’s new and see if it’s something that could be beneficial to use during the project.
Whether it’s a small shed that needs to be framed or a whole home, the steps are generally the same. Using the above tips can make it easier to get the job done right and help ensure you won’t have issues in the future. While shortcuts are never a good idea when it comes to framing, the above can help you get the job done faster, without sacrificing the quality or having to worry about whether you’ve done the job right.