Q&A / 

Wood beams can range from load bearing to decorative wood beams. Faux wood beams can be made to look like a variety of styles. But if the wood beams are to be load bearing, it is best to consult structural engineers to determine beam design.

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When building a deck and using joist hangers, be sure to use the proper nails.  Many joist support systems, or truss hangers, recommend nails or fasteners that are approved for their hangers. If the joist hangers your carpenter used are approved for use with the newer ACQ treated lumber, you should have nothing to worry about.

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Tim Carter describes wall sheathing technology of 2010 and sheathing materials used from the late 1800's to the present. Wall sheathing not only helps protect the house from weather, but adds structural strength.

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Tim Carter describes the importance of a treated lumber sill plate in a wood-framed house. In addition, a layer of foam between the masonry foundation and the sill plate will help stop drafts into your house.

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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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