Category Framing


Different forces affect buildings in the various parts of the country. Builders have to worry about earthquakes in California, high winds in Florida, and snow loads in Colorado. It’s easier to understand the architect’s or engineer’s plans if you are aware of these factors. The following maps give you an idea of some of the areas of the country that suffer most from the effects of earthquakes, winds, and snow loads.

framing Details

The most common framing details can be broken down into three categories.

• Shear wall construction

• Diaphragm construction

• Connections

Each of these categories is covered in this section, including important points for framing.

Shear Wall Construction

The factors that affect the strength of any shear wall are:

• The size and type of material used for the plates and studs.

• The size and type of material used for the sheathing.

• Whether one side or both sides have sheathing.

• The nail sizes and patterns.

• Whether or not there is blocking for all the edges of the sheathing.

Engineers and architects are free to use any system they prefer, as long as they can prove that it meets the minimum strength requirements. The easiest and most common method is using the code book tables that provide accepted values for walls with

Seismic Map of Continental U. S.

given resistance capabilities. (Table 2306.3 in the 2009 International Building Code (IBC) shows these values.)

If there are many shear walls in a building, the engineer usually creates a schedule from a code table to show the wall requirements. Unfortunately, there is no standard for labeling shear walls, so the schedules made by the engineers may all be different. They do, however, usually have common
components. You will need to study the shear wall schedule on the plans to understand all the components that apply to framing.

Refer to the Shear Wall Schedule table later in this chapter for an example. It is an easy one to use because the labels also identify the nailing pattern and the type of sheathing. It was developed by the framing council in the state of Washington.

Important Points for Shear Wall Framing

1. Stud sizes—Specified nailing patterns may require changes in the stud sizes. There are three conditions where 3x studs are required for nailing adjoining sheathing edges. A fourth condition is required in seismic design category D, E, or F.

• If the edge nailing is 2%" O. C. or less.

• If there is sheathing on both sides of the wall, the adjoining sheathing edges fall on the same stud on both sides of the wall, and the nailing pattern is less than 6” O. C.

• If 10d (3” x 0.148”) nails are used with more than Ш” penetration, and they are spaced 3” or less O. C.

• (For seismic design categories D, E, or F) where shear design values exceed 350 pounds per linear foot.

2. Penetration—It is very important that the nail does not penetrate the outside veneer of the sheathing (see “Nail Penetration" illustration.) A pressure regulator or nail-depth gage can be used to make sure this doesn’t happen. (See “Nail Regulator and Flush Nailer" illustration.) The top of the nail should be flush with the surface of the sheathing.

3. Nail size—The nail size may change from wall to wall. Check the specified thickness and length of the nails.

4. Nail spacing—The pattern for nailing the sheathing to the intermediate framing members is usually the standard 12” on center. It is the edge nailing that changes to increase the strength. If 3x studs are required, then the pattern must be staggered. Make sure that the nails are at least 3/8” away from the edge of the sheathing.

5. Blocking—The details or shear wall schedule should specify whether blocking is required for panel edges. If the wall is 8′ or less, you can usually satisfy this requirement by running the plywood vertically, so that all the panel edges have backing.

Diaphragm Construction

The strength of diaphragms is affected by

these factors:

• The size and type of material used for the joists or rafters

• The size and type of material used for the sheathing

• The direction of the sheathing in relation to the members it is attached to

• The nail sizes and patterns

• Any blocks, bridging, or stiffeners

Nail depth gage

Nail regulator and flush nailer shown affixed to a pneumatic nailer

Nailing pattern for shear walls utilizing 3x studs

Building codes provide tables for diaphragms similar to those for shear walls. To summarize, the variables used to increase the strength of the diaphragm are the thickness of the sheathing, the size of the nails, the width of the framing member, the nail spacing, and whether or not the diaphragm is blocked.

Building Code Load

Conventional and nonconventional codes regulate the strength needed in the walls, floors, roofs, and connections to resist the forces on buildings. The conventional code describes a prescriptive standard to resist the forces. The standard applies to simple buildings using common construction methods. The nonconventional code is a performance-rated system and provides non-prescriptive engineering
guidelines that can be applied to more unusual or more difficult buildings.

Prescriptive Format

The prescriptive format has specific requirements, such as the size of studs needed or the type of wall bracing. If you build the structure following these requirements, then the building meets the minimum code standards for a safe building. The prescriptive codes are covered in more detail in Chapter 10.

Framers meet prescriptive code requirements on a regular basis, sometimes without even knowing it. As they brace their walls, block and nail their floor system, nail their walls to the floors, and bolt the building to the foundation, they are creating a load path that transfers the forces of nature to the ground-in ways that are prescribed by the code.

Non-Prescriptive Code

The performance, or non-prescriptive, code provides for free design, as long as it stays within certain code standards. Performance designing is different for each building, and the engineer or architect must specify and detail all aspects of the design.

A special design might be needed because a building is in a high-earthquake or a high-wind zone, because it requires large open spaces or window walls, or to resist other forces. The most common forces affecting buildings are shown in the illustration “Forces on Buildings."

Forces on Buildings


Snow load Gravity


Buildings are naturally affected by the forces of nature, and also by artificial forces. Elements such as gravity, wind, snow, earthquakes, retained soil, water, impact by an object, and mudslides can all have negative effects on a building.

This chapter will give you a basic understanding of the forces that affect buildings, and some helpful information on the framing methods used to resist those forces.

Although you may not be responsible for designing structural requirements for buildings, it is important to have some understanding of a building’s structural loads. When you are aware of the reasons behind the decisions engineers and architects make, it is easier to interpret the plans, and to make sure that the structure is built accordingly.

The Strength of Good Framing

The forces of nature can have devastating effects on buildings. The following photo shows an example of how destructive the elements can be. This photo is quite dramatic; you can see that the ground literally fell out from under the house. But the photo also shows the strength of good framing— the house stayed together even though the ground collapsed under it.

Source: APA, The Engineered Wood Association


Structural Loads


As the forces of nature contact a building, they travel throughout seeking a weak link. Ultimately, if a weak link is not found, the force or energy will be transferred to the ground, which will absorb the force. Each component of the building must be strong enough to transfer the load in a path to the ground. The components are:

• Foundations

• Walls

• Floors

• Roofs

• Connections

To achieve the strength needed, a building’s walls, floors, and roof must work together as a unit.

The vertical elements that are used to resist forces are commonly called shear walls, and the horizontal elements (like floors and roofs) are called diaphragms. The path of energy to the ground is called the load path. The diagram on the next page shows the load path for transferring the forces to the ground.

Metal Plate-Connected Wood Trusses

Metal plate-connected (MPC) wood trusses were first used in the early 1950s. Today they are used in more than 75% of all new residential roofs. Basically they are dimension lumber engineered and connected with metal plates. Less expensive than alternative roof systems, these trusses can also span longer distances. The “Pitched Truss Parts" illustration shows the parts of a single pitched truss on the next page.

Because MPC trusses are engineered products, they should never be cut, notched, spliced, or drilled without first checking with the designing engineer.

Building codes require that a truss design drawing be delivered to the job site. The drawings must show, among other things, the layout locations and bracing details. Note that these drawings are typically not made with framers in mind, so it might take some study time to figure out where the engineer wants the braces. The bracing details often show the braces as small rectangles running laterally between the trusses. See “Lateral Truss Bracing" illustration later in this chapter.

When flying trusses, you should attach the cables around the panel points. When the trusses are greater than 30′, a spreader bar should be used. The cables should toe inward to prevent the truss from buckling. If the truss is longer than 60′, you will need a strongback temporarily attached to the truss to stabilize it. (See “Flying Trusses" illustration, later in this chapter.)

If you have multiple trusses, you can build a sub­assembly of several trusses on the ground with cross braces and sheathing, then erect them together.

When trusses sit on the ground, on the building, or in place for any length of time, keep them as straight as possible. They are more difficult to set in place and to straighten if they have not been stored properly on site.

Structural Composite Lumber (SCL)

Structural composite lumber (SCL) is an engineered wood product that combines veneer sheets, strands, or small wood elements with exterior structural adhesives. The most common of these products are laminated veneer lumber (LVL), parallel strand lumber (PSL), and laminated strand lumber (LSL). Their names pretty well describe the differences between them.

Like other engineered products, structural composite lumber requires that you follow the engineered specifications that will appear on the plans.

Sometimes the specifications simply indicate the use of a particular piece of SCL in a particular location. For larger jobs, you will find the SCL requirements called out in the shop drawings or the structural plans.

Because these are engineered products, you must consult the design engineer before you can drill or notch. Some manufacturers provide guidelines for drilling and notching, but this is not typical.

SCL has the advantages of dimensional consistency, stability, and availability of various sizes. It is important to note, however, that where dimensional lumber 4 x 10s, 4 x 12s, etc. can shrink significantly, SCLs have minimal shrinkage. The engineer should allow for this in the design so that you will not have to consider this factor when using SCLs as the plans specify.

Note that SCL studs are becoming common in building tall walls. They provide a degree of straightness that dimensional lumber does not. Although they are heavy and, as a result, not so easy to work with, they make nice, straight walls.


Engineered wood products come in a variety of forms. Becoming familiar with these products is important if you plan to work with them. Always be sure to follow manufacturers’ directions, and always consult an engineer if you plan to cut, notch, or drill engineered wood product components.

Lifting devices should be connected to the truss top chord with a closed-loop attachment using materials such as slings, chains, cables, nylon strapping, etc. of sufficient strength to carry the weight of the truss. Each truss should be set in proper position per the building designer’s framing plan and held with the lifting device until the ends of the truss are securely fastened and temporary bracing is installed.


Greater than 60


The Strength of Good Framing 186

Understanding Structural Loads 186

Building Code Load Requirements 187

Regional Considerations 188

Framing Details 188

Hold-Downs 195

Positive Placement Nail Guns 200

Tips for Installing Glu-Lam Beams

• For glu-lam beams that are installed at a pitch and need to have the bottom cut to be level, make sure that the end of the bottom cut closest to the bearing edge receives full bearing. (See “Cut Edge Full Beaning" illustration.)

• Ends of beams should not be notched unless approved by the engineer. (See “No Notching End of Glu-Lam Beam" illustration.)

• Glu-lam beams will shrink as they dry out.

If the top of the beam is connected in a way that doesn’t allow for shrinkage, the glu-lam beam will split. (See “Glu-Iam Beam Shrinkage" illustration.)

• When a lateral support plate is used to connect two glu-lam beams, the holes should be slotted horizontally to prevent splitting. (See “Lateral Support Plate" illustration).

• Glu-lams are also used for posts. It is important to keep them away from concrete, which contributes to their decay. Placing a steel shim under the beam will keep it from touching the concrete. (See “Decay Prevention Next to Concrete" illustration.)

• Hinge connectors should be installed so that they don’t cause splitting of the glu-lam

beams. This can be done by using a strap that is independent of the hinge connector, or by vertical slotting the holes in a strap that is connected to the hinge connector. (See “Hinge Connector Slotted Holes" illustration.)

• Glu-lam beams rest on metal post caps that often have a weld or radius in the bottom corner. If you don’t ease the bottom corners of the beam, the beam will sit up in the pocket. Often, the glu-lam beam’s bottom corners are already rounded and won’t need attention.

• In some cases, the sides of the metal post caps are bent in so that the beams will not slide in properly. Check all the sides of the metal post caps before they are installed, so you won’t have a forklift or boom truck and crew standing around waiting while someone labors on top of a ladder to widen the sides of the post cap. (See “Forklift setting glu-lam beams" photograph later in this chapter.)

• Glu-lam beams are often attached to metal caps with bolts. The holes can be drilled either before or after setting the glu-lam beams. If the holes are drilled after the beams are set, use a drill with a clutch. It’s easy to break a wrist or get thrown from a ladder when a W drill motor without a clutch gets caught on the metal.

Glu-lam Beam Shrinkage

Splitting can be caused by shrinkage on large splice plates.

Top bolt prevents shrinking and causes splitting. Splitting can also occur from limiting beam end rotation as the beam deflects under load.

Shrinking or beam rotation due to deflection under loading can cause splitting.

If holes are not slotted, splitting may occur due to beam rotation as the beam deflects under load.

Contact with concrete exposes untreated wood to decay.

Engineered Lumber Products


I-joists were introduced in 1968 by the Trus Joist Corporation. Although use of this product has grown rapidly over the years, there is still no industry standard for its manufacture and installation. And while the Engineered Wood Association (APA) has established a standard for its members, not all manufacturers are members of APA. Because there is no universal standard, it’s important to use the installation instructions that come in the I-joist package. The package is generally prepared by a manufacturer’s representative working with the architect or designer.

The I-joist package should include installation plans for the building. These plans will be specific to the
building you are working on, and will include a material list and accessories. Accessories can include web stiffeners, blocking panels, joist hangers, rim boards, and beams. The plans typically include a sheet of standard details. The following is a list of elements you’ll find in most I-joist packages, and some items to consider when installing them:

1. Minimum bearing is Ш". (See “Solid Blocking & I-Joist Minimum Bearing" illustration.)

2. Closure is required at the end of the I-joist by rim-board, rim-joist, or blocking. This closure also serves to transfer vertical and lateral loads, as well as providing for deck attachment and fireblocking, if required. Do not use dimensional lumber, such as 2 x 10, because

it is typically 9W instead of 9%". It shrinks much more than the I-joists and will leave the I-joists supporting the load.

3. Interior bearing walls below I-joists require blocking panels or squash blocks when load­bearing walls are above. (See “Interior Bearing WallBlocking Panel" illustration.)

4. Rim boards are required to be a minimum of Ш" in thickness.

5. Make sure squash blocks, which are used to support point loads (like the load created by a post), are Vi6" taller than the joists, so that they will properly support the load. (See “Squash Blocks" illustration.)

6. Web stiffeners, which are sometimes required at bearing and/or point loads, should be at least 1/8" shorter than the web. Install web stiffeners tight against the flange that supports the load. If the load comes from a wall above, install the web stiffener tight against the top of the flange. If the load comes from a wall below, the stiffener should be installed tight against the bottom. (See “Web Stiffener" illustration.)

7. Use filler blocking between the webs of adjacent I-joists to provide load sharing between the joists. (See “Filler Blocking & Backer Blocking" illustration.)

8. Backer blocking is attached on one side of the web to provide a surface for attachment of items like face-mount hangers. (See “Filler Blocking & Backer Blocking" illustration.)

9. I-joists are permitted to cantilever with very specific limitations and additional reinforcement. If the I-joists are supporting a bearing wall, the maximum cantilever distance with additional reinforcement is 2′.

If the I-joists are not supporting a bearing wall, the maximum cantilever is 4′. Check the plans for specifics on the cantilever.

10. Top-flange hangers are most commonly used for I-joists. (See “Top Flange Hanger Tight" illustration.) They come with the I-joist package, but you can also get them from a construction supply store. When installing top flange hangers, make sure that the bottom of the hanger is tight against the backer block or the header. When nailing the hanger into the bottom of the joist,

be sure to use the correct length nails. Nails that are too long can go through the bottom flange and force the joist up. (See “Use Right Size Nail" illustration.) When installing hangers on wood plates that rest on steel beams, the hanger should not touch the steel. The distance it can be held away from the steel depends on the plate thickness. Note that hangers rubbing against the steel can cause squeaks. (See “Top Flange Hanger Spacing" illustration.)

11. Face-mount hangers can be used. Make sure that the hangers are tall enough to support the top flanges of the joists. Otherwise use web stiffeners. (See “Face-Mount Hangers" illustration.) Be sure to use the correct length and diameter of nail.

12. The bottom flange cannot be cut or notched except for a bird’s mouth. At a bird’s mouth, the flange cut should not overhang the edge of the top plate. (See “Bottom Flange I-Joist" illustration.)

13. Leave a 1/16" gap between I-joists and the supporting member when I-joists are placed in hangers. (See “Gap Between I-Joist & Support" illustration.)

14. The top flange can be notched or cut only over the top of the bearing and should not extend beyond the width of the bearing.

(See “Top Flange I-Joists" illustration.)

15. The web can have round or square holes. Check the information provided with the I-joist package. Typically the center of the span requires the least strength and can have the biggest holes. The closer to the bearing point, the smaller the hole should be.

16. When I-joists are used on sloped roofs, they must be supported at the peak by a beam. This is different from dimensional lumber, where rafters may not require such a beam.

In working with residential I-joists, you should be aware that the APA has developed a standard for residential I-joists called Performance Rated I-joists (PRI). This standard shows the span and spacing for various uses for marked I-joists. (See “APA Performance Rated I-Joists" illustration.)

Interior Bearing Wall Blocking Panel

Minimum gap /8"

Hold web stiffener tight to flange where load is coming from.

S = Sawn lumber flange

Indicates the Indicates size of spacing on center for I-joists used for residential floors.

Courtesy of APA, The Engineered Wood Association

Glu-Lam Beams

Glu-lam beams are used when extra strength and greater spans are needed. They are usually big, heavy, and expensive, and require hoisting equipment to set them in place. Most often glu-lam beams are engineered for particular jobs. Glu-lam beams are produced by gluing certain grades of dimensional lumber together in a specific order. Many times the pieces are glued together to create a specific shape or camber. If a camber is created, the top of the beam will be marked. Make sure your crew installs it right-side-up.

The expense of glu-lam beams and the time required for replacing one makes it very important that they are cut correctly.

Notching & Drilling

The general rule for glu-lam beams is no notching or drilling without an engineer’s direction. The engineer who determined the strength needed for the glu-lams is the person who will know how a notch or hole will affect the integrity of the glu-lam beam.

The way glu-lam beam connections are made will affect the strength and integrity of the beams. Following the illustrations are examples of correct and incorrect ways to connect glu-lam beams, and some tips for easy installation.


Engineered wood products have been around for years, particularly in the form of plywood, glu-lam beams, and metal-plate-connected wood trusses. I-joists are more recent, as are LVLs (laminated veneer lumber), PSLs (parallel strand lumber), and LSLs (laminated strand lumber).

It is not the intent of this chapter to explain everything there is to know about engineered wood products, but rather to make you familiar with this category of materials, and give you a sense of what to look out for when you are working with them.

Engineered wood products (EWP) fit into two general categories, engineered panel products (EPP) and engineered lumber products (ELP). The

first group includes plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), waferboard, and composite and structural particleboard.

The second group includes I-joists, glu-lam beams, metal-plate-connected wood trusses, and structural composite lumber (LVLs, PSLs, and LSLs).

Engineered Panel Products

Engineered panel products are so common that their uses are defined in the building codes.

Specific applications vary from job to job, and from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Oriented Strand Board & Waferboard

Most building codes recognize oriented strand board and waferboard for the same uses as plywood, as long as the thicknesses match.

Working with Engineered Panel Products

When working with any engineered panel products, keep the following guidelines in mind:

1. On floors and roofs, run the face grain perpendicular to the supports (except with particleboard, which has no grain). See “Using Engineered Panel Products" illustration.

2. Do not use any piece that does not span at least two supports for floors and roofs.

3. Allow a gap of at least Vs" on all edges, and a gap of more than 1/s" if the piece will be exposed to a lot of moisture before the siding is installed. Note that this also applies to walls.

4. Follow manufacturers’ recommended installation directions.

Rafter or Truss

Rafter or truss layout, like floor joist layout, is relatively easy compared with wall layout. Sometimes it is helpful to lay out for rafters or trusses on the top of the double plate so that once the wall is standing, the layout will already be done, and you won’t have to do it from a ladder. (See “Rafter layout on walls before the wall is stood up" photo.)

Special layout is often required for ceiling can-lights. Check on necessary clearance to make sure you provide enough room.

Roof layout is the process of taking the information given on the plans and writing enough instructions on the double plate for the roof framer to spread and nail the rafters or trusses.

Use the same reference points established for floor and wall building for starting layout on the roof.

Roof rafters and trusses are sometimes 24" O. C. as compared with 16" O. C. for floors and walls. In that case, only every third truss or rafter will be over a stud.

Before layout is started, check plans for openings in the roof required by dormers, skylights, chimneys, etc.

For roof trusses, lay out according to truss plan, especially for hip-truss packages.

Roof Layout Language

Rafter or truss


Tail rafter or truss


Double rafter or truss


Roof Layout Steps

1. Lay out for doubles, trimmers, and tail rafters or trusses.

2. Lay out for other rafters or trusses.

Rafter layout on walls before the wall is stood up


Writing layout is just like writing anything else. If the person reading it understands what you want to say, then you’ve done a good job. When you are done with the layout, take a look at it to make sure you can read it. If your writing is not showing up clearly, you might try a different brand of carpenter pencil. There are different leads, and some write better than others, depending on the condition of the wood. You can also use indelible marking pens, which are especially good on wet lumber.

Review the layout with the framer who will be reading it before he starts. If a framer doesn’t understand your layout, it takes more time for him to try to figure it out than for you to explain it to him. A little extra time spent on layout is usually a good investment. It’s not easy taking information from all the different sources that combine in the construction of a building and making it legible for framing, but if the layout is communicated clearly, it will help the framers do their work in an organized and productive manner.

Other Tasks that Can Be Done Along with Layout

Some items can be attended to while you are performing the layout. One is to cut a kerf in the bottom of the bottom plate at door thresholds when they are sitting on concrete. This kerf (about half the thickness of the plate) allows you to cut out your bottom plate after the walls are standing without ruining your saw blades on the concrete. (See “Kerf cut [threshold cut]" photo.)

You can take care of another item while drilling the bottom plate to install over anchor bolts. When the bottom plate is taken off the bolts to do the layout, it can be turned over and accidentally built into the wall upside-down. This problem can be prevented by using a carpenter crayon to mark “UP" on the top

Kerf cut (threshold cut)

of the plate before it is removed from the bolts. Angle walls have the same potential for getting built with the plates backward. You can also mark them as they are being laid out.

Layout Tools

There are some tools that can help with layout, particularly with multi-unit or mass production – type framing. One of these is the channel marker, a template made to assist in laying out corners and backers. Another is a layout stick. The layout stick is 491/21′ long and is placed on the plates to act as a jig for marking studs. (See “Channel marker and layout stick" photo.)

oist Layout

Floor Joist

Joist layout is relatively easy compared with wall layout. It uses the same basic language as walls.

Special layout for joists includes the area under the toilet and shower drain. It is easier to move a joist a couple of inches or even to add a joist than to come back and "header-out" a joist because the plumber had to cut it up to install pipes. On larger buildings, there may be shop drawings for the floor joists that can be used for your layout. The shop drawings should show the locations of openings and how they should be framed. (See “Joist Layout Language" illustration.)

Channel marker & layout stick

Joist Layout Principles

Joist layout is the process of taking the information given on the plans and writing enough instructions on the top of the rim joist or double plate so the joist framer can spread and nail the joists without asking any questions.

Where possible, we want joists, studs, and rafters to set directly over each other.

Before layout is started, establish reference points in the building for measuring both directions of layout and use those points for joist, stud, and rafter/truss layout throughout the building. Check the building plans for special joist plan or rafter/truss plans
indicating layout. Select a reference point which allows you to lay out in as long and straight a line as possible, and which ensures that a maximum number of rafters/trusses are directly supported by studs.

Check plans for openings in the floor required for stairs, chimneys, etc.

Check plans for bearing partitions on the floor. Double joists under bearing partitions running parallel.

Check locations of toilets to see if joists must be headed-out for toilet drain pipes.

Joist Layout Language


Tail joist Double joist


Joist Layout Steps

1. Layout for double joist, trimmer joist, and tail joist.

2. Layout for other joists.

Layout Methods

Use the Correct Order

When you perform the layout, follow a prioritized order. For example, trimmer and king studs for doors and windows take priority over studs. That is because if a stud falls on the location of a trimmer or king stud, then the stud is eliminated. Using a certain order for layout also helps you keep track of where you were if you are pulled off layout and have to come back later to pick up where you left off. The order should be doors and windows first, then bearing posts, backers and corners, then hold- downs—followed by special studs like medicine cabinet studs, then regular studs, and finally miscellaneous framing, such as blocks.

Align Framing Members

It is good practice when laying out studs to align the roof trusses, floor joists, and studs. This is not entirely possible in most cases because the studs are typically 16” O. C., while the roof trusses or rafters are 24” O. C. However, you will at least line up every third truss or rafter. If the studs are 24” O. C., then they need to align with the trusses or rafters. Aligning the studs, joists, and trusses or rafters not

only makes good sense structurally, but makes it easier for the plumbers and electricians to run their pipes and wire between floors.

Consult the Roof and Floor Drawings

To start laying out your studs, you need to know the layout of your roof and floor systems. If you are using dimensional lumber, then you can most likely start the layout for your roof and floor wherever it is convenient. If, however, you are using I-joists or roof trusses, the layout will probably be defined on a set of shop drawings provided by the supplier. You should receive a set of these shop drawings before you start laying out your studs, so that you can align wherever possible. Once you have decided on a starting point for your layout in each direction, use the same layout throughout the building. Although it is not structurally necessary to align nonbearing interior walls with multiple floors, it is helpful to have the studs aligned for the plumbers and electricians.

A Word of Caution

Some production framing techniques speed up the layout process, but be careful, if you use them, not to sacrifice quality. For example, instead of using the X with a line next to it to indicate a stud, a single line
can be used to represent the center of the stud. Be careful with this designation, because the studs need to line up with the middle of the wall sheathing. If you figure that you allow 1/8" for expansion between the sheets of sheathing, that only allows п/іб" for nailing each side. You cannot afford to be off by even a small amount and still get enough stud to nail to. If you use this system, you also have to be sure that your framers are competent and can align the studs properly.