Top 10 Framing Errors - And How To Prevent Them (From A Professional Builder Email) - Framing - Contractor Talk

Top 10 Framing Errors - And How To Prevent Them (From A Professional Builder Email)

 
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:54 PM   #1
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Top 10 Framing Errors - And How To Prevent Them (From A Professional Builder Email)


I look at this list and I see many of the problems listed are eliminated by the framer knowing how to read english.

All sheathing that I have ever used has span info stamped on it, and all beams that have a designed "up" have "TOP" stamped along the top edge.


http://www.housingzone.com/building-...w-prevent-them

Top 10 framing errors - and how to prevent them

By Bob Clark, senior engineered wood specialist, APA

Sometimes it’s the simple things that can make the difference between quality construction and satisfied customers and the home construction that dogs you with callbacks and complaints.

The typical errors that we see in the field are both common and highly preventable. Reducing callbacks is all about paying attention to detail and keeping up with wood construction systems that deliver the best structural and building science performance. While home construction isn’t a field that is usually known for its technological advancements, there are, in fact, important developments in building materials and systems that significantly improve both the building’s performance and the buyer’s satisfaction with the home.

The top 10 list of common framing errors includes:

1. Sheathing installed as a simple span. Sheathing should be installed over two or more spans, or three supports, at a minimum.

Personally I have never seen this. Maybe I am not understanding what the author is writing but what it seems to indicate would be a sheet of plywood placed over a 7'-10 1/2" opening or a 46 1/2" opening if run along the wrong axis.

2. The strength axis is installed in the wrong direction. In general, panels should be installed with the long dimension or strength axis of the panel across supports.

I have witnessed this in Clarksville Tennessee, where “know it all framers” were trying to sheathe a gable roof. Instead of trying to lay the plywood horizontally across the 24" o.c. trusses, they were installing them vertically. I never made it back to that area of town to see how the project turned out, but I can imagine that after the roof with shingled and the heat of the first summer bore down on that roof, there are probably noticeable waves where each truss is present under the sagging plywood.


3. Sheathing is ripped less than 24 inches and not properly supported. A narrow-width panel will deflect more than a panel 24 inches or greater in width. These panels are often installed on roof ridges, where workers are likely to walk during construction. The addition of blocking or edge-support clips will provide narrow-width panels with the support needed to handle heavy loads.

This typically happens at the top or bottom of a sheathed roof, since rafters or trusses rarely ever are exactly multiples of 48 inches from peak to the eave in length. It is best to provide sub-nailer blocking in between the rafters/trusses. I have only framed less than 30 truss roof style structures and I have noticed that 24" on center is quite a bit more “spongy” then 16"oc which I typically choose to frame.

4. Glulam is installed upside down. When glulam beams are manufactured as unbalanced beams, there are different bending stresses assigned to the compression and tension zones, and the beams must be installed accordingly. When “Top” is stamped on the top lamination, that end of the beam should be up.

I have never in my life seen a glulam installed upside down. Every beam that had an engineered direction came with the word “TOP” stamped all along the top edge. Conversely, if the beams came with no indication of proper installation direction, then they were visually “crowned” on-site, marked appropriately, and installed.

5. Panels are not spaced 1/8 inch at installation. Wood structural panels (plywood and OSB), like all wood products, will expand or shrink slightly with changes in moisture content. If expansion is prevented with tightly butted panel joints, buckling can occur. To prevent buckling and ensure optimum performance, the panel end and edge joints should be spaced 1/8 inch.

I have always found this argument to be material-brand specific. Some OSB manufacturers make a product that is a water sponge. Others make a product that can float in a lake all day and not swell. It is best to choose material that works for the environment that it will be used in. I have seen plywood gapped an eighth of an inch and then shrink due to attic heat, and that can introduce issues of its own.

The real solution to this problem is to get to know your material and follow the instructions provided by the material manufacturer.


6. Overdriven fasteners. Improper fastening — including incorrect fastener location or size, or installation of fasteners through the panel and into the framing member — can result in structural and aesthetic problems that commonly lead to callbacks.

This becomes critical when following the structural requirements set forth by the engineering for the project. I have known framers who own pneumatic nailers that have no depth adjustment on their gun. They would just back the pressure down on the air compressor and go to town. If it is at all possible, I have found that leaving the pressure high and using a nail gun with an adjustable depth setting is a better option. Not only can you install plywood, but other workers on your project will have access to full pressure for whatever they are doing.

The diameter, length of nail, and nailing pattern for applying structural sheathing are always specified in a good set of plans. It is the mark of a professional to completely adhere to all instructions within the plans. Sometimes, this requires buying nails that are specific to the sheathing requirements. This may seem like a hassle, but the bottom line is that the decision to choose specific fasteners is not the framer's to make.


7. Inconsistent joist spacing. If the floor doesn’t “feel right” to the homeowner, you can expect a callback. A consistent deflection across the entire floor will keep the customer happy.

I don't understand this point # 7. Is the author saying that framers are installing joists in a manner that is not uniform o.c.? I have never seen joists installed intentionally out of a uniform layout, except where an opening or plumbing requirement caused the outside joists to be doubled and a header to be created to support where a joist was removed for such an opening.

8. Inconsistent floor gluing. The number-one complaint about floors is squeaking. A properly glued-nailed floor system will work as a homogeneous unit, preventing most floor squeaks.

Not all glue is created equal. Also, it is important to only glue as far ahead as you are going to immediately cover with sub flooring. I have found that nailing subfloor with brides sometimes causes squeaks if the nail is shot through the plywood into the joist and there is no glue surrounding the point of penetration on the joist. What I mean is if there are spots where there is no glue along the top of the joist and you happen to nail at that location, a squeak may be created.

If it is in the projects budget, ringshank nails work well to reduce future squeaks. Sometimes builders will require that sheathing be glued and screwed. This easily adds double to the installation time but may be the best solution.



9. Improper water management. It’s important to prevent moisture intrusion in the building envelope and to allow for proper drying when moisture does get in.

I imagine this would be found where improper application of house wrap would create a channel for water to be drawn towards the house rather than shed away from the house. I have used some of the advantech sheathing products and found that their wall and roof sheathing system along with the seam tape is a pretty good overall moisture control product.

Anyone who has ever remodeled a house will quickly see where the Ms. application of house wrap creates future water damage to the structure. A simple fold in-house wrap, or having a lower row of paper on top of an upper row of paper can be devastating over time.


10. Notching and hole cutting in the wrong places. Improperly made field notches or holes may reduce the structural capacity or the load-carrying capability of the structural framing member.

I don't usually see this kind of problem when working on a project with competent professionals. Plumbers and electricians typically know how to correctly penetrate wood structural members in a way that is in accordance with the materials engineering tolerances. However, I showed up one morning on a job site in Lynden, only to find that the homeowner had spent the weekend trying to “get ahead” on the project. He was always trying to do things in order to speed up our time on the job. He had run all of his plumbing himself and notched an LVL and I-joist to get his toilet trap located where he wanted it.

Not only had he located his toilet incorrectly, but he managed to butcher the structural lumber underneath the floor to such an extent that it took half a day for 2 men to be able to construct a repair of his work.


New Plate Washer Requirements for Engineered Shear Walls

New provisions in the 2009 and 2012 International Building Code will require the use of plate washers on most sill plate anchor bolts in engineered structures, such as multi-family and commercial projects, as well as one- and two-family homes designed using the IBC.

Although builders in high-seismic regions have been using plate washers since the late 1990s to improve the performance of wood shear walls, this requirement will be new for most low-seismic regions, according to Shane Vilasineekul, P.E., branch engineering manager with Simpson Strong-Tie. Vilasineekul offers a few important details to keep in mind:

The purpose of the new requirement is to limit the tendency for sill plates to split length wise between the anchor bolts. This can occur when anchor bolts are supporting the center of the sill plate while the sheathing pulls up on the edge of the sill plate, creating a prying action.
The new plate washer requirements apply to shear walls designed under the IBC. There are no changes to the plate washer provisions prescribed in the International Residential Code, which only requires plate washers in high-seismic regions or when designing for extreme winds.
The plate washer must be a minimum 3 x 3 x 0.229 inches (3 gauge) and extend to within ½-inch of the sheathed edge of the sill plate.
To allow for larger tolerances in anchor bolt placement, the code permits the plate washer to be slotted when a standard cut washer is used.
New, slotted plate washers that are 4½-inch wide can be used for 2x6 framing that is sheathed on both sides or for anchor bolts centered in 2x6 framing that is sheathed on just one side.



There are five framing principles that are the basis for preventing these common errors:
  • Wood has a strength direction. Adhere to this principle and avoid many deflection problems.
  • Wood expands and contracts. Buckling is the most common complaint in sheathing applications. Properly space panels to avoid these preventable callbacks.
  • Consistency counts. Inconsistent alignment, framing, materials, nailing, spacing, spans, and gluing all create problems — both real and perceived — for homeowners. Many of these problems can be avoided with consistent building practices.
  • Prevent moisture intrusion. Special attention to housewraps, flashings, shingling of underlayments, and use of vapor retarders is vital to preventing moisture-related problems.
  • Load path continuity. Continuous sheathing and proper fasteners will provide uplift resistance against high winds.


This last principle is a big one. While wood-frame construction makes it easy for builders to construct strong, durable buildings, wall studs alone can’t withstand high wind and seismic forces. A continuous load path safely transfers the lateral, vertical, and racking loads caused by severe weather and earthquakes from the roof, wall, and floor systems to the foundation. The continuous load path is achieved by connecting the structural frame, wood structural panel sheathing, and fasteners together. The result is like a chain that ties the house together from the roof to the foundation. If any link in the chain breaks, the overall structural system could weaken. If each link is strong enough to handle the applied loads, however, a continuous load path will provide tremendous resistance against the forces of nature.

Wall bracing is one of the most important structural elements of any house, but it can also be one of the most confusing. Wood structural panel sheathing is the easiest and most economical way to meet International Residential Code prescriptive bracing requirements. Continuous sheathing with wood structural panels provides superior bracing to resist uplift loads, lateral loads, and wind pressures while providing a secure connection to the roof and protecting the occupants. Additionally, wood structural panel sheathing provides impact resistance from storm-blown objects and holds fasteners securely for siding application.

Fasteners are the final link in the chain, and the effectiveness of the structural system relies on the quality and quantity of the connections. In hurricanes, the loss of roofing materials and sheathing is the leading cause of structural failure in wood-framed buildings. The central reasons behind these failures are improper connection detailing between structural systems and inadequate fastening of sheathing to supporting members. Understanding connection detailing and adhering to a prescribed fastener schedule is critical to completing the load path.
By adhering to these framing principles, paying attention to details, and maintaining a commitment to understanding wood frame systems, builders can reduce callbacks, satisfy homeowners, and increase profits.

Founded in 1933, APA represents approximately160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, rim board, and laminated veneer lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:00 PM   #2
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Re: Top 10 Framing Errors - And How To Prevent Them (From A Professional Builder Email)


Quote:
1. Sheathing installed as a simple span. Sheathing should be installed over two or more spans, or three supports, at a minimum.

Personally I have never seen this. Maybe I am not understanding what the author is writing but what it seems to indicate would be a sheet of plywood placed over a 7'-10 1/2" opening or a 46 1/2" opening if run along the wrong axis.
I think number 1 is the same as number 3

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Old 02-20-2012, 01:08 PM   #3
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Re: Top 10 Framing Errors - And How To Prevent Them (From A Professional Builder Email)


Or sheathing installed checkerboard style instead of staggered. (offset joints).
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:09 PM   #4
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Re: Top 10 Framing Errors - And How To Prevent Them (From A Professional Builder Email)


I tnink the implication for #1 is that a scab or small piece of sheathing should never be placed over a single span of a joists/studs/rafter i.e not to install a 16" wide piece, better to cut the previous sheet back and install a 32" or 48" piece.
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:16 PM   #5
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Re: Top 10 Framing Errors - And How To Prevent Them (From A Professional Builder Email)


Quote:
Originally Posted by bconley View Post
I think number 1 is the same as number 3
#1 is for the small 16" crosscut piece. #3 is for the rip length less than 24"
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:22 PM   #6
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Re: Top 10 Framing Errors - And How To Prevent Them (From A Professional Builder Email)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hmbldr View Post
#1 is for the small 16" crosscut piece. #3 is for the rip length less than 24"
Yes that's what being talked about here No 24" or 16" fill ins Oh and no rail roading the ply on the gable ends
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:59 PM   #7
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Re: Top 10 Framing Errors - And How To Prevent Them (From A Professional Builder Email)


3. Sheathing is ripped less than 24 inches and not properly supported. A narrow-width panel will deflect more than a panel 24 inches or greater in width. These panels are often installed on roof ridges, where workers are likely to walk during construction. The addition of blocking or edge-support clips will provide narrow-width panels with the support needed to handle heavy loads.

This typically happens at the top or bottom of a sheathed roof, since rafters or trusses rarely ever are exactly multiples of 48 inches from peak to the eave in length. It is best to provide sub-nailer blocking in between the rafters/trusses. I have only framed less than 30 truss roof style structures and I have noticed that 24" on center is quite a bit more “spongy” then 16"oc which I typically choose to frame.


Another way to do it without using blocks would be to rip the second run from the top to 24" ( getting two pieces out of each sheet) and then finishing with a rip more then 2' but less then 4' of course.
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:55 PM   #8
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Re: Top 10 Framing Errors - And How To Prevent Them (From A Professional Builder Email)


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Originally Posted by IHateArchitects View Post
[I]

Another way to do it without using blocks would be to rip the second run from the top to 24" ( getting two pieces out of each sheet) and then finishing with a rip more then 2' but less then 4' of course.
Yup. Done that before.(left side of ridge) Much faster than adding blocking or using clips.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:31 PM   #9
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Re: Top 10 Framing Errors - And How To Prevent Them (From A Professional Builder Email)


It ain't always the lack of glue that makes floors squeak. To cover my own ass though I always get liberal and sloppy with the glue
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:57 PM   #10
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Re: Top 10 Framing Errors - And How To Prevent Them (From A Professional Builder Email)


I agree with the whole chain theory. We always sheet from our sill plate to the top plate to tie the whole assembly together. Then with rafter/truss clips you are all tied together. I have never understood only sheathing the walls and not bridging the floor system.

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