Don’t forget the connectors
Structural connectors are designed to hold framing members to the foundation and to one another. They help a building withstand heavy loads, strong winds and earthquakes. Building codes that require structural connectors have been changing as connector technology improves, so make sure to review your local codes and contact your local building department if you still have questions. The foundation straps shown here prevent high winds from blowing these small garage walls off the foundation.
Include finished flooring when laying out stairs
The highest riser (step) height cannot be more than 3/8 in. higher than the shortest riser height throughout the entire flight of stairs. Those measurements include finished floor heights. So mock up and plan for the final finished floor heights, top and bottom, before you begin doing the math and laying out the stair stringers.
Installing 3/4-in.-thick hardwood floors on a 1/4-in. subfloor will raise a floor height 1 in. Some carpet, vinyl and laminate flooring options are less than 3/8 in. thick. If you don’t account for those height differences, you could fail your inspection, and ripping out stairs is an expensive callback.
Use approved nails on treated lumber
Today, treated lumber intended for residential construction is protected with a copper-based preservative system called alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ). Whenever you’re working with ACQ lumber, be sure to use only ACQ-approved nails. ACQ treated wood is extremely corrosive to standard framing nails; they will actually dissolve when in direct contact with ACQ lumber. And if there are no nails holding wall studs to a treated bottom plate, foundation bolts/anchors are ineffective. It’s also important to use ACQ nails to secure the sheathing to a treated bottom plate.