If you walk by a construction site and see the building skeleton, it may seem the real construction work has yet to begin. However, the skeleton, or rough frame, is the building’s most important structural component. Construction specialists worked on the rough framing to turn blueprints into the sturdy internal structure of the building. For most homes, construction framers measure, cut and assemble lumber for the walls and subfloor, adding anchors and other vital structural supports. A rough framing carpenter also measures and attaches studs around the spaces for doors and windows, and sets joists for the ceiling, then trusses for the roof. Complicated geometrical calculation is required if the house includes arches or cathedral ceilings.
Rough framing carpenters may hone their skills in a wide range of rough framing or specialize in one style. The majority of rough framing, as described above, uses standard lumber studs at 16-inch spacing. Alternatives include insulating concrete forms and new types of lumber that allow wider spacing. These are becoming popular because they allow for more insulation and lower energy costs. However, construction framers need specialized skills and knowledge to maintain a building’s structural integrity. Rough framing carpenters typically also specialize in commercial construction, tract home developments or custom home construction. For a rough framing, there is little room for error and potentially deadly consequences of shoddy work that is not structurally sound. Having said that, skilled rough framing carpenters learn how to work quickly and efficiently.