Rough framing


I've built a 10x10 shed in the past where the framing was, perhaps, not particular difficult and not necessarily critical that it be absolutely correct. However, I'm contemplating a new garage/shop and am trying to convince myself that I can either handle or not handle (with help) the framing. Providing motivation for the "I can handle this" side is the fact that I just received a quote from a local garage builder to do it to the tune of just over $25,000. Now, I understand that design-wise, framing the walls and roof isn't exactly rocket science, but there's certainly a right way to do it. Like most of us here to one degree or another, I'm reasonably handy and I enjoy a challenge and the satisfaction of building something on my own. Plus, I figure I can build the thing for probably half of what the garage guy wants, and $12,000 buys a lot of wood.
So, with that said, does anyone have a recommendation for a book or other resource that discusses framing a structure such as this?
todd
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Todd Fatheree wrote:

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The Journal of Light Construction has a residential framing book that will show you more than you need to know. Best bet is to check Amazon under Books Residential framing.
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However, I'm contemplating a new garage/shop and am trying to

Like most of us here to one degree or another, I'm reasonably

on
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Contemplating kits? Some decent instructions, and for a price, some come with decent materials, too. Other than that, a run to your local used-book store will likely kick a half-dozen. Sunset has a couple.
Sad to say, your problems may come in the permit/inspection area. Do things perfectly, and it's still an amateur job to the inspector.
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George wrote:

Depends on where you live. Supercritical inspections tend to go with very strong union areas. Weak union areas are more likely to have a reasonable inspection based more on quality of work than work relations.
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Must depend on the area- I've always found the building inspectors in Minnesota and Wisconsin to be very helpful to amateurs and freelancers. They might not let you get away with things that aren't up to code- but that's they're job, after all. Usually, they'll give the homeowner a couple of suggestions for getting the structure up to snuff.
Best to call them in about mid-way and see what they think- not only does it keep you from doing something really stupid that is really hard to fix, but it gets on their good side, since you're showing that you respect their expertise. OTOH, if you miss an appointment with one of them, expect a whole pile of problems...
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"Todd Fatheree" wrote in message

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You might fare better being your own general contractor, to a point, then finishing up the job yourself in those areas where you fell your skills may be better utilized.
At $25,000 the "local garage builder" is making money off the work of his subs in some areas of the process (foundation, framing/cornice, roofing) that could be in your pocket instead. The process of getting bids from foundation, framing/cornice and roofing contractors is no different from the one you went through getting the bid from the "local garage builder".
You will need an engineered, approved plan for the proposed structure in any event. From there it is a relatively simple matter to use that plan as the basis for bids from each of the trades involved.
BTW, $12,000 does not buy much in building materials these days ... one of your first shocks will be for steel and concrete when you go to pour the foundation, the second will be at the lumber yard.
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may
We may, in fact, go this way. Prior to embarking on her current lucrative position in early childhood development, my wife was a general contractor for one of the largest building contractors in the country. Her last job was a 35-story condominium, so I figure we can sub out a garage if that's the direction we go in.

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We are in the process of planning a major addition to our house. We have an architect coming up with drawings that include a new garage, so the city will be happy.

I'm still trying to get ahold of concrete guys, so I'm curious to see where that's going to fall. I priced out the sheathing already. It came to about $1000. I also priced attic trusses, which came in at about $2500. Once I get the concrete cost, I can put the rest together. We'll see how it comes out.
todd
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figure 3-4/sqft as a starting point, unless you're going to get stamped or colored concrete, although with the price and shortage of concrete in the past year, it might be different from when i had a slab put in.
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Prometheus:
SNIP

jobs I do are quality, but I worked as a carpenter for several years, and don't drink on a job site (or much at all, really). Plenty of guys like me are willing to do the same or better quality of work you provide because we like it. I follow up every project I do at least twice in the first year, and at least once after two, because I don't care to leave shoddy work behind me. Can your company claim the same? <<
Sorry you chose to personalize this. Obvious issues here. And yes, if you are actually interested, I can make the same claims and better. I NEVER, EVER advertise. All my work is word of mouth recommendation from clients. For 23 consecutive years. Current backlog of work (again... thanks for asking) is about 4 months. I am confident enough in my company and my abilities that I actually use my cell phone as my main business number so my clients can call me ANYTIME.
I am interested in your comment about your pride in not working drunk. Good for you - many folks never realize the importance of not working while drunk or stoned. You should be proud. I am also proud of myself as I too rarely drink, and never had done so on the job. Never fooled with drugs.
SNIP

wide brush. Most of the points you make apply to a good number of the contractors I've run across. In fact, I've made a whole pile of money fixing contractor mistakes<<
Of course they are painted with a wide brush. I wasn't attempting a collegial dissertion studying the minutae of building a garage. I honestly agree with many of the things you said in your post! You made a lot of valid points.(Still sad to see it get personal...)
SNIP
>>for homeowners when the *professional* they hired wouldn't return their phone calls about the warranty<<
Happens all the time. Every shithead with a hammer and saw thinks they are a contractor. Or could be a contractor with the "right breaks". OF COURSE THEY AREN'T. Any nitwit can pound nails, and an idiot can become a decent carpenter with brute repitition (and me buying his tools). Framing/siding/cornice is the low end of the totem pole for carpenters. I started there myself in '73. That proves anyone can do it!
SNIP
<<- or even better, when the illegal immigrant foreman *all of a sudden* claims to "no habla ingles". >>
Well, you played your face card there, didn't you? Problems with Hispanics? I live in San Antonio, TX, and our city of almost 2 million (including the metroplex) is a whopping 70% Hispanic. Many of my friends are Hispanic, LOML is part Hispanic and they would gladly talk to you about your racist stereotyping if you would like. That is simply disgusting.
I have read many of your posts before and you I don't ever recall you needing to make a racial slur to make a point.
SNIP <<Buyer beware.>>
Amen. That is exactly what it all boils down to.
Robert
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On 18 May 2005 23:55:38 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Same deal as when I was reclaiming condemned buildings for a couple of landlords, cell phone was in my pocket at all times, and word-of-mouth got so out of hand, I had to turn a lot of folks down because I couldn't find enough decent guys to hire.

Didn't mean to make it too personal, I've just worked with some terrible contractors, and it sounded like you were saying every guy without a license was a hack, and couldn't do the job.

I'll let it go if you will. Didn't mean to imply that you're one of the bad contractors, either.

No, no problem with hispanics, I usually can't even tell the difference between hispanic and white. I'm an equal opportunity bastard in my general distaste for *most* people. I was making a reference to one particular company that I kept running across in the St. Paul area that messed up roofs on four different buildings I was working on, causing me a lot of extra grief doing warranty work that had nothing to do with the job I did (amazing how quick a leaky roof will take down a freshly plastered wall, or rot the sill out of a skylight). Their modus operandii was to speak English perfectly well when they were bidding the job and when speaking to one another on the jobsite, but as soon as they didn't want to do something (like warranty work or cleaning up the nails in the parking lot), they would mysteriously forget how to speak English. It was obviously part of the GC's company culture, and I was taking a dig at the slimy business practice, not the race of the people involved. Had they been any other race, ethnicity or what have you, it would've stunk just as bad.

I try not to, and I genuinely don't have any problem with any particular group of people, unless they *personally* are engaging in a specific set of behaviors. As stated above, it was a reference to the behavior of one specific roofing contractor's crew- which was, in fact, composed of illegal aliens.

As I said above, I'm willing to forget the whole deal and shake on it. I've just put up with a lot of flack from poor contractors in the past who had the same attitude it seemed you were posting with, and it got me a bit miffed. If you're one of the good ones, then you're a credit to the business, and I applaud you for it. There are plenty of things a good GC can do that I've got no business touching- I was just saying a that a garage or shed is well within the reach of a homeowner (last one I put up was a 16'x20' shop with steel double doors and a couple of picture windows, and it only took three days from start to finish- hardly worth $25k to a homeowner on a budget, and usually considered to be not worth the effort for most good contractors.)
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Prometheus:
I understand what you are saying. I think that probably if we had met somewhere else, eye to eye, face to face, this thread would probably have never gotten this far.
I know there are plenty of bad contractors out there, but having worked so hard at my craft and my business, it is hard for me to see the snickers and elbow rib pokes that appear from many, including those here from time to time that feel like you can give a construction worker a cold beer and he will panel your living room.
I pay my guys too much and I take less. That is how I keep the good ones. It pains me to see how little I get for the bucks I spend, but reputation wise it works out in the end. Still irks me though.
As far as Mr. Homeowner building his own garage, I also agree that it should be within the skill set of many. The part that will not be recognized or appreciated is waiting for inspectors (the contactor wannabes that couldn't be), meeting obscure city codes, and all the time that is wasted getting all the different trades and personalities on the same page.
I am one of the few certified HUD construction consultants in TX. I have been working in construction for about 34 years. All but 10 for myself. I have worked in light commercial extensively and also in residential.
Sadly, the skills that serve me the most in my daily work is a perceived evil temperment, being able to swear fluently in two languages (Si, yo puedo hablar espanol) and knowing which inspector to call when, and if I need to "find" an "extra" gift certificate in my truck when they are on site.
I think the building is the easy part. The local governments are the hard part as they usually know little or nothing about what you are doing. For instance, we have several small burgs that have been incorporated for years before the city could swallow them up. In order to do ANYTHING in these areas you must get a permit first. This is how they make additional money.
The problem is that the senior inspector in three of these areas is also the fire department chief. In two more, the don't have actual inspectors, but if the police in these small areas see you starting a job without paying your permit fees, there is a $2500 fine! And they don't even inspect the work! They make you get a license in their little burg, and that is that. They call your references, and if you are in good stead with all of them including your professional associations, you can be licensed. However, they rely on you to follow codes.
If the received a complaint from anyone connected with the process, then they call an independent inspector out and he will make you go specifially by the COBAL book or equivlant. No adjustment for region. Imagine putting a homeowner through that... I have seen contractor just walk away from jobs in these areas out of disgust. And if the burg has gotten in trouble for anything lately, they will be unmerciful.
Gladly this will not be the case for our friend that started the thread. I think we were duped! In a subsequent post he has revealed that not only is he not a run of the mill homeowner asking how to do something of this nature, but that his wife is
<<my wife was a general contractor for one of the largest building contractors in the country. Her last job was a 35-story condominium, so I figure we can sub out a garage if that's the direction we go in. >>
So now his wife was a GC. And he has also has architects involved for detailed drawings.
When he started out he owned up to building a 10x10 shed as his experience, and througout the post there was a tone of humility. But in fact it sounds like he is squared away. His wife the GC can provide all the subs anyone could want, and any questions of codes and standards can be answered by their architect. Just a guess, but they should have engineered drawings, too. And their respective white collar components will also know how to grease the inspection wheels.
I didn't want to see another innocent homeowner get screwed by "the triumph of enthusiasm over experience" again. It now appears my concern was misplaced.
So I am with you. Let's shake on it and be done. I think we have done a great job resolving this, if I do say so myself.
I enjoyed the intelligent conversation.
Robert
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On 20 May 2005 00:51:36 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

That's generally very true. Usually when someone takes offense at something I've typed, I have to go back, read it again, blink a few times, and only then does it dawn on me that it was read in a way that was different than was intended. A lot of times, I run into problems throwing in odd dialect because I pick up bits of it from work, but don't really move in the same social circles, so I never fully understand it. Lots of different ways to say the same thing, and twice as many ways to interpret them!

Yep, when I was making a living off renovation, I had tons of people who thought I might just finish a basement for them if they provided beer, and were willing to help. They never seemed to understand that A) those jobs were how I paid my rent- and the landlord didn't accept beer as payment, and B) Their "help" involved teaching them how to do the job, and ended up being a whole lot more work than just doing it! Now that I do it as a hobby, teaching the homeowner how to do it is as much payoff as the money- but when it counted, it sure used to piss me off!

It didn't work when I tried that- I'd take a 50% pay cut to hire someone, and they still weren't worth a damn. I finally just gave up on the whole shebang, and went the steelworking route.

Boy, I must have been lucky. I generally worked with the building and fire inspectors in St. Paul, and they were both decent guys (at least to me- they hated some of the folks I worked for, though!)

Me too, didn't mean to fly off the handle so quickly- I was just having a bad day to begin with.

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wrote:

No book recommendation offhand, but it's not that complicated. You probably need another set of hands to raise the walls and lift the trusses into place- and I know you can find that for less than $25000! Most carpenters in my area only make $10-16 an hour, and do side jobs for cash. If you buy the lumber and know what you want, you can find someone to to it pretty easily. If you don't know any carpenters, just about any shop (metal shops as well as woodworking) will usually have at least a half-dozen guys looking for a weekend job, and the going rate is always lower than the contractors.
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I built a 24 by 24 double garage and it turned out pretty good but I had framed other structures before with supervision from my boss, a contractor.
Depending on the design, roof pitch, and how fancy you are getting with siding, cornice work, and windows it is a decent project to cut your framing teeth on.
Your location, i.e., in town(inspection regulated) or not, may have something to do with the decision. Smaller towns seem to work with owner-builders better in most places. My experience was in an unincorporated area so I was not inspected. Since I had framed before I did not have too much trouble but designed my own garage and got a little carried away with the size.
So if you think through it well and give yourself plenty of time and get help when you need it it is do-able. Just make sure of your legal status for inspections, codes, etc. and go for it.
Good luck either way. It will be good to have a decent garage.
RonT
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Todd Fatheree wrote:

There are probably a bunch of books but you might want to look at Construction Manual: Rough Carpentry and Construction Manual Finish Carpentry by T.W. Love. Craftsman Book Company.
Have you every looked at houses as they are being built? If you have, you wouldn't have any fears of building a better product with your current experience. BTW, framing is the cheapest part of the building. You could always have the building framed and then do the other parts yourself. Labor cost for framing a $25,000 garage should be between $2000 and $2500 (not counting materials)
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Visit construction sites (dwelling) and see how it's done. Spend some time in a book store and look through the books for the information you want. Buy those books that you deem suitable. I built a 1060 sq. ft. garage/ workshop with a small bathroom (commode, sink, shower stall) ducted heat (50,000 btu furnace) and evaporative cooling, with brick veneer (face brick) siding. Took not quite 2 years but I enjoyed it and I got what I wanted. Lots of convenient electrical outlets, skylights, recessed fluorescent lighting, copper piping for air compressor, etc. I hired concrete workers for the slab. My neighbor helped me raise the side walls and roof trusses that I had prefabbed on the slab. My grandson (14 yrs old) mixed mortar for the bricks which I layed myself. It ain't rocket science. <G>
Max D.
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