Framing Terms

     Bottom Plate (Sole Plate)
          The bottom, horizontal structural member of a stud framed wall. The bottom plate sets on the subfloor, nails through the subfloor into floor joists (Note: This plate may also be the Sill Plate).

     Bridging
          Small pieces of wood or metal strapping placed in an X-pattern between the floor joists at mid-span to prevent the joists from twisting and squeaking.

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BUILDING TERMS & GLOSSARY

     Cap Plate
          The upper plate which sits on top of the top plate.

    Channel
           The marked location on a wall where another wall intersects it.

    Common Rafter
           A rafter which is placed at 90° and extends from the Cap Plate to the Ridge Board.

     Compound Miter
          A miter (angle) cut which is sloped at a specified angle (i.e. 45° Miter, and the board is cut at an angle also).

     Corner Braces
          Diagonal braces placed to the corners of framed walls to stiffen them and provide extra strength.

     Corner Post
          The set of wall studs and/or spacer blocks that make an interior nailing surface for drywall at a framed corner.

     Cripple Stud
          Short studs placed between the header and a top plate or between a sill and sole plate.

    Cripple Rafter
          Extend from a Hip rafter to a Valley rafter. These are the most complex rafters and are cut on both ends at forty-five degrees with these cuts facing in opposite directions to each other.

     Crown
          The upward bow along the length of a board. Deck, Joist and Rafter boards are set on end with the crown up. Over time, the crown will sag and the board will straighten.

     Decking
          Lumber that forms  floor surface. Decking fastens directly to the floor joists.

     Girder
          A larger beam of wood or steel used to support Joists at points along its span.

     Face-nail
          Driving a nail perpendicularly through the width side board.

     Fascia
          The visible flat front board that caps the rafter tail ends..

     Floor Joists
          Subfloor framing members that support the floor span. Joist are usually made of  2x8 (or larger) lumber.

     Fly Rafters
          The end rafters that form the outside edge of the roof's overhang.

     Header
          A beam placed horizontal above doors, windows or other openings to carry the weight of structural loads.

    Heel (Heel Cut)
           The vertical/plum cut perpendicular at the seat cut of a rafter, at the outside face of a supporting wall.

    Hip Rafter
           A framing member that extends from the ridge to the cap at the outside corner of two walls with the ridge end being cut plumb and at forty five degrees.

    Jack Rafter
           (Hip and Valley) Extend to a Hip rafter or a Valley rafter from a wall or ridge. They are cut perpendicular and plumb at the wall or ridge end and are cut at 45° and plumb at the hip or valley end.

    Joist
          Parallel framing member installed horizontally to support floor and ceiling loads.

     Joist Hangers
          Metal brackets designed to hold joist ends. Using hangers is usually faster and easier than toenailing joists.

     Ledger Board/Strip
          A strip of lumber nailed face nailed to a beam, girder, or rim joist on which the floor joists hang or rest for support.

     Load-bearing Wall
          A wall that supports structural weight above it. It supports overlapped or butted ceiling or floor joists running above it.

     Miter
          An angled cut, usually 45°. Unlike a compound miter cut, the board remains straight and is cut at 90°.

     Non Load-Bearing Wall
          A wall that supports no load other than its own weight.

     On Center (O.C.)
          The term used to define the spacing between studs, joists, rafters, etc. O.C. measurements are taken from the center of one member to the center of the adjacent member.

     Penny
          A term to indicates nail length and is abbreviated with the letter "d".

     Plumb
          "Vertical", walls are Plum when they are perfectly perpendicular to a level surface.

     Plywood
          A piece of wood made with  layers of wood veneer laminated together with glue.

     Pitch
          The Rise to Run ratio of a roof it is expressed in inches of Rise (verticle) to one foot of Run (12" horizontal). A roof with a 4-12 pitch rises 4" in 1 foot of run.

     Rafters
          Typically a 2x6 or greater horizontal framing member used to construct roofs. These rafters connect between the Cap Plate and Ridge Board. (See Common, Hip, Valley, Jack, and Cripple rafters).

    Ridge Board
        Typically a 2x8 or greater horizontal framing member used to construct roofs. This member extends the length of a roof and rafters are attached to it.

    Rafter Run
           Is the horizontal distance a rafter will span. It is measured from the outside of the wall to the center of the ridge (one half the building width).

    Rafter Rise: Is the vertical distance a rafter will span from where the rafters top edge is in line (plumb) with the outside of the wall to the roof peak.

     Rough Opening
          The framed opening, slightly larger than the actual window, door, or access portal (i.e. stairway opening, attic access etc.), that replaces studs or joists where a window, door, stairway, skylight, etc. are placed.

    Seat (Seat Cut)
           The horizontal cut portion of a rafter which sets on a cap plate.

     Sheathing
          The structural covering applied over studs, or rafters.

     Sill
          The piece of structural wood forming the bottom edge of a window opening.

     Sill Plate
          The horizontal wood member that is anchored to the foundation (pressure treated), it provides a nailing surface for joists or studs placed on it.

     Soffit
          The underside board of eaves. Soffits are often vented to allow air flow through rafters into the attic.

     Spacer Blocks
          Short 2x4 or 2x6 blocks nailed to corner studs to form a corner post.

     Span
          The horizontal distance a rafter, or joist will span. It is measured from the outside of the wall to the center of the supporting member (one half the building width for rafters).

     Stick Building
          Assembling framing one member at a time.

     Stud
          A 2x4 or 2x6 vertical framing member used to construct walls and partitions.

     Subfloor
          Boards or plywood installed over joists on which the finish floor is laid.

       Toe nailing
          Nailing at an angle or slant into one framing member and driving it through into a second member (usually perpendicular).

     Top Plate
          The top horizontal framing members of a framed wall (under the cap plate).

    Ultra Square
           A comprehensive builders square which reduces plate layout time by greater than 1/2 and make rafter calculations automatically.

     Valley
          The inward angle formed between two perpendicular roof sections (typically slopes at 45°)

    Valley Rafter
        Extend from a ridge board to the cap plate at the inside corner of two adjoining roofs with the ridge end being cut plumb and at forty five degrees
 

HOME

ULTRA SQUARE GRAPHIC

RAFTER BASICS

RAFTERS  MADE EASY

FAST PLATE LAYOUT

BUILDER MAG REVIEW

ORDER FORM

LINKS PAGE

BUILDING TERMS & GLOSSARY

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