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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18
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it OK that the frame of my house doesn't line up with the slab?

My new house is being framed. I saw that the frame extends 1-2" from the foundation: Click photograph for full size The builder told me it happens often and the city inspector will catch it if this ...
17
votes
4answers
5k views

How do I find studs when stud finders won't work?

I was trying to hang my TV at my new place, on an interior wall (between living room and a bathroom). Using the stud finder on other walls worked fine, but on this wall I got some very strange ...
14
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'?
12
votes
1answer
525 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What is a shear wall and what is it for?

I have a wall in the middle of my house which I have been told is a shear wall. The image below is a diagram I put together real quick to show what it looks like. The grey lines on the right are ...
10
votes
1answer
592 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

When should you use metal studs?

When does it make sense to use metal framing for an interior wall? What are the advantages to traditional wood framing?
10
votes
3answers
699 views

Window framing on old construction

I'm redoing a kitchen but I've hired a contractor to do a portion of the work. One of the jobs he was hired to do was to move and reframe two windows. He finished that job today and I'm really ...
9
votes
4answers
29k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I remove a wall stud to install a pet door?

We only have one option for a wall that the pet door would go in. After measuring we found that the door would have to go right in the middle of a stud. Is it safe to cut through the stud?
9
votes
5answers
6k views

What are framing dimensions like in the metric world?

I was always curious about this. In the states we have: Lumber - Comes most commonly in 2 inch (2x4,6,8,10,12,16) and 4 inch (4x4,4x6) varieties. Plywood - Almost always 4x8 feet ...
9
votes
1answer
1k 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
4answers
6k views

What is the best way to remove a non load bearing wall?

I have a wall that I want to knock out as part of a kitchen remodel. The wall is non load bearing, so its fine to take out. The question is, what's the best way to do it? I imagine there's not a ...
7
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
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. ...
7
votes
2answers
331 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
9k views

What type of screws should I use in framing an area for a drywall patch?

As is evident in my previous posts, I'm in the process of framing an interior wall for drywall patch repair. I'd like to know what types of screws to use for connecting new 2x4's. When I visited our ...
6
votes
2answers
389 views

Frame or floor planks first?

Is it best to frame a powder room and a couple closets first, on top of plywood subfloor, or best to lay hardwood planks first then frame on top? I guess it would be fewer cuts to frame second. What ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Is toenailing necessary for a joist-to-ledger attachment?

Is it sufficient to rest joists on joist hangers or should you always toenail (drive screws/nails at an angle through the joist). And does the toenail have to drive into the ledger or just hold the ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

What are the best practices for a low deck built half on a concrete slab?

In our current place, we moved the main access door from going into the kitchen, to entering an old laundry room converted to a mud room. In order to do so, the front door was moved over about 4', ...
6
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
832 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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
11k 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

How should I frame in a large window opening to install a smaller window?

I'm replacing some windows in my house. The original window openings were outsized for the rooms, so the replacement windows I've chosen are smaller, which means framing in the part of the opening ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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
3answers
2k views

Is it OK to drill through a jack stud/full stud pair to cut a hole for water heater drain pipe?

I just had a new water heater installed in my garage. My city building / plumbing codes require that the water heater overflow drain be drained to the outside of the house. Situation: The heater ...
5
votes
1answer
264 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
904 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
241 views

How can I protect the soleplate when framing basement walls?

I plan on finishing my basement and I have a specific question about framing the walls and protecting the soleplate. I plan on framing and setting up the walls BEFORE laying the subfloor, but that ...
5
votes
1answer
394 views

What kind of repairs are prudent for a ridge board damaged by a falling tree?

The limbs of the tree punctured the roof in at least two spots, so we're already looking at repairs. Upon closer inspection within the attic, I noticed that the ridge beam is just slightly splintered ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

What size ceiling joists and rafters should I use for a 14' span?

I'm going to build a single story addition to my home with a width of 14ft. I plan on using ceiling joists every 16" but I'm not sure which size to get. The roof will be asphalt shingles and the attic ...
5
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Can mortise and tenon joints be strong without glue?

I'm designing a loft bed (here's a rough picture without the cross supports and other details). Right now, most joints will be mortise and tenon. I'd like to be able to take the loft down to parts, ...
4
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

Does crown direction really matter when framing a wall?

When framing a wall is it really important to have the crown of each stud in the same direction?
4
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Can I use engineered I joists as studs in a wall?

Project: 3m by 6m weekend house, roof 3m high, walls 20cm insulation. Question: I want build it from lighter/thinner materials, and i want to calculate from how thick materials i can build this I ...
4
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
424 views

How do I insulate space in loft to create music studio

I have 3 DIY created rooms in my large live/work studio/artist loft. They are made with 2x4 and 2x6, framing with drywall walls and plywood ceiling. The apt has 14' 7" ceilings so we just have ...
4
votes
2answers
13k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
181 views

Proper size of header to support new door in load bearing wall?

We're going to install a new linen closet off the hallway next to our recently(ish) remodeled bathroom. The wall in question is load bearing. I know how to properly build out the King and Jack ...
4
votes
1answer
216 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I build a square window frame in an off-square opening?

The original windows in the bedrooms in my old house were huge, far too big for the size of the rooms. At some point a previous owner replaced them with much smaller windows, building a frame to hold ...
4
votes
4answers
636 views

How do I get all these wires up from the basement to the attic?

I'd like to run new cabling for data, voice and tv but I'm having a hard time figuring out how to get some of the wires up to the attic for the 2nd floor and would like some advice. I've run cables, ...
4
votes
1answer
152 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
293 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages to timber framing vs. platform framing?

Within in the next 10-years, my wife and I would like to replace the old modular home on our property with a new house. I've been having some discussions with a friend of mine who is a huge fan of ...