Framing is an important part of many building projects, because it entails building the essential skeleton for the building project. A proper frame is going to go a long way in making sure that the finished structure is strong and sturdy,
which means that it will last for a long time and provide safety to the people using it. The most common three forms of framing are deck framing, wall framing and roof framing. These are building structures that benefit most from having a solid construction skeleton.
Also known as light frame construction, framing is a building technique that is based around creating structural members, known as studs, that provide a stable frame. Where a lot of structure and stability is required, such as in walls, roofs and decks, framing is the ideal way to begin construction because it ensures that the building or structure has a strong structural backbone early on in its development.
Why Framing is Essential
In the case of wall framing, for example, the purpose behind framing is to create a skeleton to which carpenters can add both interior and exterior wall coverings. In the case of roof framing, horizontal ceiling joints as well as sloping rafters
come together to create a truss structure to which ceiling and roofing materials can be attached. Other constructed structures also require framing in order to create this type of backbone, including deck structures which are composed primarily of wood, but which typically have wooden coverings layered over a skeletal backbone.
The most common type of framing is wood framing. A home or other structure in its initial phases of construction will appear as a hollow wooden skeleton, with walls being comprised of horizontal and vertical wood beams and diagonal running beams and trusses creating rooftop framing. It is once this initial construction is finished that carpenters can begin to add wall coverings and roofing materials to create the finished product.
How Framing is Accomplished
There are actually several different methods of framing available, though some are considered to be outdated or obsolete. The most common form of framing that is used in the United States and Canada is known as platform framing, and its most common applications are in houses, small commercial buildings and small apartment buildings.
This particular type of framing begins with a foundation, made either from treated wood or from concrete, upon which the framed structure sits. Concrete foundations are the most common form of foundation for this type of framing. ‘J’ bolts are used in order to anchor a pressure treated sill plate to a foundation wall. The floors, the walls and the roof for the framed structure are created out of dimensional lumber framing elements which are assembled using nails. The lumber is installed at regular spacing from end to end of a wall, and the vertical parts of the frame are regarded as studs.
An excellent example of the stability provided by wall framing is available for noting when you consider that upon installing wall anchors for furniture or shelving, it is recommended that you find the studs in your wall and install the anchors there where they are likely to be sturdier rather than installing the anchors into the drywall alone, which is not nearly as structurally sound.
Different types of materials may be used to create the building’s frame depending on specific needs of the building. For example, buildings constructed in areas where high wind is common may benefit from using stronger materials than in areas where high winds are not as common. The same is true for regions where natural disasters such as earthquakes or hurricanes are more common, because those buildings will benefit from even stronger structural backbones.
Materials Used in Framing
The most common materials used in light frame construction are typically rectangular steel tubes, C-channels and wood. The wood pieces, when used, are traditionally connected by way of screws or nails whereas steel pieces typically
involve nut and bolt construction. The most common types of lumber used for linear structural members are various types of softwoods, including but not limited to fir, spruce and pine. Architects are also beginning to experiment with pre-formed modular framing made out of aluminum as a way to reduce the costs of construction on-site.
Types of Framing
The most common three forms of framing are wall framing, deck framing and roof framing. Each plays a different role in creating the structural backbone for the building.
- Wall Framing: Wall framing is used for basic construction tasks including the creation of homes, small apartment buildings, small commercial buildings, barns and outbuildings. Horizontal beams run around the bottom and top of each room in the structure, and then vertical beams are used to create stability. The vertical beams are spaced evenly apart from one another, but the exact spacing depends on the size of the structure and how much stability is actually required.
- Deck Framing: Whether a deck is located at ground level, or on a second and third story as part of a home, having a sturdy deck frame is essential. The deck frame is the foundation from which you build the rest of the deck, and so its strength and stability go far in ensuring that the deck is safe and going to last for a long time. A deck frame is typically comprised of a ledger board, floor joists, solid blocking, support beams and band or rim joists. All of these parts are essential in guaranteeing the stability of the structure.
- Roof Framing: Roof framing begins with laying out a rafter pattern, with the rise and run of the common rafter being the important determinant factor in the ridge board’s height. Roof framing is largely considered to be a fine tuned skill, one that takes a great amount of time and effort in order to fully grasp. Just as framing the walls of a structure is essential, so is framing the roof properly so that it is strong. There are many considerations in proper roof framing, including using the right materials and cutting rafters to the right lengths for sturdiness.
Framing is an important part of these construction projects, and cannot be ignored. Improper framing or use of the wrong materials can significantly structurally weaken a construction project. It would be a shame to guarantee a project’s failure so early on in its construction.