Woodworker's Central
Woodworker's Gazette
Gazette Archive 11/19/00

A book review: By John F. Thomas

Title: Framing Basics

Rick Peters

Published by: Sterling Publishing Co. Inc.
387 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016-8810
ISBN 0-8069-5899-5
Price Softcover: $14.95 (Canada $21.95 )
128 color pages

After helping a friend frame his two-story house and doing quite a number of alterations to houses I have lived in, I was looking forward to expanding my knowledge of framing.

This is a great book for beginners. It covers all the areas you need to know about framing. The book uses tables of terms and pictures effectively. One criticism is that some of the terms used in the text do not match up with the illustrations, which could lead to some confusion for a beginner.

The first Chapter lays out the basic framing systems, from the foundation to the roof. Addressing the sill plate needs for slab foundations would have been nice since they are different from pier and beam construction. Since roofing and insulation are not a primary target of this book the information contained in that section is sketchy. There are some minor mistakes in terminology such as calling ceiling joist a ceiling rafter. The need for building permits and following local building codes is an important point not just from a structural point but insurance and fire requirements.

The next two chapters cover tools, materials, and how to use your tools. There are some good basic tips embedded in these chapters.

The fourth chapter deals with framing joints. The information is basically sound, however I do not recall anyone using 4 x 4s as headers. The 2by and plywood sandwich that is illustrated is the most common method of constructing headers. I suggest anyone to go to a construction site and, with permission of the builder, observe the corner construction and headers used in your area.

Chapter five contains good information on demolition of walls. This is a must read for anyone planning to do any tear-outs. The illustrations and pictures are very good.

The next chapter describes the installation of partitions such as build-in-place walls, preassembled walls, and knee walls in an attic. There is a section on using metal studs for framing that is adequate for experienced builders.

The last chapter is handyman built-ins. These projects are a good starting point for a beginner to practice using some of the information gained in the previous chapters.

I would recommend this book to anyone that does not know anything about house construction. Use this book as a starting point. Try the built-in first, do not start ripping out walls until you have expanded your knowledge and experience more.

John Thomas

Editor's Note: Sterling Publishing has graciously donated several books for review which are passed on to our members free of charge in exchange for thoughtful, honest reviews. Thank You! And you can usually find their titles at a discount from Amazon.com

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