Framing members and partial units

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  John Brock 6 months ago.

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    I will say that so far this software is pretty amazing. After watching your simple framing tutorial, it brings up some questions. As an example let us think about the residential 2×6 wood framing around the door or window with cripples, header, and sill. How do I go about inputting the data for Estimator to tell me I need x amount of 2×6 lumber for the studs, plate, and header? I understand how to create the components. If one creates a 2x6x10 component and has a quantity of 80, it is pretty easy to select these items for Estimator to provide the HTML report. However, how do I take the summation of all the cripples, or a component that does not equal a standard board length, to develop the takeoff quantity? Another example would be a wall that is half height, such as 4 feet tall. If there are 10 studs at 4′, one would order the takeoff of 5 studs at 8 feet and then cut them to size. Please let me know if this makes sense. Thank you


    John Brock

    Hello and thank you – ah, framing is an age-old quest! I will answer you here, but will also let you know that I am working on a wall framing plugin (parametric) – in the meantime, the way I handle it now utilizes PB2 with individual framing members on their own LAYER, so Estimator can generate various takeoffs -and each of these are then GROUPED on that level’s framing layer to control visibility.

    So, workflow for the 2×6 wall you inquired about is thus:

    I use PB2 to model the 2×6 bottom plates (you can do assemblies, but that does not work for openings) – this 2×6 profile is on a layer “2x6_SPF” (I have similar layer for ALL my lumber and trim in various libraries). I start and stop at doorways (I am usually tracing over a 2D floor plan, snapping). I then select all of these bottom plates and GROUP them, putting them on a layer for each level of the house for visibility (A01_Wall Framing). In Estimator, LAYERs tab, I use a multiplier of /16 and a waste factor to report how many 2x6x16 plates.

    I will then import a 2×6 stud (library of various stud sizes) and place it on the bottom plate (or create a new one if unique). Since this stud COMPONENT is in my library, it already has Estimator data attached (I can update price as needed).

    I then will EDIT the plate GROUP and model the 2×6 top plates with PB2 – I then select the top plates and move them up, snapping it to the top of the stud component. While still selected (plates), I move/copy up 1-1/2″ to create double top plate.

    Then I move/copy the stud about on centers (like 16″), creating corners and t’s, etc. – at window and door locations I copy a stud to each side of the opening and move them left or right to allow for JACKS (1, 2, 3 etc.) (I remove any studs that were copied inside the window or door opening. So now I have all of my studs and top/bottom plates.

    I will say I had taken a lot of time to create a bunch of typical window and door openings, but I will keep on explaining it from scratch. I then will typically use my GUIDE (tape measure) to create a guideline at the header height (top of openings). (NOTE: I often, by code, have to install headers directly under double top plate, so I may just model headers by snapping the top of the header profile to the underside of the plate). I will EDIT GROUP of plates and use PB2 to model the various header sizes/openings – Once I model one member, I can move/copy to create the double or triple header. While still in edit group, I may add a 2x top and or bottom of the header, again with LF of 2×6 in PB2. At this point, I typically stop editing the group and will add my jacks – for jacks (since usually cut out of a stud), I just copy a stud, make it unique and edit it to fit the header – copying this jack about where it works – often times I have numerous unique copies for variety of jack heights, but each will report as a stud in Estimator (total stud quantity) I will then use a guideline to create height of opening (if a window) and model the sill of the window (again, still in edit group). I then will use my “2x6_stud” profile/layer to model the cripples up and down – move copy to complete them for each opening. Since my guys usually cut the cripples out of studs (and/or plates, whatever they have their hands on :/) I use this layer to add to the stud count vs plate count for cripples.

    So you are left with a GROUP of framing members (plates, headers, cripples, etc.), each on own layer and takeoffs are generated in Estimator accordingly.

    For sheathing, I typically just create a face on each wall, cut out the openings, then push/pull out 1/2″, make it a group – for ME, I texture all faces with OSB texture for looks, except for the exterior face, I texture with a Tyvek housewrap texture – I then use this texture (materials tab) for my takeoff for sheathing, nails, and houserap/tape. (remember to texture ONE face so no errant results).

    In your question about the short wall, the cripple idea would take care of that.

    Hope this helps – feel free to email directly to

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