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HOW TO BUILD A CUSTOM HOME, Part 19: Framing

In this series, the professionals at the B.O.L.D. Company will take you through the process of building a custom home in the Greater Cincinnati – Northern Kentucky area. From plan and lot selection, to mortgage approval, to the actual construction, we’ll take you behind-the-scenes each week for an inside look at a different part of the process.

This week, we look at framing. This is the stage when the house really begins to take shape – walls go up and rooms are differentiated!

If the basement foundation consists of full-size walls all the way around, the first step of framing is to build the first-story subfloor (more about that later). However, in some cases, the foundation walls “step down”, that is to say, the foundation walls only reach part of the way to the basement ceiling on one or a few sides. Where this is the case, the remainder of the basement wall(s) is/are framed in wood. This scenario enables the brick-to-grade wrap on walk-out basements (brick-wrap means brick on all sides of the house; brick-to-grade means that the exterior walls are bricked to the ground, so that large areas of concrete foundation do not show).

When the basement foundation walls are full-size, either fully concrete or partially wood-framed, the next step is the first-story subfloor. The subfloor is secured to the foundation walls via treated lumber plates that are bolted to the top of the concrete walls with anchor bolts or anchor straps (see Part 16: Foundation). These bolts or straps are concreted to the top of the walls and provide a secure attachment for the framing above them. The connector plates are made from pressure treated lumber because the treatment creates resistance in the wood to both moisture and insects. Because concrete tends to attract or absorb moisture, the wood that comes in contact with it must be protected.

The subfloor consists of 2×10 joists (wood beams) that lie parallel to one another across the top of the foundation, providing support for the OSB (“oriented strand board”, a product similar to plywood) that creates the surface of the floor of the first (or second, or third…) story. It is referred to as the “subfloor” because the material that will cover it – carpet, tile, hardwood, vinyl, and its corresponding underlayment – will be the actual “floor”.

Next, the walls are framed using 2x4s. Both the exterior and interior walls are formed, including window and door openings, too. This is what really gives the home shape. For the first time, room dimensions and locations leave the paper blueprints and come to life!

For a one-story, or ranch-style, home, the next step is framing the roof. However, for a two-story home, another subfloor is laid atop the first-story walls, and then the second-story walls are framed. Then, the roof! But that is a topic for another week…

As always, keep in mind that this is a generalization of common practices for the framing of a new home. Local building codes, available products, and engineering practices from one plan or one region to another may significantly change one or a few parts of this process. Each individual job deserves individual attention from an experienced contractor. For more information, contact the BOLD Company today!

B.O.L.D. Homes, a B.O.L.D. company, has been established as among the premiere Greater Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky custom home builders since 1986. We have well over 500 customer designed homes to our credit. Work one-on-one with the owners of the company – including a licensed real estate broker, a licensed real estate agent, a licensed professional engineer, and a CAD draftsman/designer – to design your dream home full of the features important to you. We can help you find a balance between luxury and budget.

Builders Of Lifelong Dreams

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