Basic Carpentry Framing Tips

My carpentry experience has been obtained by working in the highly competitive west and southwest side Chicago land housing market for the past 30 years. This experience includes working as an apprentice, journeyman, lead man, roof cutter, and foreman. During these years the advancements in house framing technique and tools has been astounding.

When I first started hardly anyone used an air gun, the framing square step off method was the normal way of laying out common rafters. There are still roof cutters out there that refuse to use any other method.

Build from the Roof Down

Of course I don't mean build the roof first.

You should be aware of where the rafters and ceiling joists are going to sit before framing the first floor.

Place the floor joists directly under the rafters and studs on the joists, this will give you straight mechanical runs, and proper load bearing.

Rough framing is hard work don't make it even worse by not making a plan and then following it.

Sill Plates and Beams

The first step in framing any residential structure is the laying of the sill plates and beams. Many carpenters get in a hurry during this process. You should take great care and get these located in the proper place.

Squareness and proper dimensions will make the rest of the carpentry job go more efficient for you and everyone down the line, finish carpenter, flooring installer, and even the roofer's job will go better. I can't elaborate enough the importance of getting the building square!

Floor Framing

When framing the floor take note of any concentrated loads from above and if solid blocking is required. It is much easier to put it in before the floor is sheathed.

Little carpentry tricks like this is what will make or break the bottom line!

Wall Framing

When framing walls, pay attention to where the beam pockets go and put them in while the wall is still laying on the deck as opposed to after it is stood up. Nine times out of ten if you put them in later there will be a stud nailed to the wall sheathing that will have to be removed costing you time.

Whenever possible sheath exterior walls before standing. I always get a good laugh whenever I see carpenters slogging around in the mud trying to apply exterior sheathing. We won't even talk about the second floor!

Stair Building

Learning how to build stairs is an excellent way to move up the ladder within a small or large construction company. Cutting stair stringers is similar to rafters.

Ceiling and Roof Framing

Framing of the ceiling joists and roof rafters go hand in hand. You must know where the rafters are to be located before placing ceiling joists.

The use of a Construction Master Calculator increases speed and accuracy in all phases of rough framing carpentry.

Carpentry Words of Wisdom

Changes usually come slowly in the rough framing world, however I'm a firm believer in implementing new tools and techniques as soon as it becomes apparent they will improve quality and efficiency.

Keep an open mind, every once in a while the apprentice will come up with a good idea.

Always Remember, "A Failure to Plan is a Plan to Fail!

You Must Learn From the Mistakes of Others, You Can't Possibly Live Long Enough to Make Them All on Your Own!

You can't just jump out of the truck and start bending nails. My theory is to build from the roof down. Look at the roof plan and take note of any concentrated loads, varied wall heights, vaulted or cathedral ceilings, etc. A good rough framing carpenter knows these things before floor or wall framing begins.

Information is added on a regular basis so check back often.

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Basic Roof Framing Instructions
When roof framing it all begins with the framing square and the layout of the common rafter.
Framing Square Basics
Tips for using a framing square to layout and cut common rafters. Including some carpentry shortcuts gained from my many years of experience.
Gable Roof Framing Technique
Gable roof framing is the most common type of roof in North America. Here is the technique used to frame a simple gable roof.
How to Determine Roof Pitch
Determining roof pitch is a rather simple process if you use one of these five techniques.
Basic Roof Styles
The same basic roof styles are used in any type of residential construction. Whether you are building a dog house, shed, garage, single family home, or mansion.
Framing a Hip Roof
Framing a hip roof may look difficult, but if you can cut a gable roof you are well on your way to cutting a simple hip.
Correct Hip Rafter Length
Correct hip rafter length can easily be determined with the use of a Construction Master Calculator.
Dropping Hip Rafters
Dropping hip rafters is required to get the jack rafters to plane into the hip properly.
Cutting Hip Rafters
When cutting hip rafters I prefer to cut them one at a time, because of the size and complexity, gang cutting is impossible.
Hip Roof Ridge Board
While the ridge board length on a gable roof is simple, a hip roof is only slightly more difficult.
Pyramid Roof Framing
While it may seem intimidating pyramid roof framing is easy as long as you follow a few simple rules.
Installing Trusses on a Detached Garage
Installing trusses on a shed, detached garage, or other small building is a good alternative if you don't know how to cut a roof.
Types of Prefab Roof Trusses
Nearly four out of five new homes built in America use manufactured roof trusses to frame the roof. Prefabricated trusses replace rafters and ceiling joists used in conventional roof framing.
Ordering Roof Trusses
Before ordering roof trusses several options must be considered and decided upon before placing the order.
Learn How to Build Stairs
Learning how to build stairs is one way of advancing your carpentry career. This is the method I use for site built steps.
Construction Master Stair Calculator
The Construction Master 5 has a stair calculator function to greatly improve stair layout speed and accuracy
Portable Stairs
Even if custom wooden stairs are to be used portable stairs should be installed as soon as possible.
Wall Framing Basics
Here you will find the basics of wall framing,studs, headers, cripples, corners, and such.
Squaring Walls
Squaring walls before standing is a rather simple process. Whenever possible, walls should be squared up and sheathed before standing.
Balloon Framing
Modern balloon framing, lay out and construction methods for framing a gable wall. This method is only used in certain situations by modern carpenter's.
Garage Door Framing
Follow this advice on garage door framing and framing your garage door should be a snap.
Rough Openings for Door Framing
How to determine door framing rough openings for the most common residential doors.
Conventional Window Framing Tips
Step by step tutorial showing how to assemble window framing components using diagrams for clearer illustrations.
Installing Exterior Doors
Step by step instructions for installing exterior doors including wood, fiberglass, and steel pre hung doors.
Floor Framing
Floor framing requires careful planning starting with the sill plates and beams.
Sill Plates
The first yet most important step in carpentry is the laying of the sill plates!
Planning to Build a Shed
Before starting to build a shed there are many things that must be considered, what size, location, type of foundation, and do I need a permit.
Basic Carpentry Tools List
Here you will find a list and short description of basic carpentry tools used in modern house framing.
Cordless Power Tools
When purchasing cordless power tools it is important to be well informed. Would you rather purchase a Chinese, American, or Swiss drill?
Carpentry Math
Carpentry math ranges from simple addition and subtraction to trigonometry, geometry, and the Pythagorean Theorem
Pythagorean Theorem and Carpentry
The Pythagorean Theorem makes carpentry work so much easier when it is used for squaring walls, foundations, and roof framing.
Carpentry Training Courses
Carpentry training courses are offered by many vocational schools as well local carpenters union training schools.
Carpentry Tips for House Framing
Carpentry tips including house framing, roof framing, how to build stairs, carpentry tools,and related equipment.
Basic Concrete Forms
In residential construction several different types of concrete forms are used.
Common Carpentry Terms
A lot of the carpentry terms and definitions vary from region to region and sometimes from town to town.
This page is a sitemap containing all the pages on Carpentry Pro Framer.
Carpentry Related Sites
These are related sites to the house framing industry.
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