Framing members and partial units

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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

    Gabriel Solomon

    So I have to use PB2 to create all of my framing components? I have already created an complete framing plan. How can I use estimator to generate a take-off using the component data that I already have?

    John Brock

    For what it is worth, I have a framing plugin coming out very soon that works with Estimator – BUT yes, you can use PB2. I used to use it for my framing until I built the new plugin. My old workflow with PB2 and Estimator was to model all of my framing members – the key is to have each type on their own layer. For example 2x4_SPF (plates, sills), 2x10_SYP (Header), etc. Studs were Components. Then I grouped all of these various layers in one group and put on my wall framing layer for that level. In Estimator, you assign pricing based on the lineal footage in Layers tab – for example, use total LF of 2x4_SPF divided by 16 for how many 2x4x16′ plates you need. Studs can be counted as components and pricing added in Components tab. The new framing plugin works the same way – each element is on a Layer to allow takeoff. Hope this helps.

    IF you already have a framing model – how was it modeled? you could always use Takeoff_Length to collect all of the lineal footage of each type easily, just by picking edges you need. Feel free to email directly with any questions to

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