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Layout at the Foundation After the foundation forms are in place, I lay out the centerline of every door and window opening directly on the formwork. Next, I figure backwards and mark the exact locations of rough openings, trimmers, and posts. We work off the actual, not nominal, post sizes to determine the setback (offset distance from the edge of the actual post) for the centerline of the hold-down bolt. For example, the hold-down shown in Figure 2, uses a 7/8-inch anchor bolt (the hole is drilled 1/16 inch larger), and has a centerline 21/16 inches from the face of the post.

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Figure 2. Bolts for hold-downs like the type in the photo (top left), have to be precisely located with respect to the framing when the foundation is poured, as do post anchors (top right). Embedded straps (bottom left) are somewhat more forgiving.

It’s possible to simply measure the distances, but often the bolts are on site before the rest of the hardware is delivered, so to be accurate we look up the centerline dimension of each style and size of hold-down in the hardware catalog.