Framing provides the essential structure for any building and helps determine the ease with which everything from windows and doors to drywall, cabinets, and trim are installed. The expense of your framing project will depend on its purpose, location, and overall scope, and may be completed by a full-service carpenter or a framing subcontractor. Framing may be priced by the linear or square foot, or according to the time and materials needed for the job, but commonly ranges from $8 to $30 per square foot for labor and materials. Your architect, designer, or contractor can address how the features of your building project will affect the cost of framing.
Framing Projects and Services
Proper framing is vital for the stability of every construction project, whether a single wall, outdoor deck, or an entire home. The framing aspect of small scale projects is often handled by a general contractor or carpenter, while large framing jobs are often subbed out to specialized framing contractors. Framing an entire home or addition usually involves building the structure from the foundation up, and may include the installation of windows, doors, sheathing, and house wrap, while framing for a repair or interior remodel may only include basic construction.
New Home Construction
Framing rates average between $10 and $20 per square foot for new residential construction, though your actual costs will be influenced by the size and style of the structure as well as the services that are included. Framing costs generally make up 15 to 20 percent of the home construction budget.
Framing a room addition is similar to building an entire house, only on a smaller scale. The difficulty of framing an addition is often affected by the accessibility of the site and the ease with which your builder can tie the structure into the existing walls and roof, if needed. If the job is complex, framing an addition could cost up to 30 percent more than framing new construction.
The style of an addition is significant, too. Free-standing additions require structure and finish preparation on all sides, just as a new house or garage would. Attached additions may only require doors, windows, and finishes on two or three sides, but must be integrated with an existing structure. Second story additions come with a number of additional challenges and carry a higher level of difficulty and risk. The framing requirements for a new floor and roof make a second-story addition a complex job; it could cost twice as much to frame than a ground-level addition.
Framing a Garage
The cost of framing garages and other outbuildings may be less than for framing a home or room addition, since building styles are typically simpler and feature fewer doors and windows than a house. A typical garage has minimal finishes and systems, so framing may make up a larger portion of total construction costs for a garage than for a house.
Framing for Remodeling and Repairs
The scope of framing for repair and remodeling projects can vary widely-- the specific features of your renovation or the nature of the repair will directly affect the cost of framing. Remodeling requirements can range from building a single interior wall to several new openings or an entire floor deck, while repairs might involve replacing rotted lumber or reinforcing an under-framed roof structure. Your pro will consider all structural requirements, changes, and site accessibility when planning the job. Limited access and demolition and preparation requirements often make repair or replacement work more difficult and expensive than new work.
Wood and Steel Framing
Wood framing is common throughout the U.S., thanks to its flexibility and affordability, though steel framing is often used in residential projects as well. Your contractor may recommend one material over the other, depending on the application, and each comes with specific construction requirements. Your builder can help you determine the best framing material for your project, and may consider your location and climate as well as the features of your build when making a recommendation. If steel is recommended, costs could be uo to 50 percent higher than for wood framing.
Building With Construction Drawings
Construction or architectural drawings provide valuable information for your builder that can simplify the planning and construction phases of your framing project, and are often required by municipalities before issuing a building permit. Since having detailed drawings up front can help builders avoid delays and complications, framing jobs generally run faster and smoother with drawings in hand than if they must be prepared later. If your framing project starts from simple plans or without any design, the time your contractor needs to make or order plans before or during construction can slow down progress and increase labor costs. The difference is often in the scale of the job—it may cost an extra $100 to $400 for remodel or garage drawings, while it could cost $3,000 or more for architectural drawings of an entire home or complex addition.
Building permits are required by municipalities for virtually all structural projects, and should be acquired prior to the start of construction. Rules, codes, and fees vary by location and may be based on a combination of the size, use, and value of the project. After formal approval from local authorities, construction can begin without delay, but without proper permits conflicts and fines can delay construction and increase costs. Discuss the permit process with your contractor in advance to ensure your application is completed and submitted in adequate time to secure permits prior to construction.
|$5,700 - $7,500||$6,000 - $8,500||$25,000 - $50,000|
The nature, scope, and scale of a project will affect the cost of the framing phase of construction. Our examples show key differences between various types of new construction projects.
A Basic Garage Build: $5,700 - $7,500
- • Project Type: Framing a basic two-car detached garage is a straightforward job that should take a pro just a few days.
- • Features: A basic design with two garage doors, a couple of windows, an entry door, and a low-pitched truss roof keep this project simple and economical. This job doesn’t call for any interior partitions or stairs, which can add to both material and labor costs.
Room For Expansion: $6,000 - $8,500
- • Project Type: A 400 square foot room addition can increase the functionality and value of most homes, but adding on comes with unique challenges. Tying into existing walls and roofs raises the complexity of the job considerably.
- • Features: Framing a roof with rafters to coordinate with an existing roof pitch and profile can call for more time and skill than starting fresh. Architectural details, interior partitions and multiple doors and windows make the job more involved than building a garage or simple room.
A Brand-New Start: $25,000 - $50,000
- • Project Type: Framing is one of the first phases of building a new home, and the cost is directly related to the size and style of the building. Framing a 2,500 square foot home often costs between $10 and $18 per square foot.
- • Features: Though building a freestanding structure is simpler in many ways than building an addition, the number of levels, doors, and windows in a home make for a more involved project than most additions and outbuildings. Framing could cost as much as $25 or $30 per square foot for a very complex style, roof line, or floor plan.
Planning Your House Framing Project
Whether your framing projects consists of changing layouts during a renovation or building an entire home, proper planning can help ensure the project is completed efficiently and without expensive surprises. Be sure to discuss with your house framing contractor how the features and size of your project will influence framing costs, and how advance preparation can reduce the likelihood of costly changes or delays.