There are three important areas to consider in the rough framing process when building a new home. By understanding these three helpful hints you can increase your odds of being a satisfied homeowner.
Beams and Bulkheads – It is important to study each beam in your house and how they will affect living area. A beam used to hold up the first floor for example could possibly need to be dropped below the finished ceiling height. If this happens you need to picture how this will look in the living area.
If the ceiling height in the basement was 9′ tall then a 12″ dropped beam will reduce the height of the ceiling in this area to 8′ tall. A worse scenario would be a dropped beam in an 8′ ceiling reducing your final height to 7′. Be sure and study how this will all work before you begin any construction.
Deflection in your floor – Deflection is a variation in position or shape of a structure or structural element due to effects of loads or volume change, usually measured as a linear deviation from an established plane rather than an angular variation.
In other words, when a load is applied to a surface such as plywood or an OSB floor, that floor will often bend downwards in relation to the amount of weight applied and the structural capability of the subfloor and the joists underneath.
The minimum code today regarding deflection in a floor system is represented as L/360. This symbol is a way of creating a common denominator to measure stiffness. The manufacturers of engineered wood and solid lumber rate their products based on these standard test methods. For L/360 it means the deflection in the floor cannot exceed 1/360 of the span (one inch over 360 inches). So on a 30-foot span, the maximum deflection is one inch. On a fifteen-foot span, the maximum deflection is a half-inch.
Even though the code reads that L/360 will pass, most manufacturers suggest using a minimum L/480 floor. If you are going to have an island in your kitchen or ceramic tile floors in your home, it would not be a good idea to have too much deflection occurring which could crack tile and grout.
Roof Trusses with energy heels – Conventional pre-built roof trusses hinder the home’s energy saving performance because they fail to leave enough space at the eaves for adequate insulation. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to insulate the space where the side walls and the roof of the home intersect.
This band around the top of the house can allow heat to easily escape. Not insulating this area can increase the odds of ice dams to develop in the winter months.
The best practice for energy-efficient roof framing is the use of raised heel roof trusses; these offer both structural stability and room for more insulation, which helps to increase a home’s energy efficiency. A raised heel truss adds an extension to the top of the exterior wall, allowing for the full depth of insulation to be applied. Installation of this style of roof truss isn’t any more difficult than traditional pre-built trusses although the cost will be more for the raised heel.
Now you are aware of the areas to look at before framing your home. Utilizing the items above will certainly make your home ownership more enjoyable.