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That guy
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've done metal roofing and other architectural metal, most kinds of siding (especially fiber cement), and drywall. Over the last couple years I have been accumulating leftovers from job sites that would have been thrown away. I have almost all I need to make a playhouse for my kids as I have been planning. I will only need to buy a little more lumber, drywall, some flooring, paint, and whatever framing braces, gussets, hangers, etc. I may need.

But I don't know much about framing. I know how often I've been frustrated by bad framing. I've seen plenty of play houses and sheds that were very poorly framed, with roofs that sag heavily. I'm familiar with many of the terms used and have the equipment because I often need to correct something (particularly missing studs in corners when doing drywall). And I've built non-load-bearing walls in basements. But I don't know anything about designing rafters and any other real structural elements.

Anyone able to direct me to a good resource or two for learning this so I can do it right? I enjoy taking on projects like this that force me to learn. I am not interested in someone else's plans that I follow without really understanding or having any role in the design. That would take away half of the point of the project.

Free is always nice, but I don't mind buying a book or other resource if that is what makes the most sense here. Thanks!


- Jon
 

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That guy
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That has definitely occurred to me. But I see a lot of future potential with my current employer (renovations and exterior finishes), and I don't want to lose the relationship I have there just to learn for a personal project. But that thought does keep coming back to me...
 

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That guy
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Seriously? You honestly don't understand the difference between a google search to show millions of possible ways to do framing versus asking professionals for a recommended resource?
 

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The Dude
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I'm just busting your balls :p

Depends on how involved you want to get with framing. If you want to get really really fast, and have most everything second nature I second the get a job with a crew idea.

If you just want to gain the knowledge a little at a time for projects here and there where speed isn't paramount, then try Youtube and Google and play with it.

What do you really need to know for a playhouse? how to lay out a common rafter, how to frame door and window openings, and how to make things square. Is your floor going to be conventional foundation? Are you going to be using 4x8 sheets for siding? For small buildings like that I just bump everything straight and square to the sheet goods.

Small buildings like that, I build the box, then cut holes to add window framing. I leave out the stud where the window is going to be, and add it all later. Same with a door, unless I'm building the doors out of siding, but that's not something I could teach you without showing you several times. Maybe theres an easy way on Youtube that would be fun to learn?

I should have made a bunch of videos when I was building out-buildings all the time.

After that, you can add on things for the future, and refine what you've already learned. Learn how to lay out stairs. Learn how to lay out hip and jack rafters (terminology?) - before long you will be a better framer than a lot of "framers" (although not nearly as fast!)
 

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That guy
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, production speed isn't a goal for me here. But I am interested in doing more than just a gabled or hipped 4-sided building. Nothing too involved, just more visual interest. Perhaps an L shape (one short leg) with intersecting gables or dormers or something. I'll decide after I learn more.

I'm planning on building it so it can be picked up by a Donkey/Mule/Piggyback when we move in a few years. Haven't decided the best way to do that yet, it's just part of the design goal.
 

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If your only problem is rafters, "Carpentry" by Leonard Koel has some easy to follow layout diagrams, it would be a good start. If you got bored with that, "Rough Framing Carpentry" by Mark Currie is a good one too, it's a little dated but has some good production techniques.
 

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The Dude
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7fRanWeoUc

That's how we built rafters for anything up to about 12' wide. They go a bit overboard on a thing or two - we didn't build a jig on the floor. Just hold the angles tight, and shoot the gusset down.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_bQGyRZF6c&list=UU12lh9nMJjIoxlTC-X7r0lw

There's the time lapse. The way we do it around here is faster. I think about 2 days I could build it their way with plenty of room to speed up the process. One for my way, but I've built probably 100 of them my way.

A few things though - if you want to do it "right", you wouldn't frame over the subfloor, and you wouldn't use gussets, you'd have a ridge beam, and collar ties. Shingles would overhang past the drip edge (3/4"). Roofing nails are supposed to penetrate 1/4", but around here we use shorter nails so it doesn't look like a porcupine inside.
 

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Home Repairs
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I've done metal roofing and other architectural metal, most kinds of siding (especially fiber cement), and drywall. Over the last couple years I have been accumulating leftovers from job sites that would have been thrown away. I have almost all I need to make a playhouse for my kids as I have been planning. I will only need to buy a little more lumber, drywall, some flooring, paint, and whatever framing braces, gussets, hangers, etc. I may need.

But I don't know much about framing. I know how often I've been frustrated by bad framing. I've seen plenty of play houses and sheds that were very poorly framed, with roofs that sag heavily. I'm familiar with many of the terms used and have the equipment because I often need to correct something (particularly missing studs in corners when doing drywall). And I've built non-load-bearing walls in basements. But I don't know anything about designing rafters and any other real structural elements.

Anyone able to direct me to a good resource or two for learning this so I can do it right? I enjoy taking on projects like this that force me to learn. I am not interested in someone else's plans that I follow without really understanding or having any role in the design. That would take away half of the point of the project.

Free is always nice, but I don't mind buying a book or other resource if that is what makes the most sense here. Thanks!


- Jon
I bought this book written by William Spence a while ago. It is one of my best buys ever. It starts with the basics and leads you into the more complex without any confusion.

http://www.amazon.com/Residential-F...-Guide/dp/0806985941/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
 

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That guy
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7fRanWeoUc

That's how we built rafters for anything up to about 12' wide. They go a bit overboard on a thing or two - we didn't build a jig on the floor. Just hold the angles tight, and shoot the gusset down.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_bQGyRZF6c&list=UU12lh9nMJjIoxlTC-X7r0lw

There's the time lapse. The way we do it around here is faster. I think about 2 days I could build it their way with plenty of room to speed up the process. One for my way, but I've built probably 100 of them my way.

A few things though - if you want to do it "right", you wouldn't frame over the subfloor, and you wouldn't use gussets, you'd have a ridge beam, and collar ties. Shingles would overhang past the drip edge (3/4"). Roofing nails are supposed to penetrate 1/4", but around here we use shorter nails so it doesn't look like a porcupine inside.
Thanks for the links. I'll check those out.

As for shingles, nails, etc. I have 1 1/4" roofing nails (enough leftover for half of a residential home), a Hitachi nailer, enough drip edge for several of these play houses, as well as flashing for windows and foundation to go along with the Hardie Plank siding I have been accumulating. I really want to do a standing seam metal roof, but I don't have enough and don't want to pay for it when I have shingles and ice & water shield already. I suppose I could always replace it later. I also have white and dark bronze gutter in two sizes (4" & 6"). I even have seamless metal panels of the wall & ceiling variety, and plenty of leftover soffit so I can go either way there.

So, yeah, I've been looking forward to doing this for a while and I really appreciate the direction I am getting for framing. Thanks again!
 

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smalpierre said:
yup, ridge beam is a completely different thing.

Complete guess: might need or at least want both in hurricane country?
Nope, all a ridge beam does is switches the load from the walls to two posts under the ridge. And eliminates the need for collar ties if you wanted a vaulted ceiling.
 

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That guy
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Related question: is there a substantive, functional, or application difference between 21 degree and 28 degree framing guns? I tried to do a search about it but got hundreds of results that don't seem to cover that. I'm sure someone has but I wasn't able to find it.

There are a number of used guns (Senco, Hitachi, Max, etc.) available on a local classifieds site in the $80-120 range. I love my Hitachi and Max guns, and my Senco air compressor has treated me very well. But for the same price I could get a new Harbor Freight gun, which seem to be very highly rated by many users on their site. I don't have a problem with HF stuff for non-occupational tools. My automotive tools are mostly HF, for instance. I use them a few times each year and they work great.

I'm leaning toward a used real gun, but interested in feedback. And, again, any info about the different angle options. Thanks!
 

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Set aside about four hours, go to a big box bookstore and go to the construction section. They will have 5 to 50 books on framing details. Take them all over to a stuffed chair and read the backs, introduction and table of contents.

When going thru the table of contents pick a subject you are dying to learn and go to that section and read thru it. Set aside all the books with lousy writing, annoying or small print and unhelpful or scarce diagrams and graphics in one pile.

Put all the helpful books you like in another pile. Once this is done go back thru the good pile and buy the one you like the best.

Not kidding. Other than hands on trial by fire, experimentation, common sense and ******* ingenuity working on real estate investments and some great mentors, that is how I learned much of the finer details. The readily available diagrams and wisdom from a good author with years of experience is priceless all for about 30 bucks.

Supplement the contents with google searches and youtube videos for specific details.

Good luck
 
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