What is Framing? No, not the picture kind - It’s the interior skeleton that holds most structures together. But it’s more than just a few sticks of wood and nails. If it’s not done correctly, it’s going to be more like a house of cards that’s ready to topple over at any minute. Kevin Spacey might approve, but your building inspector won’t. Whether you’re framing an interior wall or an entire house, consider these seven important framing tips and layout tricks to prevent your next framing project from looking like an old shanty that’s ready to fall to pieces.
On Center or Off Center?
When you’re pulling a measurement across the face of your top and bottom plate for a stud layout, typically the layout is 16” on center, right? But more often than not, when the measurements get pulled, the person doing the layout makes their marks on each 16” increment. The problem with that is that now the layout is off-center. If you attach a piece of plywood, sheetrock or other panel goods to the studs, it’s going to be off where the stud breaks with the edge of the board. To ensure your layout is correct, you’ll need to set the layout ¾” behind the actual 16” increment. This pushes the studs over just enough so the next piece of plywood, sheetrock, etc. breaks perfectly on a stud.
Top and Bottom Plates
This mistake happens quite often when you’ve got multiple walls to frame-up. The bottom plates or top plates get cut to the wrong length and you end up having to buy more materials because you just wasted everything. The best way to ensure top and bottom plates remain consistent when they are cut is to lay out everything on the ground first. Snapping chalk lines is just the start. Add header measurements, door openings and angles to the floor layout. This way you can place the top and bottom plates against the floor layout to make sure you have accurate cuts every time.
While interior walls usually don’t do much but look pretty, bearing walls hold all of the weight of the roof. And more often than not, the layout under these extra important walls gets off somehow. One of the easiest ways to keep a good layout is to just copy the truss/joists/rafters from up above. Wherever a rafter bears onto a wall, you’ll need a stud directly underneath. Where hips, girders and other heavy-duty trusses land, you’ll need to double or even triple up the studs to accept the load. Check with your local inspector or building code for specific requirements.
Stagger Those Seams
Top and bottom plates often have seams where two boards join together. And no matter how many nails you put into it, it’s going to be the weakest point in the wall. So how do you prevent these weak spots without buying a 30’ long 2×4? You simply stagger the seams. Be sure that you keep the top plate seam as far away from the bottom plate seam as possible to prevent weak spots in your wall framing.
Let’s say you’re building a house that’s rectangular in shape. Two of those walls are going to be long and two of them are going to be sandwiched between the other two walls. But when you’re covering those walls with a plywood exterior, the layout needs to be adjusted to accommodate the extra 3 ½” that each wall adds – otherwise you’ll end up with a small 3 ½” rip on each side and the wall won’t be as structurally sound as it should be. Hang your tape over the edge of plates 3 ½” to get the right 16” on center layout.
Have you ever wondered what those little black diamonds are on your tape measure? Those are snow load layouts. They bring the conventional 24” rafter layout closer together for a stronger roof. By bringing the rafters closer together at 19 3/16” increments, you increase the strength of the roof enough to prevent snow from crashing through your roof, and let's face it in Saskatchewan you never know what the weather is going to throw at you ...so be prepared for anything!
Good Looking Layout
While this isn’t exactly framing-related, it’s still worth mentioning. Some layouts don’t get hidden by drywall or plywood. For instance, spindles on a porch railing are visible forever. Since they need to be a maximum of four inches apart in most locales, it tends to make the layout look wonky once it fits between the support posts if the measurement isn’t an even number. And when measurements between support posts aren’t consistent, it can really make your layout look like a kid did the job. An instant cure for this dilemma is to start your layout from the center and layout the spindles towards each support post. This way, no matter what the measurement, you can be sure the layout looks smooth and consistent all the way around the porch. You’ll still want to verify where the spindles at the edge will wind up as sometimes this approach can land a spindle too close to the end. If that’s the case, an offset, or narrowing the gaps slightly might be needed.
K & S Contracting specializes in foundation repair for homeowners across Saskatchewan, in addition, they also offer general contracting services to Saskatoon and surrounding area. In their latest Trusted Saskatoon contractor tip, K & S Contracting Trusted Saskatoon General Contractors and foundation specialists, discuss vermiculite insulation.
Vermiculite Insulation - What Is It?
If you have never seen vermiculite insulating an attic, it looks similar to little squares of coloured glass or little grey beads. Vermiculite is a naturally occurring mineral worldwide. When heated rapidly to high temperatures, this crystalline mineral expands into low density, accordion-like, golden brown strands. In fact, its worm-like shape is what gives vermiculite its name. The worms are broken into rectangular chunks about the size of the eraser on the end of a pencil. In addition to being light, vermiculite chunks are also absorbent and fire retardant. It also makes a good insulating material.
Where Was It Used?
Sold under various brand names, such as Zonolite Attic Insulation, the insulation came in big bags. Thousands of homeowners simply opened the bags and poured the vermiculite onto their attic floor and sometimes down exterior walls. It was generally not used in new construction.
When Was It Used?
Worldwide, vermiculite has been used in various industries as long ago as 1920. With the upsurge in homeownership during the baby boom, vermiculite insulation was a popular material in the 1950s and continued with the energy crisis into the late 1970s. In Canada, it was one of the insulating materials allowed under the Canadian Home Insulation Program from about 1976 to the mid-1980s. There have been some government provided grants offered to homeowners to increase insulation levels, reducing energy consumption. Worthwhile checking in to see what may be available.
What Is The Problem?
The majority of the vermiculite used worldwide was from a mine in Libby, Montana, owned and operated since 1963 by W.R. Grace. The mine was closed in 1990. As well as being rich in vermiculite, this mine had the misfortune of having a deposit of tremolite, a type of asbestos. When the vermiculite was extracted, some tremolite came in with the mix. For Canadian use, the raw product from the Libby mine was shipped to Grace subsidiary F. Hyde processing plants in Montreal, St. Thomas, Ajax and Toronto, and Grant Industries in western Canada. At these plants, it was processed and sold as Zonolite.
What Is The Risk?
Asbestos minerals tend to separate into microscopic particles that become airborne and are easily inhaled. People exposed to asbestos in the workplace have developed several types of life-threatening diseases, including lung cancer. Workers in and around the Libby mine developed serious health problems.
Like any hazards, length and intensity of exposure are major factors in the risk of asbestos-related respiratory illness. To assess the risk of asbestos exposure at a house, a sample of the vermiculite would need to be analyzed by a lab. Since most of the vermiculite used in Canada was taken from the Libby mine, the odds are quite good that there is asbestos in the vermiculite in Canadian attics.
The good news is that we don’t live in our attics. In addition, as long as it is undisturbed, neither the asbestos fibres bound up in the vermiculite chunks nor the dust will be released into the air. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in the U.S., “Most people who get asbestos-related diseases have been exposed to high levels of asbestos for a long time.” Lastly, most of the time the air in your house flows from the house into the attic, rather than into the house from the attic.
The bottom line is, like most household products that may contain asbestos, and there are many, doing nothing is often the best approach. Naturally, the risk of exposure increases with the amount of time spent in the attic.
If the attic or walls of a house contain vermiculite insulation, leave it alone. Avoid disturbing the material. Do not sweep it or vacuum it up. Do not store belongings in the attic.
If work is planned that involves these areas, for example installing pot-lights in a room below the attic, send a sample of the vermiculite to a private lab. Send several samples, and use a lab specializing in asbestos analysis. If it is found to contain asbestos, or if you just assume it does, precautions should be taken. The safest approach would be to have the insulation in the affected areas removed by a qualified environmental contractor.
For smaller jobs, it may be sufficient to isolate work areas with temporary barriers or enclosures to avoid spreading fibres, use disposable protective clothing, and use proper respiratory protection. An important note – disposable respirators or dust masks are not appropriate for asbestos. Again, it is best to consult a qualified contractor.
K & S Contracting is a Trusted Saskatoon General Contractor and foundation specialists.
Their services include:
The Trusted Saskatoon team loves partnering with incredible Saskatoon and area businesses that are locally owned and run with integrity. We are proud to welcome and brag about our newest partner in the Saskatoon General Contractor category . DDIY Property Maintenance & Renos are Trusted Saskatoon General Contractors, Disaster Services and Abatement Specialists.
Meet DDIY Property Maintenance & Renos
DDIY Property Maintenance and Reno’s is a locally owned family business founded in November 2014 by Dave Teichroeb. Dave has 30 years of experience in the construction industry and DDIY specializes in general contracting and restoration.
This was an obvious career choice for Dave as his parents owned a small construction company. Dave started on the tools young and was working on projects helping his parents from age 12.
“It’s just in my blood,” said Dave . " I always had a passion for the industry and even remember mudding and taping my bedroom as a young child, when the family built a new home just outside of Dalmeny.”
DDIY Invests In Community
A family man through and through, Dave has 5 children/step-children and he is very involved with Knox United Church, he sits on multiple boards and donates many hours to the church community. Dave also supports the Crohn's and Colitis Society and has sponsored the pancake breakfast fundraiser in October for the last three years. You will find him handing out coffees and burgers at the annual Chron's and Colitis Gutsy walk every June in Saskatoon.
Trust DDIY In A Disaster
DDIY is proud to be qualified abatement specialists, and Dave excels at offering support and help to people in Saskatoon and area at a time that is generally very stressful. DDIY provides remediation, restoration and reconstruction services. They offer property owners peace of mind that the job will be done quickly and professionally.
How we select Trusted Saskatoon businesses to partner with
- We look for locally accountable businesses that have a reputation for quality driven excellence in the Saskatoon market.
- Customers, clients and suppliers nominate businesses they are impressed with.
- We survey many of their past customers personally.
- We check the businesses online reputation and we speak to business references and past customers personally.
- All past customers we speak to are surveyed - it is a pass or fail!
- We ensure any required licenses, qualifications, WCB and insurances are valid and up to date.
What Did DDIY’s Clients Say?
“DDIY do their job very well! We have had a variety of services in including lawn maintenance and snow removal. We have found the team to always be punctual and courtesy. They communicate well and I enjoyed working with them.I rate then 10/10!” Marcel, Saskatoon
“I hired DDIY as general contractors for both myself and clients. We have been happy with all levels of their work! Dave is very honest and easy to work with. No job has been too big or too small. We have all appreciated his level of craftsmanship and I feel comfortable referring clients to him as I know the quality of work and service is a good reflection” Leslie, Saskatoon
DDIY Property Maintenance & Renos are Trusted Saskatoon General Contractors, Disaster Services and Abatement Specialists
The Trusted Saskatoon directory team are thrilled to brag about our newest partner in the Saskatoon General Contractors category, Geransky Bros Construction. A family-owned and operated company, they have been in business for over four decades. Over that time they have committed to an increased emphasis on industry-wide, safe work practices.
The Geranskys have a great reputation for customer service and they excel at problem-solving, which is a vital skill in the construction industry. In addition, they promote safe work practices as standard and recently implemented a 21-Day Safety Challenge (April 2019.) aimed at putting a fresh perspective on workplace safety training.
They deserve all the kudos, as they truly go the extra mile to provide excellent service and quality work as standard.
Geransky's Community Support.
With a 40 year history and belief that it is important to give back to the community that they live and work in, each year Geransky Brothers Construction commit to providing funds and time to various local causes and non-profits such as:
Each year they commit to donating funds and time to various causes, both big and small. Such as, helping build a new skate park in Martensville and sponsoring local sports teams.
40 Years Of Excellence
Geransky Brothers Construction was founded by Ed & Irvin Geransky in 1975, with their brother Dennis Geransky joining the business by 1977. As the proud owner and CEO today, Dennis’s active involvement and his senior management team beside him, Geransky Bros Construction will continue to not only be a success but will continue to thrive in an ever growing community. What began as three brothers creating a family business, has expanded to employ over 45 experienced professionals in their field with over half of these employees having been with Geransky Bros Construction for at least ten years.
“Geransky Bros. Construction is in the business of satisfying customers, and we believe our skill and innovative ideas such as footing keyways and crack control joints in walls make Geransky Bros Construction a leader in the business. Our full-time office personnel with radio and GPS dispatched units save you, the consumer, time and money.”
When we were speaking to Geransky's customers as part of the Unique Trusted verification process we consistently heard great things. Read some of the first hand experience below.
"When I come across a home with foundation issues or have questions about a properties concreat I can call Geransky Bros, they will send someone out to take a look right away. They are a well run buisness with good pricing and great quality work." Kal Montana (Montana Homes)
"I have been dealing with this company for more than 10 years now and I will never look back, great people, great workmanship, great prices and always new equipment." Kelvin Mah
“Prompt and professional and accommodated all our needs. They helped us with demolition of an old house and building the foundation for our new infill. Would highly recommend for any constructions needs.” Ryan Holowaty.
Being a Trusted Business on the Trusted Saskatoon Directory of Excellence comes with a lot of responsibility - no other directory, advertising medium, or 'watchdog organization' puts businesses through the process we do before we promote and endorse them.
Why Choose a Business On the Trusted Saskatoon Directory?
All of the Trusted Saskatoon partners have to pass a unique verification process, they are then annually contracted to uphold our 5 Trusted Guarantees. The partners then become part of a local community of Saskatoon and area businesses who we promote with a strong local marketing campaign. We also have a Trusted MYSTERY SHOPPER PROGRAM. This is where we find and engage with normal everyday people, just like you, who are looking for products and services in Saskatoon and area. We approach individuals we can see are looking for a local business and we ask them to mystery shop Trusted Saskatoon Partners. Those that agree to be Trusted mystery shoppers go about their usual business, except at the end they fill out a report to tell us about the experience. We then share it with you! The Trusted Saskatoon Team are thrilled to share our latest mystery shop report about Scott Roofing!
Name of Shopper: Brett B
1. How was the greeting/welcome/call answered?
Promptly and professionally. I had someone booked for an inspection and quote within minutes.
2. Product industry knowledge of staff?
Scott had multiple samples available and was able to source my roof needs without delay.
4. If a quote is required is it well laid out / clear?
Yes, it was delivered quickly and the information on the quote was clear.
5. Did they ask where you found them?
6. Overall experience 1-10
10 out of 10
7. Would you return/recommend?
8. Did anyone stand out as exceptional?
9. If you made a purchase or booked a job, how was the process?
Did they uphold the 5 Trusted Guarantees?
- Provide the service and quality promised - Yes
- Complete the job on time - yes
- Change the price quoted with no surprises - yes
- Communicate.honestly and be responsive to customer needs - yes
- Resolve any issues with customer satisfaction in mind - yes
Please share any other comments relating to your experience with the company.
"This was an interesting test for Scott Roofing because of some strange circumstances which they handled very well.The roofing material loader (a 3rd party company - not Scott Roofing) - fell through my roof when delivering. Honest accident. They had a repair person there in minutes and properly fixed an entire side of the roof, actually adding value to my home. They let me know of the problem right away and did not try to hide it. There was no cost to me and they made sure I was happy with the work. "
"They finished the roofing just before a very powerful windstorm. I found a roofing nail on my deck not long after and wondered how many might be scattered on the lawn or neighbours lawn. Because the work happened while my family was on vacation, I didn’t want to mow my lawn, now very long due to vacation absence (ie shoot nails around) or have my kids play in the yard for fear of injury and therefore potential litigation. They agreed at no extra cost to come and do a second round of cleanup with a magnet. They did, and everything has been clear; my neighbours said they asked them if they could go over their yards too just in case."
"Scott Roofing’s quote came in 10-12% under 3 other companies that I contacted."