When hold-down posts fall at the location of the king stud, the bolts must be countersunk in the trimmer (left). Sometimes this can be avoided by moving the holddown away from the opening (right), but check with the engineer before doing this.
When hold-down posts fall at the location of the king stud, the bolts must be countersunk in the trimmer (left). Sometimes this can be avoided by moving the holddown away from the opening (right), but check with the engineer before doing this.

I've been framing custom homes for more than 25 years, and I've learned that a well-planned layout is the key to an efficient job. Errors are bound to occur: Clients are unpredictable, general contractors can forget to relay important details, framers are always in a hurry, and plans are often inconsistent. A job hindered by mistakes and changes goes slow, costs money, and becomes discouraging for everyone involved. But with a little planning and a well-detailed layout, I can often avoid these problems by following these layout rules.

I don't just roll up to a site, pull out a crisp set of unread plans, and pound away. Before I get to the site, I thoroughly review the plans and mentally put the frame together. I study the roof frame first to determine my stud heights. I check the interior ceiling elevations, looking for any balloon frames and rake walls. I find all the beams...

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