Fantastic Framing Tips

A collection of framing tips that will turn you into a rockstar on the jobsite

Putting in backing | Construction Pro Tips
Construction Pro Tips

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Become a Framing Hero on the Jobsite

Here are some great framing tips that will help you build your walls straight, strong, and fast. We’ve also included some great advice that could elevate you to rock star status in the eyes of the general contractor, the homeowner, and all the subcontractors that have to work on the house long after your tail-lights have faded over the horizon.

Sloped Siding for Extra Waterproofing | Construction Pro Tips
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Slope Window Sills with Siding

Even if you are doing your best to follow all of the proper waterproofing best practices, water can still find its way onto the wrong side of a window. It is a good idea to slope the sill in the rough opening to help unwanted water find its way out again.

You could slope the sill itself, which requires cutting the cripples at a slight angle and causes the sill to protrude a bit on each side. Instead, rip down and install a tapered piece of weather resistant siding. We used cedar. Make sure to frame the rough openings a little larger to account for the width of the siding.

Hide Wane by Doubling it Up | Construction Pro Tips
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Create a "Wane Sandwich"

Face the waned edges toward the center whenever you double up lumber, like when combining a jack and king stud. This will leave more meat on the edges for window, trim or drywall fasteners.

Add Silicon to Hangers to Avoid Squeaks | Construction Pro Tips
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Avoid Squeaks

Deflection is the bending or sagging that is caused by applied weight, or loading. When someone walks across a floor, “deflection” can cause a squeak where the wood meets the joist/truss hanger. Avoid this irritation by adding a little silicone to the bottom and sides of the hangers before installing them.

Use a brace and lever to straighten walls | Construction Pro Tips

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How to Straighten Walls

There are several ways to straighten the top of walls. Here is one method:

  1. Attach a long 2X brace to the top of the wall
  2. Stack two anchor blocks to attach the brace to (nail to a floor joist/truss)
  3. Stack two more blocks to attach the lever board to
  4. Nail the lever board to the brace and to the block
  5. Pull the top of the lever board forward or back until the wall is in position
  6. Nail the end of the brace to the anchor blocks

 Nail the top plate over studs | Construction Pro Tips
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Why You Should Nail the Tie Plate Over the Studs

Do the electricians, mechanical guys and plumbers a solid by nailing the tie plate to the top plate over the studs only. That way there will be no nails in the way when they have to drill or cut their holes.

Lay down a mulch path | Construction Pro Tips
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Lay Down a Mulch Path

You never want to create more of a mess than you absolutely have to. A mulch path on muddy job sites helps keep the mud out of the house and keep things clean on the job. Buy the cheapest mulch or woodchips you can find. It can all get graded into the yard when the project is done. Be sure to buy several extra bags to “freshen up” the path every once and a while.

Split the chalk line for even marks | Construction Pro Tips
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Avoid Snapping Long Lines

Keep long lines straight by having a guy in the middle hold a finger onto the line somewhere near the middle and snapping each side separately.

Use Two Blocks to Brace Walls
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Stack Your Anchor Blocks

Secure wall braces to two anchor blocks instead of one. You will be able to nail the brace a little bit higher and avoid splitting the end. A loose brace could be disastrous, and an additional block is worth the extra few seconds. Always nail anchor blocks to floor joists and trusses.

The V-line Clamp | Construction Pro Tips
Construction Pro Tips

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Invest in a V-Line Clamp

This V-Line clamp is the perfect tool for snapping lines on plywood. Just clamp it to your mark on the edge of the plywood and hook the end of your chalk line to it. It even works on super sharp angles. It also has a spot to hook your tape measure on, which is nice when you have to measure over from some spot in the middle of the sheet instead of the end.

Offset Fire Blocks | Construction Pro Tips
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Why You Should Offset Blocks

When installing blocking on a wall, it is tempting to snap a line and keep all of the blocks on one plane. But don’t do it. Blocks are easier to install if you stagger them on either side of the line because you can fire the nails almost straight into the ends instead of angling them up or down. And if you think a straight line of blocks looks nicer (for the short time it is visible), think again. Blocks will rarely be installed perfectly straight, but a staggered line tricks the eye and actually looks more uniform.

Frame Interior Wall with the Top Plate | Construction Pro Tips
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How to Frame Interior Walls Flush with the Trusses

If an interior wall that runs parallel with roof trusses gets built too high or too low and drywall nailers are placed right on the top of the wall, the drywall on the lid will bend up or down when it is fastened to the nailers.

One way to avoid this is to run several braces between the trusses 1-1/2-inches above the bottom of the truss. Then install a 2x8 centered where the top of the wall will be built. When you do build the walls, there will be plenty of wood on either side of the 2x8 to nail the drywall to and you can be confident the drywall will stay in plane with the rest of the trusses.

If you build homes in a colder climate, you are most likely used to installing a vapor barrier on the inner side of the framing. Another benefit of this method is that you can achieve a true “continuous” vapor barrier on the ceiling if you follow these steps:

  • Set the trusses
  • Install the braces and 2x8s
  • Install the vapor barrier on the ceiling
  • Build the interior walls

Installing a Handrail Backer | Construction Pro Tips
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Don’t Forget the Backers

Before you leave the job, run around and install backers for handrails, bathroom grab bars and other hardware. Take photos and send them to the job supervisor. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and could earn you a few bonus points.

Square Lumber is better | Construction Pro Tips
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Rounded vs. Square Lumber

If you have a say in the matter, ask for square edged lumber instead of the rounded edge stuff. Here’s why:

  • Tape measures grab and hold better
  • More accurate measuring
  • Better sight lines for crowning
  • Easier to line up to pencil marks and chalk lines
  • Final product has a more professional look