The sole plate, often called the sill plate, is the horizontal member of a building that the studs are affixed to during construction. This plate provides the base on the wall for the structure to be completed. The outside walls and the floors of the building run from the sill plate. This is a vital part of the construction of a building and can dramatically change the strength of the building. These must be straight and must be put together the right way in order for them to set the stage for the walls and the floors. This sole plate is typically secured firmly to the foundation of the building. This is often done with bolts or lags depending upon the building code requirements in the area.
In most cases the contractor installing the sole plate will use wood that is treated for pest control. If this is not the case and the sole plate becomes infested with pests, it can be very difficult to have to replace or sure up the original sole plates if there is a problem. Making sure that the right wood is used initially and that the sole plates are structured properly is essential to saving time and money in the long run. In some remodels of homes or when additions are made, the walls are attached to the previous sole plate.