Next let’s go over the frame structure. So many framers over build in this area. We can call it over-framing. This for the most part would sound ok. The more the better? When a framer over-frames the exterior walls, he is putting dimensional lumber in the wall instead of insulation. When he puts too large of a header beam over windows, and Doors he is putting lumber in place of insulation. When framers build what we call Tees and Corners they typically use near solid lumber instead of insulation. This can mean as much as 300 sqft of either no insulation or R3 studs on just a 2000 Sqft home. Building Science estimates that an average of 28% of typically framed houses is lumber instead of insulation.
All walls and headers, or beams should support the loads that are on top of them, so some engineering should be done to determine such loads. The point is that each wall and beam should be properly spaced or sized to handle any particular load and not just throw lumber at the situation. Beams are where many framers do not put enough material. We analyze every beam for load and find that many times it is better to use structural steel instead of lumber. The exterior of our home will have solid sheeting to uniform the wall and add above code lateral strength for our winds.
Advanced Framing is a term and a goal for our framers. My background is in the framing field and I have to constantly educate framers on how to think what is structural and what is just nailers, or non-structural. There is a huge difference in how you frame those openings. Typically framers have been taught by example from their work experience with another framer. Unfortunately often times they did not necessarily understand why they did what they did. In other words they put the same size structural headers over all openings so they did not have to rely on their help having to have knowledge, so when that helper thought he was ready to take the lead and be self employed, he thought he was framing correctly. That is how we got here in the over-framing issue, and because of energy we now need to re-educate our framing industry. We need to think about proper structure and innovative ways to accomplish both structural integrity and at the same time focus on our thermal envelope.
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