Framing

Make Sure Your Framing is Done Right

Every month we enter homes to renovate or repair existing wall structures and we are amazed by the amount of improper framing that’s being done in the area. The reason it’s important to install framing correctly is that when done incorrectly, finished walls will show imperfections and eventually mouldings, baseboard and paint will fail by warping and/or cracking.

High Standards for Framing

Before installing, we check for the bows and crowns in the lumber so all framing will be aligned. In Ontario, Spruce timber is the best material to use because of its even texture and light weight. In fact it has one of the highest strength-to-weight ratios of all softwood species, compared to Pine or Fir. There are many reasons to use wood for framing as opposed to metal. First of all, it’s tencile strength allows it to bend under pressure without breaking.

Spruce lumber for framing
Spruce Framing is light, flexible and has a high strength-to weight ratio

Wood also has superior thermal properties, a great advantage in resisting high temperatures. When compared to steel which can expand or even collapse in high heat, wood dries out and gets stronger in high heat. Also wood does not conduct heat the same as steel or aluminum.

Wood also has favourable acoustic benefits: it absorbs sound and echoes: a huge benefit in a home with many family members who enjoy their peace and quiet. Lastly, wood is resistant to electrical currents, making it perfect insulation for electrical wiring.

The goal is always to build a wall skeleton that is plumb and true. Properly built walls simply look better and last longer than walls with shoddy framing.

For door and window openings, the underlying components such as king and cripple studs provide strength, and for bulkheads and columns it’s best to use a wood-steel hybrid for laser-straight corners and zero warping. Believe it or not, these are standards many contractors do follow in their quest to finish cheaply and quickly.

Where framing meets concrete (for example with exterior walls), it’s important to prevent moisture transfer by adding a moisture barrier, a simple layer of heavy-duty plastic that will keep mould away from framing.

When it comes to partition walls and back framing nails and screws, a ratio of 1 screw for every 2 nails ensures a quality end result. This standard is often not upheld on many construction sites, even though it is part of the Ontario Building Code

At Fine Finish, we take pride in the quality and integrity of our the walls we build, and our framing shows it.

  1. A sill vapour barrier is always applied between timber and porous material (like concrete). It’s purpose is to prevent moisture transfer onto the timber which would cause rot and mould.

How to Find the Right Framer:

Always ask for references from past customers.  There is no substitute for talking with real people who have hired and experienced the trade professional personally.

About the Author Katie Weston