Garage addition project: part 5, rough framing

Rough framing is one of the most exciting stages of construction as you can finally envision the size and appearance of your home addition. Here, walls are framed and braced in place, openings for doors and windows are cut in, and you can really get a sense of room sizes.

Rough framing basics

The framing contractor is going to frame most walls out of 4-inch lumber that may be 8, 9, or 10 feet tall. You might find that 6-inch lumber is also used, usually in walls that are going to contain plumbing pipes or in exterior walls to allow for additional insulation. Most walls are framed on 16-inch centers although larger spacing is allowed on interior non-bearing partitions.

You will notice in the video that the openings for the doors and windows have a large piece of lumber spanning across the top of the opening. These are called headers and are used to spread out the load-bearing from above to the outer edges of the opening. Headers are sized according to the weight they are carrying and the width of the opening.

Exterior sheathing can be many different types of materials, but plywood or OSB particle board are normally used at the room's corners for bracing purposes. In this garage addition, OSB was used for all the exterior sheathing.

Construction safety

When your new building or room is at the rough framing stage, you and your family may be very tempted to spend a lot of time in the space as it begins to take shape. However, for safety reasons, the construction area should be off-limits.

You and your family should always be escorted by your contractor as this can be a very dangerous stage of construction. Your contractor should be cleaning up daily and following Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines for job site safety. All openings for doors, windows, and stairways should have guard rails installed.

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