For questions generally relating to the internal structural members of a home or other structure that form walls, ceilings and roofs, including studs, plates, headers, beams, and joists.

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7
votes
2answers
12k views

How do I determine rough opening sizes for common closet door sizes?

At the hardware store I see bifold closet doors listed in sizes like 36x80, 48x80, 72x80. I'm not sure if these are nominal sizes or exactly which parts they're measuring from. How would I determine ...
3
votes
1answer
325 views

What should I consider when removing part of the second floor to make higher ceilings?

I live in an old (120 - 150 yr old) house with very low ceilings. I am considering ways to make the house feel more open and one option is to remove part of the ceiling and floor joists of the second ...
4
votes
1answer
160 views

Is it OK to nail 1/2" plywood straight to the pocket-door box?

The guy I hired to frame for a new pocket-door, mounted the pocket-door box on the top (to a second-story joist) and on the bottom (toe-nailed to the floor). When I asked him to install some studs on ...
2
votes
1answer
906 views

What framing do I need to build a garage with 13 ft walls to store a boat?

The garage door has to be 12x12ft and I need at least 12in of space between the top of my door opening and the ceiling. What changes do I need to make to the traditional framing techniques to support ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

What is the proper way to install a exterior door in brick/drywall wall?

A little background: in Brazil drywall is kind of novelty yet, mostly used on comercial building. Houses here are still built only using bricks, with the jambs of door being affixed to the bricks ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Can I use a threaded rod for a rafter tie?

Long story short: I am working on a 1960's house with no rafter ties. The rafters themselves are now attached with screws and strong-ties (previously just double nailed!) but I don't have faith in the ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I frame this multi-level deck?

I'm designing an addition onto my existing deck (the existing deck is not pictured below). The addition will be roughly 20' by 15', and I'm planning on making a portion of it a single step lower. ...
5
votes
1answer
301 views

Is there any problem building a wall under floor joists at mid span?

I need to add a wall in a basement room. The wall would be placed mid span going across 7 trusses. Is there any problem placing a wall under a floor truss at mid span? The truss was not designed ...
4
votes
1answer
7k views

How do you frame a wall more than 8-10 feet tall?

I am capable of framing a "simple" 8' wide 8' tall 4" thick wall out of 2x4 lumber, then attaching plywood or drywall or OSB or any other sheet material to the frame. Making the wall wider is a ...
2
votes
2answers
270 views

How can I frame a ceiling tray in my dining room?

We have a 12x14 dining room and are looking to add a shallow 6"h x 15"w tray border around the outside. One of the longer sides will not hit any ceiling joists, so I will be using toggle bolts to keep ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How much temporary bracing do you need when cutting a new exterior door opening in an existing house?

I'd like to add a door to the back side of my garage, but since this is a load bearing wall I'll have to brace it temporarily while I frame the opening. The garage has one room above it, which spans ...
9
votes
4answers
43k views

How do you secure wood framing to a concrete basement floor?

I'm using Pressure treated lumber for the bottom plate in a basement finishing project. What should I use to seperate the wood from the concrete? What are ways to secure the bottom plate to the ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Can I hang a hammock from basement joists?

My basement is what I assume is a typical setup, built in the 1970s. 2x8 joists run from the outer cinderblock wall to the center beam with an approximate 11 foot span. I'm thinking about hanging a ...
10
votes
1answer
781 views

Are there any dangers to sistering a joist with oversize lumber?

I've done some research lately on joist sistering as a solution to bouncy floors. The logic seems to revolve around the following principles. The stress of carrying a load is at the center of the ...
12
votes
1answer
628 views

Should cement board be glued and screwed to the studs?

I've seen some people recommend that cement board be glued and screwed to the stud framing for wall and ceiling application. I haven't seen this recommendation on any of the manufacturers install ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

How can I install a pre-hung door when soundboard has been installed?

Normally a 2x4 wall has a finished thickness of 4.5" (2x4 + 2x 1/2" drywall) I have 1/2" soundboard under one side of the drywall so my finished thickness is 5" I know that I can custom-order ...
0
votes
1answer
605 views

Can I stack new beam to the top of old beam to extend span?

I have appropriately sized an LVL to extend a span by 3ft as well as assured the column support to the foundation at the new column. EDIT: The existing 12 ft span is carried by a 4x10, the new span ...
2
votes
1answer
419 views

What's the best way to lay out sheathing around a doorway?

Does it matter how you sheath around an exterior door? I think it would be stronger to break the sheathing over the door than at the corners, but I'm not sure. The wall is not load-bearing. Studs are ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How to frame for a porch beam?

I am working on a 10' x 12' building with a 6' porch (16' x 12' overall). Roof is a simple gable that will cover the porch. The porch roof will rest on 2x beams, which are supported by posts at one ...
4
votes
1answer
224 views

Is there any way I can reclaim this space and still safely support the front steps?

In my garage I have a nearly useless room that's 6'x10' but has this ... strange shelf of sorts in there. When I went to bust up the drywall to see whats behind it I found out it's been there since ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I move a non load bearing wood frame wall?

I am remodeling my basement and want to move the location of a non-load bearing wall that is diving a section of my basement. Currently the wall is down to the bare wooden studs. The header was nailed ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

What is a reasonable expectation of decibel reduction when sound proofing?

Background I'm currently renting an apartment in a very old building and have a lot of trouble sleeping because of the noise. My apartment is underneath the main entry way; and people come in and ...
2
votes
2answers
518 views

How do you install blocking in a straight line?

When installing blocking that is staggered, you can end-nail it. But what about when it's important for the blocking to be in a straight line? For example, when you want to support butted-edges of ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

How far can I move ceiling joists up?

The second floor of our house has a fairly low ceiling, perhaps 6'8" or 6'10". The width of the structure is only about 16' with standard construction and the ceiling joists running parallel to to the ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

How to attach a 2x beam to the side of a post?

I want to attach a 2x to the side of a vertical 4x4 post. I can think of several options: nails through bolts lag screws a cleat under the beam Sampson Deck-Joist Tie I know that notching the ...
7
votes
2answers
366 views

For a small building, should joists or girders run the long dimension?

I'm planning to frame a 12' x 16' floor. Should the joists be 12', and the beams 16'? Or vice versa? More detail: 4x4 posts on concrete piers; 12' x 10' will be enclosed; 12' x 6' will be a covered ...
3
votes
1answer
347 views

How can I frame a bookshelf like this?

Looking through the Houzz iPad app this weekend, I came across this I want this. Got the wife's approval and I'm thinking about starting it this weekend (gutting the old fireplace / bookshelves and ...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

How can I calculate the load capacity of a platform?

I'm planning to build a very basic bed frame, but I'm not sure what size lumber to use. I was thinking of building the entire thing from 2x4s (legs would be 4x4), but I'm not sure if this will be ...
6
votes
2answers
13k views

Pouring a concrete slab against my house: how to frame it up against the outside wall?

I have a concrete front stoop that drains some water into the basement, so I am going to knock it out and pour a new slab with better grading. The slab will be about 4 feet square, and fits into a ...
3
votes
1answer
493 views

What types of materials should I consider when designing a bench?

I am building a dividing half-wall/shelving unit to separate my living room from entrance door. I am planning to put a bench on the side closer to the door (so me and my guests can sit down while ...
2
votes
1answer
240 views

How large are in-wall heating vents that connect to registers?

I'm curious how large heating vents can typically be when connecting to in-wall registers. Do they fill up the entire space between studs? I'm framing for some drywall patches and would ideally not ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

What is the expense and difficulty of moving an exterior kitchen wall?

I'm considering a kitchen remodel, that is in the front-right corner of a house, and surrounded by a covered deck on both sides. The deck extends out 8ft in the front and 9ft on the right. I'd like ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Can I use roofing nails to attach OSB/plywood to studs?

My roofing nails are for nailing asphalt shingles to roof underlay boards. I have been using 2.5 inch nails to nail external wall OSBs to the studs. I have been contemplating using the excess roofing ...
4
votes
5answers
6k views

How do I nail furring strips without them cracking?

While remodeling my basement, I had several walls where I just put up furring strips and foam insulation rather than framing in a "real" wall. I used 1x2 furring strips and attached them with a ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Are cripple studs necessary for framing a door in a “decorative wall”

With a rather large living room in my 1bd appartment, I'm building a semi-permanent partition to split off a second smaller bedroom. The partition will be a standard framed wall and put in place ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

How do I nail plywood to flat roof framing?

I am putting some 3/4 plywood on top of 2x6 framing joists on my flat garage roof. The framing is spaced 16oc. I figured that I place 4x8 plywood sheets in such way that their short edge will be ...
4
votes
1answer
382 views

Installing a new exterior door into a taller existing opening

We are remodeling our 1948 home, and the previous owner was quite tall. We are trying to replace our exterior door, and have come across a wonderful deal on a door. Here is the issue: How can I make ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

How do you frame a wall around existing pipes and ducting?

Adding ducting or conduit or pipes to a wall is easy, you just drill or cut a hole. Adding a wall where there is already conduit and pipes poses more of a dilemma, especially if those things are ...
3
votes
1answer
227 views

Tips for measuring a front door opening?

I'm getting ready to replace my front door with a brand new pre-hung door and have some questions regarding collecting measurements. Where exactly should I measure? I've heard people use the phrase ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Does this 2x4 support my gable ridge?

I'm installing a floor in my attic. To open up the space and simplify the flooring I'm removing temporary construction bracing. Most of the bracing is easy to identify, since it clearly does not ...
3
votes
3answers
818 views

Framing a cement room

Under our garage is a cement room (23' x 20', 8' high). We added it to the construction plans as a storage room, with the option of using part of it as living space. Everyone seems to think it would ...
1
vote
1answer
892 views

How close to plumb to deck posts need to be?

I'm building a deck as the floor of a 30' yurt. Construction is 4" x 6" joists on 4" x 4" posts, on pre-cast concrete pier blocks, on tamped gravel footings. Posts are 20" - 30" long. Lumber is ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Remodeling a pre-1920's home with planks on the interior walls

I own an older home in central PA; my guess it is pre-1920's and I was going to remodel the living room and insulate the walls and run new wiring. The walls are horse hair plaster; when I removed the ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Why should I use advanced nails instead of wood screws for strength?

Recently I found that there're some superior nails for constructing hurricane-resistant houses - with very clever design for preventing pulling the nails out and tearing the boards off when the ...
4
votes
2answers
16k views

How do I frame a room inside a garage so that the room's ceiling will not touch the garage ceiling?

I am considering building a small 6 x 9 room inside my garage to use as an office. However, I do not want to remove the garage door opener unit nor the tracks the door slides on because we will want ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it common to have no ceiling joists above joist-parallel walls?

I own an old 1 story house that was built in 1926. Looking in the attic, I've noticed that all the interior walls that run parallel to the ceiling joists have no joist above them. These walls are ...
3
votes
4answers
7k views

How do I frame a 2“ (1.5”) thick wall?

How would you put up/frame a wall where the 2x4 studs are turned flat to make the wall 2" thick? One especially tricky thing is that (it seems that) all nails must be toenailed since a 3.5" long 16d ...
3
votes
1answer
512 views

What is the proper way to frame in a room?

I'm looking to frame in this room (photo 2) to utilize the space for a 1st floor bathroom / 1st floor laundry room / storage. I think I have the process down having seen my uncles and brothers houses ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Can I extend my loft hatch opening?

I am hoping to extend the opening for my loft hatch using the following method. I want to move the cross piece from position Q to position P. I intend to screw a temporary support across the top of ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Why are 2“x4”'s really 1.5“x3.5”?

Just curious as to the reasoning, is it a spec, or is it simply 'backwards compatibility'?