Basic Framing Techniques For Carpenter Training Students

carpentry apprenticeship

Framing carpentry is essential to building the structure or “framework” for a new building. The work of framing carpenters consists of building basic foundations, such as walls, ceilings, and roofs. And of course, these are also crucial for room remodelling, building additional components of a structure, and many other types of jobs in the construction field.

Most carpenters are familiar with framing techniques, and some even specialize in foundational framing work in their career. If you’re considering carpenter training, you will learn all about framing techniques in your courses.

Read on for a guide to some of the most common framing techniques used in carpentry, and find out the types of responsibilities you’ll have once you start your career.

Framing Walls: A Guide for Students Pursuing Carpenter Training

Professional carpenters know that the process of framing a wall requires a foundational wood structure to be built. This structure will need to support wiring, which will run through it at a later date, as well as a top plate like drywall, for example.

Students pursuing carpenter training will learn that when framing a wall, the first step is to determine if this wall will be load-bearing or non load-bearing. Load-bearing, or supporting walls, support the weight of the roof and ceiling above them, and non load-bearing walls are simply room dividers. Different jobs will use different materials, each one having its own set of specific measurements and cuts.

Many carpenters choose to draw chalk outlines of a wall’s layout before starting construction. This is a handy trick that can save you time and prevent mistakes, since you’ll know in advance where all of the doors and windows will be. Carpenters typically place supporting wall studs closer together (16″ apart), whereas other walls can be placed further apart (usually 24″). Experts typically use longer pieces of lumber as diagonal braces to keep everything held in place until the next phase of construction.

carpenter training
Carpenters consider door and window placement before making cuts for wall frames.

Carpenter Training Teaches Student How to Frame Ceilings

While you’re training to become a carpenter, you’ll learn that successfully framing a ceiling will require you to consider the weight that it’s expected to support. This will help you to determine the materials you’ll need, and the spacing of ceiling joists.

Ceiling joists are a series of horizontal beams that run from one wall to the other in a structure. In a two-story home, the ceiling joists on the first level also serve as the floor joists for the second level. In such designs, the weight requirements for both, the floor and ceiling must match.

When framing a ceiling at roof level, you’ll need to consider the weight of what might go in an attic, or perhaps the weight of materials that’ll be used to build a roof.  For most homes, joists are usually spread apart in order to be able to withstand a weight of 20 pounds per foot.

become a carpenter
Considering weight support is one of the most important parts of framing a ceiling.

Learn to Frame Roofs During Your Carpentry Apprenticeship

How a roof is framed will depend heavily on the type of roof it is.  There are several types of roof used for residential properties, such as gable roofs, hip roofs, gambrel roofs, flat roofs and more.  The main elements in building various types of roof frames are the ridge beams, rafters, and wall plates.

  • The ridge beam is the top horizontal piece of lumber you’ll use to fasten the top ends of rafters.
  • Rafters are beams that run parallel to support a roof
  • Wall plates are pieces of lumber laid horizontally as a support for rafters.

Professional carpenters know that laying out and cutting a common rafter pattern is an important first step in conventional roof framing. Common rafters will determine the height of the beam as well as the slope of any conventionally framed roof.

carpentry apprenticeship
Gable roofs are among the most common designs that carpenters work with.

Want to learn more by pursuing a carpentry apprenticeship?

Visit PAT to learn how you can get started!

Are You Career Training Ready? Find Out!
Take the "Career Exploration Kit"

This fun, online quiz takes 3-minutes to complete and you’ll get a personalized report. Identify your strengths and social style, plus the training and positions you’re best suited for. Get Your Career Readiness score now

Take the Career Exploration Kit