Framing Workbook

Building Skills

The shortage of skilled labor continues to burden homebuilders and  slow growth in all segments of the construction industry. Data shows that in the residential market, the shortage in skilled labor is most acute in the framing trades, followed at some distance by finish carpentry, drywall, and electrical. The biggest issue when builders report that they’re experiencing labor shortages is the capacity to deliver work on time and on budget.


The resources on this page are intended to provide homebuilding and remodeling contractors with a few needed training materials to improve skills in framing carpentry. To move the needle in essential skills, JLC’s approach is to provide contractors with tools they can use to evaluate prospective hires, and with materials they can provide employees to accelerate learning. These resources are not intended to supplant hands-on training but rather to enhance it. Skill comes from understanding a process as well as executing the process. Further training and guidance will be made available on this page as it is developed.

Framing Skills Test

This exam is intended to give contractors an idea of a worker’s knowledge of certain framing fundamentals. Getting a perfect score is not necessarily the goal for every employee. Employers should use the results to open conversation with workers on key technical topics, and steer workers to specific company practices.

Take the test

Framing Resources

Framing, Day One

Framing, Day One

A framing contractor explains how he organizes his five-man crew to... read more >

Framing Layout Rules of Thumb

Framing Layout Rules of Thumb

A California framer tells how to translate the information on the... read more >

Plumbing and Straightening Walls

Plumbing and Straightening Walls

This quick, accurate method prevents problems with the framing and... read more >

Rake Wall Framing

Rake Wall Framing

A system for framing, sheathing, and siding rake walls on the deck,... read more >

Roof Framing: A Code's-Eye View

Roof Framing: A Code's-Eye View

When it’s boiled down, there are essentially two standard methods of... read more >

Rafter Cutting Basics

Rafter Cutting Basics

A veteran California framer explains step by step how to lay out plumb,... read more >

Production Roof Cutting

Production Roof Cutting

A production framer turned custom builder explains efficient roof layout... read more >

Framing Eaves and Rakes

Framing Eaves and Rakes

Full-size drawings and a handy jig speed layout and minimize the chance... read more >

Framing a Hip Roof

Framing a Hip Roof

For a perfect fit, pay attention to how the roof will be stacked when... read more >


Essential Framing Reference

ICC

2012 International Residential Code
An online reference to the IRC.  See Chapter 6: Wall Construction, Table R602.3 for nailing requirements. Remember these are minimum requirements and many framers choose to exceed the building code when choosing framing fasteners. Stair design is covered in Chapter 3: Building Planning.

WWPA

WWPA Structural Lumber Overview
The Western Wood Products Association's description of lumber grading and product use categories for structural framing lumber.

APA

APA Engineered Wood Construction Guide (E30)
A comprehensive guide to engineered wood construction systems for both residential and commercial/industrial buildings from APA – The Engineered Wood Association.

The Right Nail For The Job

The Right Nail For The Job
Engineer Scott McVicker offers clear guidance on sizes and nomenclature for various nails used in the construction of wood buildings.

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