Q&A / 

Tim Carter describes how stacked framing is the best structural way to construct a wood-framed house. Stacking the roof rafters directly over the wall studs, which are directly over the floor joists, from the top of the roof down to the foundation, will provide a strong house frame.

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Tim Carter describes several ways to use diagonal bracing while constructing a wood-framed house. The bracing keeps the house square while it is under construction. The weight from other components or the affects of wind can cause problems without this bracing.

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OSB sheathing has now pushed plywood aside as the main stay for housing construction. The fiberboard sheathing serves several purposes mainly it is a structural material. The sheathing prevents the wall from racking from side to side.

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Steel I beams can be used on residential construction. However a steel beam design might require special handling. Structural steel beams are heavier then wooden beams. Consider the cost of special cranes and steel beam prices when using steel beams.

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Wood beams can be found in many homes. Remodeling may require you to install a new beam next to an existing beam that may be too short or too weak. Wood ceiling beams need to be through bolted when they are connected. You must use the right through bolts and drill holes through the wood beams that match the diameter of the bolts.

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Both old and new homes should incorporate cat5 cable. This new house wiring standard is low voltage cable that provides options for networking appliances, telephone lines and computers all in one. Cat5 provides for future additions of these electronic devices-- and others we may not even have heard about yet!

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A scissors truss provides the benefits of a vaulted ceiling in the same framing time as standard roof trusses. Structural engineers and special software customize the roof truss to your home roof pitch. Use standard trusses in part of your home and the scissors trusses or another special truss in other sections. Explore all truss options with your builder for custom results.

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Ask your builder about special roof trusses that will gain storage space for your home. You can mix standard trusses with scissors, attic, or storage trusses, and avoid losing valuable space that is paid for but unusable. Call in a pro engineer before converting a traditional roof to a vaulted version.

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