Framing System Repair

A home’s framing system is its skeleton and includes the floor frame, wall frames, and the roof frame. This Fix-It Guide on framing system repair tells how a home’s framing system works, what often goes wrong and how to identify a framing system problem. More than 90 percent of U.S. homes are framed with wood, but steel framing is increasingly popular. Though you may not directly fix your home’s framing system, you need to know how it’s built because the framing system supports the electrical system, plumbing system, drywall, and many other components of your home. Framing System problems can lead to a need for ceiling repair, wall repair, floor repair, roof repair and other issues.

How Does a Framing System Work?

Framing System

Components of a typical residential framing system.

The floor frame sits on a house’s foundation and consists of posts, beams, sill plates, joists, and the subfloor. Wall frames include horizontal plates and the vertical studs. Extra support, called headers, are added above windows and doors. The roof frame is made of rafters and is usually supported by ceiling joists. Once the frame is built, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and other systems are installed.

Fix-It Tip

Need to find a stud in a wall? You can purchase a stud finder at any hardware store; directions are included. Alternately, you can tap on a wall and listen for the hollow space between studs. In addition, electrical receptacles and switches typically are nailed to one side of a stud; remove the face plate to check location. In most homes, studs are spaced 16 inches o.c. (on center), so once you find one stud you typically can find the next with a measuring tape.

What Can Go Wrong with a Framing System?

A home’s framing is generally quite sturdy and should last for many years, even several generations. Most problems that occur are actually in the coverings attached to the framing–the roof, the ceiling, the walls, and the floors. Framing can be damaged by water leaks and pest infestations. Roofs, ceilings, walls, and floors can be water damaged and can suffer dents, holes, gouges, and other hurts.

How Can I Identify a Framing System Problem?

  • If you find damage to the framing of your home, you probably will need professional assistance, maybe including an exterminator.
  • If there is damage to the roof, ceilings, walls, or floors of your home, consult the appropriate Fix-It Guide for repair details and a list of needed tools.