04 Rough Framing


This list of selections serves as a supplement to the Construction Documents (CD’s). Some of the selections below may be difficult to find or omitted on the CD’s. Check the CD’s for consistency with this list. Clarify with your contractor which document takes precedence for any inconsistencies.


Exterior Wall Structure

The choice for exterior wall structure is connected to your insulation strategy (see section 11). Most homes utilize studs at 16” or 24” on center, with cavities between them. 2 x 4 stud walls have become less common recently due to inferior thermal performance. Alternatives to stud construction include Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), stacked log construction, concrete block (CMU) and steel construction.

Select your exterior walls and confirm they are specified properly on your floor plans:

__ 2 x 4 conventional wood studs (species & spacing may vary)

__ 2 x 6 conventional wood studs (species & spacing may vary)

__ 2 x 4 Engineered woods (spacing may vary)

__ 2 x 6 Engineered wood (may be required for tall walls)

__ 3-1/2” deep steel studs

__ 5-1/2” deep steel studs

__ Structural Insulated Panel (SIPs)

__ Stacked log construction

__ CMU, typically 8” wide (concrete masonry units, often referred to as concrete block)

__ Steel post and beam construction (often employed to achieve large openings)


Exterior wall sheathing

__1/2” O.S.B.

__ 1-1/2” Thick ZIP Panels (R-6.6)

__ ½” plywood


Select Floor Joists

__ 2 x 10 conventional wood (species may vary)

__ 2 x 12 conventional wood (species may vary)

__ Engineered I-Joists (Fire rating required at basement.)

__ Engineered Truss Joists (Fire rating required at basement)


Verify desired subfloor

A thicker subfloor will reduce deflection, resulting in a better condition for finished floor surfaces, especially important for ceramic tile flooring.

Select your subfloor material and thickness:

__ 5/8” O.S.B.                                     __ ¾” O.S.B.

__ 7/8” O.S.B.                                     __ 5/8” Plywood                                            

__ 3/4” Plywood                                 __ 7/8” Plywood


Verify type of nail or screw for subfloor


            __ Ring shank nail                                           __ Screw

            __ 8D Common nail


Verify if subfloor shall be glued to joists

            __ Yes                                                              __ No


Roof Structure

You will need to confirm the type of roof structure during the design phase. Most homes use either wood rafters or engineered wood trusses to support the roof. Alternatives include Structural Insulated Panels, Heavy Timber and Steel Construction.

Select your roof structure:

__ Conventional wood rafters. Note that the wood species may vary depending on what is available at your local lumber yard. Note that size may vary depending on structural and thermal requirements.             

__ Engineered Wood Trusses

__ Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)

__ Heavy Timber

__ Steel Construction


Verify desired Roof Sheathing

The roof sheathing installed on most homes is uncoated and uninsulated and serves primarily a structural role. “Integrated sheathing” refers to a product that is coated with a water resistive barrier and/or air barrier and may also have a thermal (insulation) barrier.

__ 7/16” O.S.B.

__ 5/8” O.S.B.

__ 7/16” Plywood

__ 5/8” Plywood                                

__ Integrated Sheathing, supply manufacturer & product name: __________________

__ Other: __________________


Verify type of nail or screw for roof sheathing

            __ Ring Shank nail                                          __ 8D Common nail

__ Screw                                                         __ Other


Verify type of bolt for beams

            __ Steel Lag screw                                                     

__ Steel Carriage bolt (not recommended)

            __ Steel Hex bolt                                                        

__ SDS Strong Drive Screw by Simpson

__ Truss LOK Structural Wood Screw

__ Other


Select House Wrap & Window/Exterior Door Flashing

Wood framed houses with wood sheathing are require to have a weather resistive barrier (WRB). House wrap is the most common WRB. There are variations in quality of house wraps. Alternatives to house wrap include a liquid applied weather resistive barrier, which is more expensive than house wrap.

Select type WRB:

            __ House wrap, indicate manufacturer and product name: _________________  

__ Liquid Applied, indicate manufacturer and product name: _______________


Select type of flashing at exterior door sills:

__ Liquid Applied                                __ Copper Flashing

__ Formable Self Adhering Tape        __ Other



Once the foundation walls are complete and satisfactory, rough carpentry (framing) can begin. The rough framing stage of construction requires more interaction with the contractor and more oversight than most other phases of construction. Reserve time each day to interact with the rough carpenter and answer his/her questions. Make sure all materials the rough carpenter needs at a given stage are at site. The risk of delays, omissions and conflicts increase drastically if the carpenter does not have materials needed at a given time.  Inspect the work each day and endeavor to confirm compliance with Construction Documents and quality standards.


Review Scope of Work with Rough Carpenter.

  1. Review Selections & Specifications with Rough Carpenter
  2. Verify who is responsible for paying for and delivering the many materials required for this phase.
  3. Review Demolition work to be done by Rough Carpenter
  4. Review Demolition work to be done by other trades
  5. Verify if Rough Carpenter is to install exterior windows.
  6. Verify which Exterior Doors will be installed by the Rough Carpenter (some high end doors may require a skilled Finish Carpenter to install)
  7. Who is responsible for window & exterior door flashing?
  8. Who is responsible for installing house wrap?
  9. Determine who is responsible for fabricating interior and exterior stairs.
  10. Determine who is responsible for installing any stairs fabricated and delivered to site by others.


Organization of Materials & Delivery Dates.

  1. Establish location & delivery date of dumpster
  2. Identify delivery date of lumber & fasteners
  3. Identify location of drop – off of lumber & fasteners.
  4. Identify location & delivery date of steel
  5. Schedule measure and delivery date for any stairs to be fabricated by contractor other than rough carpenter.
  6. After delivery of materials, check for accurate size and quantity, especially critical beams. Ask rough carpenter to double check.
  7. Identify location & delivery date of exterior windows and doors. Inspect glass for cracks or scratches. Report any defects to manufacturer immediately.
  8. Call supplier or manufacturer to report any defective materials or items.


  1. Keep lumber covered and protected from weather when possible.
  2. Call supplier of lumber immediately after rough carpenter is complete to pick up unused lumber and get refund. The longer the lumber is exposed to the elements, the more it will deteriorate and the less likely you are to receive a refund.

Temporary Measures & Protection of Existing Building

  1. Cover existing floors with plywood or plastic
  2. Provide dust barriers such as zip walls between existing occupied spaces and construction spaces.
  3. Provide temporary stairs for efficient access to work spaces
  4. Provide temporary water barrier such as synthetic roof underlayment to protect existing spaces prior to installation of roofing.


Inspect For Correct Floor Installation

  1. Verify anchor bolts are securely tightened at sill plate on top of foundation wall.
  2. Verify sill sealer is installed between wood sill plate and foundation wall.
  3. Confirm correct elevation of top of subfloor.
  4. Confirm correct elevation of top of deck.
  5. Verify solid blocking in floors no greater than 10’ apart.
  6. Confirm temporary exterior stairs are erected.
  7. Verify joist hangers are installed where floor joists, ceiling joists, or rafters are “hung” from a beam rather than resting on top of the beam.
  8. Verify subfloor is screwed and glued (if desired, instead of just nailed).
  9. When existing subfloors are exposed after finished flooring is removed (in renovation work), take the opportunity to screw existing subfloor to existing floor joists prior to installing new subfloors or finish flooring. This will help prevent squeaks and add integrity to floor system.
  10. When installing subfloor over a transition between new and old floor joists, take care not to align seams with edge of old floor. Stagger seams of new boards when possible
  11. In bathrooms, check that floor joists are not centered on toilets.


Inspect For Correct Wall Installation

  1. Use tape measure to verify actual window rough openings match rough opening on window schedule. Report discrepancies to Rough Carpenter.
  2. Check that window locations match dimensions on floor plan, especially at critical locations such as kitchen sink where window may be centered on sink.
  3. Verify walls are plumb: walls to receive cabinets shall be less than ¼” out of plumb from floor to ceiling, all other walls shall be less than ½” out of plumb from floor to ceiling.
  4. Verify rough openings for exterior and interior doors are level and plumb so that door opens and closes without rubbing against jamb or sill.
  5. Verify rough openings for interior & exterior doors are correct. For most interior doors, rough opening should be 2”wider and 2”taller than the actual door.
  6. Verify engineered studs were installed where indicated (may be required at walls taller than 10’ and may be desired at cabinet walls for dimensional uniformity).
  7. Verify correct beam size and type of beams were installed. Distinguish between LVL beams and conventional beams.
  8. In bathrooms, check that wall studs are not centered on shower heads.
  9. In bathrooms, verify location of studs are coordinated with shower boxes.
  10. In bathroom, verify window sills are above top of prefabricated tub or shower enclosures.
  11. In bathroom, verify stud cavities are centered on sinks for recessed medicine cabinets.
  12. Check that frame for fireplace is installed in compliance with manufacturer specifications, which can require minimum distance above floor, minimum and maximum distances to vent.
  13. When installing studs and sheathing at openings in existing walls to be filled in, check that new sheathing is aligned with existing sheathing such that transition does not telegraph through the siding.
  14. Check that top plate of new stud wall within existing house is nailed directly to existing joists (do not nail through drywall).


Inspect For Correct Roof Installation

  1. Verify each ceiling joist is toe nailed to top plate of interior walls.
  2. To prevent twisting or bowing of ceiling joists, and to prevent problems with drywall installation, confirm “strongbacks” or “ribbands” have been installed at midpoint of long (over 10’) ceiling joist spans.
  3. Verify all edges of roof sheathing boards were properly secured to rafters. Staples may be preferred over nails or screws. Check that nails specified were installed, for instance, ring shank nails.
  4. Provide protective covering over roof sheathing until new roofing and flashing is completed, especially at areas where new roof connects to existing roof.
  5. Verify hangers are installed where ceiling joists or rafters are “hung” from the side of a beam (as opposed to resting on top of the beam).
  6. Verify ceilings are level.
  7. Verify roof sheathing is cut back properly at ridge vents for vented attics.


Preparations For Window & Exterior Door Installation

  1. Ensure that house wrap is installed prior to installing sill flashing.
  2. Ensure that sill flashing is installed prior to installing windows.
  3. Check that silicon adhesive caulk is applied properly as windows are installed.

Upon Completion Of Rough Carpentry

  1. Check that rough framing is adequate for drywall. The perimeter of all drywall boards need to be screwed into rough framing. Make sure there are no “blind edges,” for instance, where two perpendicular stud walls intersect without wood studs at both edges of inside corner.
  2. Schedule measurements with your cabinet vendor.