15 Most Asked Questions in Wood Framing Construction

home construction

Constructing your own home whether DIY or through a wood framing contractor can be a daunting challenge, not least of which is coming to terms with all the questions and answers you may have at the start of the project.

Wood framing is by far the most popular building method for house construction in the US, whether it be through hired labor or self-building. Wood provides a stable, low-cost material that can be sourced locally and worked into fairly straightforward pieces for assembly into walls, floors, and roofing.

What are the 3 types of framing for wood structures?

The three fundamental types of wood framing are balloon, platform, and semi-balloon framing. Vertical load-bearing studs with long timber lengths go continuously from the base to the roof.


What is the construction process for wood framing?

Light wood studs and joists are used to construct wood frame constructions. 2 x 4 or 2 x 6 studs spaced 16" to 24" apart are commonly used to build walls. These walls support the upper floors and the roof by sitting on top of the foundation. The interior finish is created by attaching plaster or gypsum wallboard to the studs.


How much does wood framing construction cost?

The price range of a wood frame housing is $100 to $150 per square foot, which includes materials and labor. Wood-framing costs are usually only about 20% higher than the total for a steel or concrete building with the same square footage. Wood can be cheaper to use in smaller structures such as garages and sheds. Wood is also easier to use than other materials in one-story buildings, meaning that building a wood frame house does not necessarily cost more than building a dense masonry structure such as brick.


What is the difference between balloon framing and platform framing?

Balloon framing was the first type of modern residential construction, originating in the 1830s. Wood studs were placed closer together, typically at 24" intervals, and a third dimension was added to the structure—height. Wood balloon framing typically used 2 x 4 studs spaced at 16" intervals for floors and partitions. Vertical load-bearing members on exterior walls were doubled up, providing support for upper floors and roofs.

Platform framing is very similar to balloon framing but each floor level is framed separately, rather than the floors being built sequentially from the bottom up. Wood platform-framing typically uses 2 x 6 studs at 16" intervals and the joists bear on a header instead of resting directly on top of a double top plate. The choice to use platform framing over balloon framing is no longer clear-cut. Wood frame construction has taken on many features of other building systems, while the main structural differences between styles are still relevant, many other factors come into play when choosing the right system for the job.


What are some advantages to using wood framing?

Wood has a high strength-to-weight ratio and is resilient, making it an ideal framing material. Wood can be cut, milled, and assembled with basic tools. Wood framing requires no special equipment or heavy machinery to assemble onsite, unlike masonry construction. Wood has a lower environmental impact than steel or concrete


Where do I get lumber for my wood-framed project?

Lumber for wood framing can be found at many building supply retailers and home improvement stores. Lumber is also available from specialized suppliers in hard-to-find species, lengths, and grades—something that can add substantial cost to a small project.


Is wood frame construction good?

Wood frame construction is one of the most popular methods for constructing residential, commercial, and industrial structures. Wood frames are not only inexpensive to construct but are also resistant to significant climatic changes, giving homeowners a great degree of comfort.


What are the disadvantages of using wood?

Wood is susceptible to insect infestation, can catch fire more easily, and has less inherent strength than steel or concrete. Wood is also not fire-rated and cannot be used in places where a fire might be a problem. Wood construction has largely been replaced by steel and concrete structures for other reasons such as aesthetics, acoustic performance, and environmental impact; however, it remains the most economical and preferred building system when considering constructability and cost over other functional requirements.


What are the safety precautions that I should follow when working with wood?

  • Wood requires proper storage between projects.

  • The wood used for structural purposes must be dried for at least six months before it is installed.

  • Wood also needs to be treated with a suitable preservative before it is used in certain applications, for example, outdoor decks that are exposed to the elements.

  • Wood should never be stored directly on concrete or masonry or left outside.

  • Wood should always be stacked neatly and protected from rain, snow, and other moisture with a covering of heavy plastic sheeting.


How long do wood-framed houses last?

Wood frame construction may endure for 50 to several hundred years, depending on conservation and craftsmanship. When it comes to determining how long a wood frame house will last, there are a few things to think about: Construction Quality. Frequency of Repair and Maintenance.


How much wind can a wood frame house withstand?

According to a FEMA survey, new wood-frame structures that adhere to building codes are quite strong structurally, with winds up to 150 mph, but steel homes can resist winds up to 170 mph. Wood-framed structures should be secured to the foundation and anchored to resist overturning.


How much snow can a wood frame house withstand?

Wood-framed structures are typically built to resist 40 pounds of snow per square foot. It is critical that the foundation, especially the sill plate, be securely fastened to prevent uplift. Wood shingles can provide additional resistance against wind and weight loads.


Can wood framing be used for loadbearing wall systems?

A loadbearing wall system is any wall that supports not only its own weight but also any additional vertical or lateral dead, live, or snow loads imposed on it. Wood frame construction can be used as both nonbearing and loadbearing.


Can I use wood for the roof of my house?

Yes, you can use wood for the roof of your house; however, there are some considerations to take into account before doing that. Wood is not fire-rated and cannot be used in places where fire might be a problem. Wood shingles can provide additional resistance against wind and weight loads, but they are combustible. Wood trusses are specifically designed to provide more strength and better resistance against snow loads for roof framing; however, wood is not suitable for vaulted or cathedral ceilings if the ceiling's span exceeds 13 feet (4 meters).