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I am struggling to start my residential framing biz.

I have over 10 years experience in residential framing

Recently I have been sub'ing for Home Depot building storage buildings. I want more!

I want to start new home framing biz

My first hurdle is reading the prints.

Over the years I have never HAD to be able to read the plans. I am only 32 hours short of a civil engineering degree so I have a base knowledge of prints.

Is there a good place to start? I know its easy just need to be pointed in the right direction

Thanks in advance
 

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Yes it is very easy, the best thing would be to just get a set of blueprints and grab a ruler or a tape measure and start measuring and figure out the lf. I hope you know where to look for a scale on the plans. If you do it should be no problem.

Or are you asking window and door sizes and that kind of stuff.
 

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Cole_21 said:
Yes it is very easy, the best thing would be to just get a set of blueprints and grab a ruler or a tape measure and start measuring and figure out the lf. I hope you know where to look for a scale on the plans. If you do it should be no problem.

Or are you asking window and door sizes and that kind of stuff.
I know how to scale but refresh me if ya have time

Yes you are correct, the main thing I need (for walls) is how to interpret rough openings for windows and doors. I have a basic knowledge. i.e. a "2-0" door is simply 24" ?

thanks bud
 

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Rough openings will be denoted by the door and window supplier. A 24" Pella window typically has a R.O. of 24 3/4". But an Anderson might be 25" (just an example - don't know for sure). So you'll need a window and door schedule - at least I would ask for one to make positive that you frame it correctly. Re-work in framing is a killer on profits.
 

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good point Rich, yes always ask for a window and door schedule when roughing out the window and door openings.
 

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I suggest you get a handbook on residential blueprint reading and/or drafting that shows you what all the symbols, abbreviations, etc. mean and how dimensioning standards work. There are many out there.

You should also get a contractor pricing guide to residential home construction. Means publishes a good one annually. They have a version for new construction and a version for remodeling construction. I've found it to be fairly accurate and almost essential if you're just starting out because there are many hidden cost you don't realize until you get your feet wet or in the worst case, screwed. Another good book is "Smart Business for Contractors" - Taunton Press. Code books are almost a must. Codes are revised and added to annually and without good knowledge of them, you could easily loose your a**. If anything, get volumes of Taunton's "Code Check" for around $20 each. They are condensed versions of the code and leave out commercial codes which are probably 75% of the code (residential frame is elementry compared to commercial).

Some may say books are no replacement for experience and that is true. However, you've got to start somewhere and the more educated you are, the less hard knocks you'll take. You mention you have 10 years of framing experience. Still, books will make you smarter and confident as you use them to compare your thoughts.

There are many books on these subjects and what I've suggested may not be the best for you. However, they are good books and places like the Home Depot or Barnes and Noble are a good place to look. Expect to spend around $100. I've found books by the Taunton press to be excellent. They are written by real contractors with real experience. A subscription to Fine Homebuilding magazine would be a real benefit to you. It is loaded with methods that are efficient with professional results.

You probably know by now, don't short yourself on cheap tools. They will kill you in additional labor costs and degrade your workmanship.
 

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jand - "My first hurdle is reading the prints." Wow! A framing sub that intends to read the prints? It must be Christmas! ;) All kidding aside - there's nothing that teaches you to read prints like reading prints. Look around for calls for bids and get copies of the prints. Then take them home and start looking through them with a paper pad to write down questions you have. If the handbook that jdlong recommmended doesn't have the answer, call the architect. Just make sure it's 1 phone call with all questions lined up. You may have to wait for his schedule.

If you want to, shoot me a pm. I've spent the last few years with my nose buried in prints more than I'd ever like to. I can help answer some more specific questions.

Tim
 

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As a Contractor and Draftsman the first rule is NEVER EVER scale off blueprints. Go by the dimensions never by what your ruler says on the blueprint.
 

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LOl the first tule, I threw out my first day as a roofer. EVERYONE scales. I remember trying to tell a journeyman not to scale. Boy! The looks I got.

The dimensions are never enough. I have yet to see a print with the ridge length. Quite often I will scale and then do the geometry to check the dawing. If it passes the test I scale. If it doesn't pass I curse alot while hitting buttons on my calc.
 

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I actually do check the scale as well just to check to make sure the architect got it right (they're human) - especially if I have to order windows.

Tim
 

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As a Draftsman, I will tell you that we have Monday mornings and Friday afternoons just like everybody else and **** happens, especially if you are really being pushed to get stuff out and unable to fully review them. Everybody makes mistakes, check and doublecheck and don't forget common sense.
 

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Grumpy said:
LOl the first tule, I threw out my first day as a roofer. EVERYONE scales. I remember trying to tell a journeyman not to scale. Boy! The looks I got.

The dimensions are never enough. I have yet to see a print with the ridge length. Quite often I will scale and then do the geometry to check the dawing. If it passes the test I scale. If it doesn't pass I curse alot while hitting buttons on my calc.
The dimentions are never enough? ARE YOU JOKING? Why would a print have a ridge length. Prints are drawn to build a structure not to give dimensions for a future roofing contractor.
Your first day as a roofer? You were telling jouneymen what to do? How long did you last? Maybe you think everyone scales but that is not true. Do you think when carpenters look at a set of prints and they do not beleive what they read they take out a ruler and build off that? The first thing you do when you supect something is incorrect is to bring it up to the person who designed the building not go on your own and figure that your ruler will be correct. Scaling when you just figure out the amount of squares of a roof is one thing but I would not say that the print is wrong and build off my tape measure. Use some simple trigonometry calculations when figuring roofing.
 

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GunnCon said:
As a Contractor and Draftsman the first rule is NEVER EVER scale off blueprints. Go by the dimensions never by what your ruler says on the blueprint.
Ok tell me this what if there is no numbers? Scaling for walls is ok but I don't prefer it. But knowing code first when you know you can scale.

Personally I don't think your ready if you don't know r.o.. Doors are usually 2 inches over but can be up to 3" over. French doors get a better fit with 3" over Doors with 5 quater jams 2.5". Always know the manufature specs. or have them on hand. Gas fireplaces have like three different measurements. Stairs need to be 37" rough min. the step no less than 9" inches no more than 10" run (though I have seen 10.5" on 1997 ubc) on the stringer height no more than 8 in rise. Hall way or pass ways need 36" min clearence side to side.
And I haven't even got started yet.
 

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Good point JustaFramer - my current project was all hand drawn and had about 6 dimensions on a 22000sf home. I've had to scale everything from the start and created my own foundation and framing plans.
General Info - To scale or not to scale - the first thing contractors need to do is review the drawings. Compare the scale dimensions to the given dimensions - if the building doesn't close on the paper most likely it won't close on your framing, foundation, etc. As JustaFramer said - if you don't have the minimum clearances/dimensions by code raise the flag before you start building the thing.
 

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JustaFramer said:
Ok tell me this what if there is no numbers?
In my line of work you'd better ask someone. There are always numbers - somewhere; they just might not have made it to the field. Scaling is a sure fire way to get screwed. Order of precedence is dimensions from approved submittals, dimensions fro 'cutsheets', dimensions from plans, dimensions from schedules. Scaled dimensions are an invitation to back charges.
 

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PipeGuy said:
In my line of work you'd better ask someone. There are always numbers - somewhere; they just might not have made it to the field. Scaling is a sure fire way to get screwed. Order of precedence is dimensions from approved submittals, dimensions fro 'cutsheets', dimensions from plans, dimensions from schedules. Scaled dimensions are an invitation to back charges.
In underground your right. That is what you do? I am assuming this by the laser you have pictured.

I do rough carpentry and have seen to many architect f ups. The builder knew their prints were good enough and passed the county. But it is also the carps job to build it to code. I personally like to get approval before such action is taken. But I usually hear you know what your doing so do it. As for bearing points I will never move one or scale it.
 

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JustaFramer said:
Ok tell me this what if there is no numbers? Scaling for walls is ok but I don't prefer it. But knowing code first when you know you can scale.

Personally I don't think your ready if you don't know r.o.. Doors are usually 2 inches over but can be up to 3" over. French doors get a better fit with 3" over Doors with 5 quater jams 2.5". Always know the manufature specs. or have them on hand. Gas fireplaces have like three different measurements. Stairs need to be 37" rough min. the step no less than 9" inches no more than 10" run (though I have seen 10.5" on 1997 ubc) on the stringer height no more than 8 in rise. Hall way or pass ways need 36" min clearence side to side.
And I haven't even got started yet.

Thought it was 8.25 on risers max. and 11" on tread depth?
and:
80.5" for bifold r.o. jacks
81.5 for standard swing doors
84" jacks for Pocket doors
r.o. width on doors you usually add 1.5" - 2"
then you have medicine cabinets in bath rooms
you can rough in usually @54 set down 72 set up i usually pull 3" off corner add a stud then 14.5" and choke off the box there

72"
||--||
3"|| ||4.5"
||--||
54"
and so on
 

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kurf said:
Thought it was 8.25 on risers max. and 11" on tread depth?
and:
80.5" for bifold r.o. jacks
81.5 for standard swing doors
84" jacks for Pocket doors
r.o. width on doors you usually add 1.5" - 2"
then you have medicine cabinets in bath rooms
you can rough in usually @54 set down 72 set up i usually pull 3" off corner add a stud then 14.5" and choke off the box there

72"
||--||
3"|| ||4.5"
||--||
54"
and so on

Our code is 8'' max. on the rise and 10" max. on the run on 2x12 stringer. As for the thread we use the 1" osb bull nosed 11.5" material. That's if it is straight run stairs. Swing
doors 82 5/8" R.O. Bipass 83" RO
 

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JustaFramer said:
Our code is 8'' max. on the rise and 10" max. on the run on 2x12 stringer. As for the thread we use the 1" osb bull nosed 11.5" material. That's if it is straight run stairs. Swing
doors 82 5/8" R.O. Bipass 83" RO

why the extra on the r.o. for a standard swing door?
 

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kurf said:
why the extra on the r.o. for a standard swing door?
That's off the floor. You know I don't know for sure I have done it that way for ten years and every one does it that way.
 
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