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STRUCTURAL INSPECTIONS & DEFECTS
ARCHITECTURE & BUILDING COMPONENT ID
CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR
COLUMNS & POSTS, DEFECTS
CONNECTORS, FASTENERS, TIES
DECK & PORCH CONSTRUCTION
DEFINITIONS of Mobile Home, Doublewide, Modular, Panelized
DEFINITIONS of ENGINEERED WOOD OSB LVL etc
DISASTER BUILDING INSPECTION & REPAIR
EARTHQUAKE DAMAGED FOUNDATIONS
FIRE DAMAGE vs MOLD DAMAGE
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FOOTING & FOUNDATION DRAINS
FOUNDATION CRACKS & DAMAGE GUIDE
FRAMING DAMAGE, INSPECTION, REPAIR
GRADING, DRAINAGE & SITE WORK
HOUSE PARTS, DEFINITIONS
INSECT INFESTATION / DAMAGE
KIT HOMES, Aladdin, Sears, Wards, Others
LOG HOME GUIDE
MOBILE HOMES, DOUBLEWIDES, TRAILERS
MODULAR HOME CONSTRUCTION
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
PORCH CONSTRUCTION & SCREENING
PRE-CUT & KIT HOMES
RETAINING WALL DESIGNS, TYPES, DAMAGE
ROT, FUNGUS, INSECT DAMAGE
SINKHOLES, WARNING SIGNS
STAIRS, RAILINGS, LANDINGS, RAMPS
STRAW BALE CONSTRUCTION
STRESS SKIN INSULATED PANELS
STRUCTURAL WOOD ASSESSMENT
TIMBER FRAMING, ROT
TRUSSES, Floor & Roof
WATER ENTRY in BUILDINGS
This article gives details about the standard or traditional size and spacing of wood framing members in residential construction. By taking a look at the actual dimensions of framing lumber as well as its spacing you can often determine the age of a building or of its various parts.
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What are the actual sizes of dimensioned lumber studs, rafters, and joists?
In North America, up to about 1930 it was common for dimensional lumber to be full-sized - a 2x4 was really 2" x 4" in cross section. Modern wood framing wall studs 2x4's (a modern dimensional lumber "two by four" is actually 1.5" thick by 3.5" wide) and larger members (x" deep by 1.5" thick).
Common Spacing Intervals for Dimensioned Lumber Framing Studs, Joists, Rafters
Here are some common intervals or spacings used in frame construction in North America.
Here is a photograph of post and beam framing with joint number markings.
The observation of framing materials, framing markings, and framing styles provides considerable information about the probable age of a house.
We discuss framing materials and styles here as an aid to house age determination.
Log framing and both modern and antique log construction are discussed at Log Home Guide.
Antique and modern trusses are distinguished and modern laminated beams and I-truss beams and wood joists are discussed.
Keep in mind that even when we can identify specific types of building materials and building methods, precise dating of the time of construction of a building remains difficult: old building materials were often re-used, so beams, siding, and other components may appear in a building built later than when the materials were first made.
Also, in the U.S. various states had machines for making cut nails, screws, and sawmills at different times. For example, New York State was industrialized earlier than some western or southern states, so machine-made nails appear earlier in New York than elsewhere.
Deck or porch framing is discussed at
See FRAMING METHODS, Age, Types for the history and date ranges of various building framing methods. Also see ARCHITECTURE & BUILDING COMPONENT ID and see Nails and Hardware, Age, Types and Saw Cuts, Tool Marks, Age of for additional building age clues likely to be available when examining building framing materials.
Deck or porch framing is discussed in detail at Deck Framing Tables, Spans and Deck Nails, Screws, Hidden Fasteners and Deck & Porch Connections: Ledger Boards. And see Preservative-Treated Framing Lumber.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the proper size & spacing of wood framing beams, joists, rafters
Questions & answers or comments about the proper spacing for wood framed buildings: what is the proper spacing for wall studs, rafters, floor joists, ceiling joists for common framing member sizes or dimensions. Framing tables for wood construction.
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Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.