Wood frame construction is a popular way for building most residential structures. Framing contractors choose this construction style because it is easy to work with and robust. Its eco-friendly features make it a sustainable option for your construction projects. This low-cost framing method can go a long way in terms of sustainability and greenhouse gas reduction.
There are no limitations to the architectural potential when using wood as the material. With this, you can utilize wood frames to construct various building types. Wood buildings must have appropriate installation and construction procedures to serve their intended purposes.
For example, because wood frames are lightweight, they do not need cranes or other heavy machinery during the erection process, lowering the cost of construction. You can also install access doors and panels like flangeless general access doors to ease future maintenance and protect your vital utility areas.
You should select an appropriate foundation for the building based on soil and wood frame loads. The footings should be deep enough to avoid frost damage in the winter. The earth must undergo suitable compaction if you build in an area with no root trees or installed filled materials. You can utilize treated woodpiles with wood or concrete sills to construct the wood frame over poor soil.
Also, you can make use of two primary foundations for wood structures: concrete and pressure-treated wood foundations. Another way is to use piers with curtain walls and piers supporting grading beams, in addition to the freestanding ones.
Given that wood is the most commonly used material, it is critical to comprehend its distinct and complex features. Though you can determine the sort of wood you use in the frame by availability and cost, you still must consider its grade, strength, and workability. Lumber is also rated based on the features of its growth and flaws.
Other elements, such as moisture, impact the lumber’s durability. As a result, it’s critical to keep the wood safe by avoiding direct contact with the ground, applying a protective coating, and employing weather barriers. Shrinkage occurs when the wood is not properly dried and stored, resulting in a change in volume and structural qualities. It must also undergo treatment to keep termites, rotting, and the elements at bay.
Wood Framing Components
Wood framing is a construction procedure that involves fitting together pieces of wood to create the required structure. Roofs, walls, and floors are all part of a frame’s construction. Each frame comprises studs, vertical components within the walls; joists, wooden beams that hold the floor; and slanted beams or rafters on the roof. You then encase the construction, with sheets used to join the studs and siding applied to the outer walls.
Wood Frame Construction Methods
Building the wood frame structure starts after laying the foundation. For the construction of wood frames, there are a variety of techniques that you can use. It would help if you chose an appropriate construction technique for a specific wood structure:
In wood-framed buildings, this light-frame building method is the most typical. This method uses a ground floor platform. The walls’ construction is flat and vertically slanted. You can construct second levels simultaneously, with a roof on top. Wood frames do not require big gear to erect because they are short and light in weight.
As a result, this type of wood framing is more user-friendly and popular. A different style of platform framing, known as advanced framing, employs fewer studs. This strategy can save money on materials and labor with the correct implementation.
Beam and Plank Frame Construction
Heavy timber constructions have historically utilized this kind of wood framing, and you can distinguish it from the traditional frame by the absence of rafters and joists. Builders can only use more extensive and fewer pieces in this method. The planks mainly compose the subflooring, while the walls have studs for support.
Installed at the end of the studs are the beams for the roof covered with planks. The posts sustain the load of the beams, while the foundation supports the posts.
This approach is less common than using a platform frame. A single stud spans the base level to the roof plates in this type of wood framing. It utilizes a single stud for both floors of a two-story building supported by ribbon strips. As a result, the studs become heavy and difficult to handle. When a fire happens, the flames rapidly move from lower to the top floor via the spaces between the studs. Because of these factors, the platform frame approach has taken the place of the balloon frame.
This frame construction approach utilizes floor truss, roof truss, and metal anchors to make robust wood frames. Significant stiffness and larger separation of roof and floor supporting components are two notable advantages of using this method.
Strategies to Protect Wood
Providing adequate protection for wood is a sign of good construction techniques. It is necessary to have termite and decay protection for all wood frame parts, particularly foundation components.
Removal of tree roots in regions surrounding the structure before backfilling, carefully tamping loose backfill to reduce future settlement, and providing a certain level of slopes at the base and above the building to push water away from the structure are all fundamental protection procedures. Lastly, all wood structural parts must come with treatment according to their weather exposure and proximity to the ground.
It is always best to ask people with more experience and knowledge in these specific fields. Whenever you find yourself doubting or in need of information, consult a reputable licensed professional for solid advice. Never trust anyone else’s recommendation, or it might cost you more if things go south.
Chris Jackson is an experienced Business Development Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the construction industry. He is currently employed by Best Access Doors, an access door supplier in the US and Canada. He has been working for the company for more than 12 years now. His area of expertise is on Negotiation, Roofers, Sales, Project Estimation, and Facility Management (FM)