Framing is a large and regular part of any builder’s daily work. And that means that ways to make this job more efficient are always welcome since efficiency can save time, materials, and potential headaches or framing failures down the road—all of which can prove costly for your business.
So, what are some helpful tips to make framing more efficient? The right tools are a good start, for one thing. We suggest the FASCO® (a BECK member) F70G Joist Hanger Nailer, which is a powerful tool that lets you drive fasteners when you’re hanging joists or other heavy-duty types of framing. Aside from that, there are a few other things you can do to make framing more efficient.
1. Make the Most of Bad Lumber
Every shipment of lumber comes with a few bad pieces. When you’re sorting a skid of 2x4s, you’ll find at least a couple that are warped, bowed, cracked, or waned.
When it comes to warped and cracked lumber, you can often recycle these pieces into shims or smaller chunks wherever needed around windows, doors, and so on. But what about waned lumber? Save these pieces for the spots you need to double up on studs. Put the waned edges so they’re facing the inside of the support, which gives you plenty of meat to drive in fasteners.
2. Consider the Other Specialists on the Job
One of the best ways to make framing more efficient? Work with the plumbers and electricians in mind. If they can get in and out quicker and easier, then that means you can get back to building faster.
To that end, put tie plates above studs where electricians and plumbers won’t need to bore through them. In future bathrooms, place studs so that plumbers can easily center the shower’s mixing valve. Put supports where finish workers will need to hang a medicine cabinet. Consider each room and what you can do to make the work easier for others on the job.
3. Perfectionism Belongs on the Scrap Pile
It’s a strange thing to say, but the truth is, when you’re building out a home’s framework, you’re not building a work of art. It needs to be solid and square—that’s the most important part.
But what about where aesthetics is concerned? You don’t need to worry if you’ve cut something a smidge too short, or if something is just off square. Chasing perfection will make the job take a lot longer.
4. Develop Processes
If you’ve ever worked on a factory floor or in an office, you know there is a documented process for everything. These are often called “quality standard operating procedures.”
For contractors, it’s a bit different. Every job brings surprises, and no two structures—even with identical blueprints—will go together exactly the same. Thus, it’s hard to follow defined procedures.
Still, contractors can still benefit from adding something of a routine to their work. Look over past jobs to start developing a logical order for how to do the next jobs. Is it faster and more efficient to build wall assemblies on the ground, then raise them into place? Or easier to fasten your sill plates to the slab, then get the uprights in, and put in your top supports? These are the kinds of questions to ask when developing procedures that will make framing jobs more efficient.
5. Study Building Codes
Every contractor works in a specific area—and often, that means you’ll work under that area’s building codes. Get to know them by heart, and you’ll save yourself a lot of time in the long run by knowing which part of the code to check when you need answers for how to do something according to code.
Last, Invest in a Good Tool
We mentioned it above, but we’ll go into more detail here. Tools like the F70G Joist Hanger Nailer are a great way to make framing jobs more efficient. This powerful tool gives you a rubber comfort grip, which lets workers use it all day without excessive fatigue. Use it for metal connectors, roof joists, rafters, trusses, and more. The cordless design makes it easy to use even when you don’t yet have access to electricity—and the 5200-shot battery lets workers keep working even when the job runs long. click below to learn more about the F70G Joist Hanger Nailer.