Step 6: Framing Door and Window Openings

Been a pretty busy week, so had no time to work on a shed, but what is left in terms of wall construction is more of the same: cut your studs to size, line up base plates, nail the studs. Except now we have to create door and window openings.

The only difference is that both doors and windows get a header, that will support the load on the increased opening, and windows also get a sill. But first, we interrupt this program to bring you some more lumber:

A few extra pieces coming right up.

A few extra pieces coming right up.

The original plans called for a big barn-style door in one of the walls, but I don’t want it there, and instead I am doing a window. So I need a few extra studs not listed in the bill of materials, and also a 2×12 to replace a fuckup.

A fuckup in professional terminology is called overage, and when you order any material you add 10% for it. In my case I got a little too confident with the circular saw instead of using a miter to cut an angle, and inevitably it ran away from me turning a good 2×12 into a good 2×10. Additionally I had a brain freeze, and when framing the window instead of grabbing a 2×4, I grabbed a 1×4 and used it as trim. Trim, in this case, is a function, not a type of milled wood. Which my sorry ass realized when I double checked the rough opening width, and it wasn’t matching the plans.

Daddy, what's a fuckup? This, son. This is a fuckup.

Daddy, what’s a fuckup? This, son. This is a fuckup.

I also increased the size of the door from the planned 32 inches to 36 to have an easier time bringing in bikes and tools, like a portable saw. This required a bit of header width recalculation. You simply add 2” to the width and 2.5” to the height for your rough door opening, but the header width should also cover king studs, so a 36” header turns in 41” to account for rough and studs Of course, everything has already been calculated a ton of times before me – no need to invent a bicycle. All rough openings and door widths are standard, you could just look it up. But it’s a good practice to understand how framing is done.

So now the third wall is ready to be stood up, but there’s only one problem: it’s heavy as fuck. Three headers, king studs and cripple studs (surprised they have not replaced this term with something more PC these days) add a ton of weight to an already heavy frame. You might be able to do it yourself, but you risk cracking the frame (it’s going to twist as you lift it up), and if you miss the stable point and your wall tilts over, that’s it. You are done – it will come crashing bringing everything down with it, and you will be lucky to escape injury. Just call and extra set of hands or two.
Third and fourth walls are up. Double plates installed.

Third and fourth walls are up. Double plates installed.

Once the walls are up, throw double plates on top, with short side spanning over the long side to add rigidity to your frame. Your walls are still going to be wobbly until you put rafters and sheeting in place. But for now – the walls are done, and we can move on to the roof.

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