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House Framing

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General Information about Framing
Framing or the light frame construction as they are commonly referred to, employs minimal structural materials in achieving a wide variety of architectural styles. This feature enables builders to enclose large areas with minimal costs. Framing has become a predominant construction methodology with the use of standardized dimensional lumber in various parts of the world, mostly in North America and Australia.

Framing makes use of wood or rectangular steel tubes as main raw materials. However, some residential construction may make use of both. Wood pieces are allied with nails or screws while the steel pieces use screws for connection. Linear structural members use softwood such as pine, fir and spruce. Recent research and experimentation has evolved in the use of pre-cut modular aluminum frames, thereby, reducing the on-site construction costs.

What is Framing?
Framing is a building technique based around structural members called studs to provide a stable frame. The exterior and interior wall coverings are attached to these studs and are covered by a roof-comprising horizontal ceiling joists and sloping rafters that together form a truss. Joists are horizontal supporting members made of steel, wood or concrete and run from wall to wall, wall to beam or beam to beam.

These joists support the ceiling, floor, or roof. Trusses are triangular units with ends connected at joints, built using straight slender members. Various sheathing materials to provide weather resistance then cover all of these structures. Earlier carpenters used various forms of diagonal bracing to provide strength to the framed structures. This practice is replaced by the use of sound rigid panels, which then form a part of or complete wall sections.

Types of Framing and Description
Three common framing styles are Post and Beam method, Balloon Framing, and Platform framing. Post and Beam methods use heavy timber to create framed structures which are then joined together with mortise and tenon joint, wherein the end of one member is inserted into the hole cut in the other member.

These days obsolete Post and Beam method is used only in barn construction. Balloon framing deploys the use of long continuous studs that are extended from bottom edge of the window or the floor. These are called sill up to the eave line or edge of the roof. Marking of the height of the windowsills, headers and the next floor height onto the studs with a story pole are required.

In 1832, George Washington Snow first constructed a warehouse in Chicago using the balloon framing technique. Balloon framing did not require highly skilled carpenters and hence proved to be cheaper and commonly used form of framing technique in early nineties. Continuous structures used in balloon farming prove hazardous during fire by providing a path from floor to floor.

Due to this, the technique has been outlawed in many areas and restricted its use to light gauge steel-stud constructions. Platform framing replaced the two earlier methodologies. It is now widely used in constructing houses, small apartment buildings, and some commercial building. The main difference between the two commonly applied technique lies at the floor lines. Balloon framing uses continuous studs from one floor to the next, whereas in case of Platform framing the platform-framed wall is independent for each floor.

House Framing and Structure
Like the human body, a house has a skeleton that gives it support, shape and a framework for outer coverings.

A house's skeleton is called the frame. Though some new homes utilize steel framing, most houses are made of wooden beams, floor joists, walls studs, roof rafters and related components.

To insure the structure's strength, these parts are sized and connected in accord with building codes that are based on basic load engineering principles.

It's important to know which parts are critical to a house's structure so that you don't compromise its strength when remodeling or doing work that involves cutting into framing members.



House Framing Contractors

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