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Materials and Construction Issues

Construction Issues:

There are several benefits to a wood frame construction, such as it is easily customizable to the need, easy application and construction, and it is a renewable and relatively inexpensive resource depending on the location. However, there are certain environmental aspects that need to be considered while utilizing wood in construction, since it is a natural product. Moisture content should remain within 4%-20% (subject to the use) for the lumber to perform well. Methods to counter moisture and high humidity levels can consist of protective coatings, weather sealing, or using pressure treated wood to resist decay. These issues can be resolved prior to construction, resulting in smooth installation. Another factor is the variations within the wood itself. The wood may contract or expand depending on the type of wood and the location of construction. Also, the wood can vary in strength along the grains, especially if there are any knots or weaknesses. Accordingly, each piece wood would need to be inspected and situated in appropriate locations where it would not weaken the entire construction.  



To connect the lumber pieces for construction, nails or screws along with metal framing anchors and adhesives are primarily used. There are various types and lengths of nails in the industry, each serving a different purpose. According to the American Ring Council, ring/spiral nails are applied to higher load bearing walls while nailed joints are used for right angles with the load perpendicular to the nail.

For framing studs and plates, nails are installed at 30° angles and called toe-nailing. To attach wooden frame together, specific brackets and plates can be found for walls, ceilings, beams and chimneys as seen below.



For concrete slab and foundation connections, there is a sill plate and header joist that are fastened to the single or sometimes double box sill. There is a sill sealer that is placed in between the foundation blocks and the sill to prevent any external elements or weathering from affecting the construction. The sill can be secured with at least two anchor bolts per piece that are one foot from the ends and then could have a termite shield protection installed. 



  For floor framing, the wood posts and girders support the subfloor and joists. The subfloor sits on top of the
header joist and on top of the subfloor is another joist with wooden studs attached. The wood post sits directly between two wood or metal girders and each joist is about sixteen inches apart. Wood joists usually are found along the whole length of a building and they are usually overlapped or butted to fasten the wood pieces together. The floor girders can also be separated by solid blocking. The strength of wood frames (whether it is platform, balloon, truss or plank and beam) stems from this framework of joists, girders, subfloor and then later on wall and roof sheathing.

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