Proper framing is crucial to all the aspects of building that follow it. If wall framing is out of plumb and square, fitting doors, windows, and cabinets is difficult, taking much more time than anticipated, and leading to higher labor cost. If the floor is framed out of square, it can lead to problems all the way up to the roof, causing trusses, sheathing, and shingles to fit poorly and look odd. Ill-conceived load bearing walls can lead to sagging, and added expense. The cost of framing depends on the nature and scale of the job and can range from $8 to $30 per square foot. Any time framing is necessary for construction, remodeling or repairs it is essential to hire a reputable framer.
New Construction Framing and Remodel Framing
Framing for new construction is less complicated than for remodeling jobs. In new work, all the components are level, square, and plumb, needing no special accommodations. Replacement and remodeling often requires the work be done on settled foundations or against walls that are twisted out of shape, and may be some demolition or other prep work involved. Because of this, new framing is typically less expensive than replacement framing.
Second Story Framing Job
Adding a second story to a home can be more hazardous than framing a single story house. Heights are greater, winds are stronger, and the odds of injury sustained by a fall are multiplied. They take more time and involve changing a roof, so therefore cost more. It can take a third more time and twice as much money to complete a second floor addition than a first.
Room Addition Framing Job
It is not uncommon to spend from $30,000 to $60,000 for an addition. Growing families might need an additional bedroom for children, or perhaps a mother-in-law-suite is the ticket to happiness. With self-employment on the rise, home offices have become another hot item. The cost of having an addition built is seldom wasted, and returns the expense by increasing the equity of your home. Framing expenses tend to make up 15 to 20 percent of a home construction budget, which could translate to framing costs of $4,500 to $20,000.
Framing a garage is usually a straight forward and fast process. Experienced crews that work well together can finish the project in two to three days. If you hire a reputable contractor, there is little worry that your residence will turn into a construction zone for weeks on end. He will be in and out in no time, and may be able to complete this phase of the project for $8,000 or less.
When remodeling or roof repairs call for framing changes to the roof, an experienced pro is needed to make sure the job is done right and the structure is adequately supported. Framing a roof is more difficult and risky than framing walls or floors at ground-level, and repair work can be complicated if access is limited. Framing projects that involve a roof may cost at least 20 percent more than less complicated jobs.
Changing layouts or finishing an open area, like a basement or garage, usually calls for the construction of new walls to define the space. Adding or removing load-bearing walls is generally more complex and expensive than building simple partitions, since some engineering and structural beams may be involved. The location of a new wall can make a difference, too. When building in a basement, the use of special fasteners and pressure treated lumber may raise the cost of materials. The length and height of a wall are also important factors in the cost of framing, but it’s generally safe to budget up to $500 to frame an interior wall up to 20 feet long. Keep in mind that any wiring, insulation, plumbing, or drywall work needed to finish your project will add to total costs.
Framing For a New Door
Adding a door or opening in an existing wall may require a lot of preparation, particularly on an outside wall, where siding, wall sheathing, and insulation will need to be removed to make way for framing changes. The type of siding or covering on a wall can influence the difficulty of the job, but in most cases it costs between $400 and $1,000 to create or alter an opening for a new door. The door itself, along with repairs to siding, drywall and trim, and any electrical or plumbing work involved will add to the cost of the job.
Framing For a New Window
The process of framing for a new or different sized window is similar to preparing an opening for a door, and the size and style of the window could affect the cost of the job. Even though the opening for a window is generally smaller than one for a door, the work, materials, and costs involved are similar.
|$400 - $800||$2,400 - $6,000||$5,000 - $8,000|
The requirements of a framing project can vary widely, and the challenges of remodeling can be unpredictable. Our examples show a few scenarios you can compare your project to.
A Little Reworking: $400 - $800
- • Scope: Adding or changing an interior wall is a common renovation project that calls for some framing skills. If the wall is load-bearing, replacing it with a beam can add several hundred dollars to the job.
- • Services: Whether adding a new wall, enlarging an opening, or replacing a wall with a beam, the job will call for some demo as well as construction. Your carpenter will probably handle both, but if any wiring or plumbing need to be moved, hiring an electrician or plumber will add to the cost of the job.
- • Skill: A job of this scale can be handled by a general or remodeling contractor; it’s probably impractical to hire a framing contractor for this one.
Building Out the Basement: $2,400 - $6,000
- • Scope: Finishing a basement starts with framing walls to prepare for insulation and drywall, and perhaps a ceiling. This is usually a straightforward job, but if there isn’t easy access to bring in materials, or if there is some demolition involved, the job could take longer and cost more than average.
- • Services: The framing aspect of a job like this usually involves building partitions on the interior and walls along the outside to prepare for drywall installation. The work is standard, but anchoring plates to concrete takes longer than working with a wood subfloor and framing. Installing strapping for a drywall ceiling could add $500 or so to the job, but installing a suspended ceiling shouldn’t require any framing work.
- • Skill: This is another great job for a remodeling contractor—or even a skilled handyman, though the framing might be subcontracted to a framer if it’s a large or complex job. If that’s the case, the job could cost 10 to 15 percent more than a direct contract.
Stretching Out: $5,000 - $8,000
- • Scope: Building an attached garage is a relatively simple framing project, but it does come with some challenges. Adding any attached structure requires tying into the existing home, which can be complex in some cases.
- • Services: The job is much like any new construction project; the pro will build and sheathe the walls and roof and install roof guard and house wrap. The installation of roofing, doors, windows, and siding is left for the GC or other subcontractors.
- • Skill: A GC with an adequate crew might handle this part of construction, but depending on the scale and scheduling of the job, it could just as likely be hired out to a framing contractor.
Find a Framing Installation Pro
So the planning is done, and you’re ready to get the project going. The next step is finding a framing carpenter. This is the most crucial step of all, choose wisely. Always ask for references and get three bids. But don’t go with the cheapest bid just to save a few bucks. Go with the pro you feel the most comfortable with, and who has a track record of success.