When building a custom home, what you don’t see matters as much as what is visible from the outside. Having a strong foundation and frame is critical to the stability and longevity of your dream home.
Here at Refined Custom Builders, we want to make sure your custom-built dream home will last for generations to come. That’s why we pride ourselves on using high quality materials and engineering.
Once the foundation is poured the framing can begin. This process entails connecting lumber, and sometimes steel, to give the home support and its eventual layout. The material used to frame your home will be specified in the engineering drawings. However, in most cases, Refined Custom Builders will use number two grade Southern Yellow Pine or Douglas Fir for sills, studs, headers, posts, beams, joists, and rafters.
For the exterior walls we most commonly use 2’x6” lumber on 16” centers. This allows for more insulation to be installed for better energy efficiency. The interior studs can either be 2”x 4” or 2”x 6” lumber depending on the location in the house and their function. For example, a load-bearing wall, supporting the second floor, may be framed with 2” x 4” studs, but on 12” centers. A 2” x 6” wall would be used in locations containing drains for commodes and washer/dryers as more room for plumbing is needed.
On two-story construction, floor trusses are used between the first and second floor and can be anywhere from 12” to 24” deep depending on what is called out by the structural engineer. They are used in place of your typical lumber as they are:
- Typically Stronger
- Engineered to support larger loads
- More versatile
- Can span larger areas
- Room to run mechanicals between webbing
- Easy to install
- Custom engineered for your home
We typically install 1 1/8” tongue and groove subflooring over the trusses once they are installed. This adds strength and stiffness to the floors.
Once the subfloor is installed the second floor can be framed in similar fashion as the first floor. However, on two story houses, dimensional lumber is used for ceiling joists in place of trusses as we are not trying to support a third floor. If the house is three stories, then a truss system will be used between the second and third floor. Once you have framed your top floor ceiling joists are installed for additional support and to allow drywall to be attached later in the building process.
Rafters can then be installed to support the roof and give the home some shape.
Once the rafters are installed we have the structural engineer and the city of Houston inspect the entire framing system. Once it passes inspection, we can move on to the next step in the framing process, the sheathing and the roof decking.
Wall Sheathing and Roof Decking
Wall Sheathing is installed around the entire exterior of the home to give additional structural support. It is then covered with a vapor barrier to prevent moisture damage.
For the roof decking, we always use a radiant barrier sheathing to lower your utility bills. This is installed with the radiant barrier side down. It’s attached to the roof rafters, which like the wall sheathing, adds strength to the home. Of course, it also allows the roofing materials such as composition shingles, slate, tile, or metal to be attached.
Once the sheathing is installed we can then move to the next major milestone in the build process, which is installing the roof.
Want to get a feel for the type of home that’s right for you in terms of size, rooms, amenities, and build time?
Most of the custom homes we build fall into four categories. Find out which category is a match for you based on your answers to a few simple questions. It takes less than a minute! Click here to get started.