Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fargo House Framing: Tips to Frame To

Difficulty Level: Challenging

Start by looking
at your concrete slab foundation. (We'll use a concrete slab foundation for this example.) Make sure your slab is square. Measure the corners of the slab. Come in 3 ½ inches on all corners. Chalk lines at each point. This gives you a line around the perimeter of your slab.
Put a pressure treated plate on the foundation by laying 2-by-4 foot boards. Now use regular 2-by-4 boards for the top plate. Stagger your corners by cutting your top plate over your cuts on the bottom plate. Determine where you want your windows and doors and mark them on your plates to frame your house.
Take your bottom plate and turn it up on its edge. Take your top plate and carry it out 8 feet. Now turn it up on its edge. With your marks showing, add your 2-by-4 studs, normally on 16-inch centers (the measurement used by most builders to frame a house).
Raise your walls to frame your house. Align your bottom plate on your chalk line. Secure the bottom plate to the slab. Plumb your wall by using a level. Then, cut braces to hold it in the plumb position, attaching it to the stud and the floor. Do this all the way around the perimeter of the house. Now add a second plate to the top plate around the perimeter. Use the same steps for the interior walls.
Determine whether you are going to stick-build your roof or use trusses. (We'll use trusses for this example.) On a truss roof, you can go 24 inches on the center. Lay out your back top plate and your front top plate on 24-inch centers. Start on one end and set your first truss, working your way to the other end. Brace your trusses as you go as a safety precaution.

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