Frame construction has recently become more and more popular. This is due to the fact that such houses are one of the most inexpensive and practical ways to build your own home. Our step-by-step instructions and expert advice will help you easily build a house with your own hands
A frame house has a number of advantages, but there are also some disadvantages that you must first familiarize yourself with.
Pluses such structure are:
high speed of construction — a house with finishing can be built in 2 months;
low cost, which contributes to the spread of this technology around the world;
construction can be carried out at any time of the year;
environmental friendliness, since during construction mainly natural materials are used;
a healthy microclimate inside the building, as natural building materials “breathe”;
simplicity of design, therefore, during construction it is not necessary to use heavy equipment;
there is no need for a deep foundation, because the weight of the structure is relatively small;
ease of finishing inside the house, as the walls are sheathed with modern slab materials, and plastering is not required;
convenience in conducting wiring and electrical cable already in the process of construction;
low thermal conductivity due to the use of modern heat insulators, which saves on heating the house;
there is no need to shrink the house, as dry building materials are used;
high seismic resistance, since the frame house can withstand fluctuations up to 9 points;
resistance to temperature changes, because the house retains heat well, and it can be heated periodically.
To shortcomings frame house include:
low noise insulation, which requires the additional use of special soundproof materials;
in the process of interior decoration, it is difficult to hang heavy objects on the walls;
in damp climates, mold and mildew may occur.
Step-by-step instructions for building a frame house
Step 1. Preparatory work
First of all, you need to clear a place for construction. To do this, all debris and vegetation is removed, the site is leveled. It is also important to prepare a space for the entry and turn of equipment.
After that, marking is carried out. The existing building plan is transferred to the site with the help of driven pegs, on which the rope is pulled. It will show the location of all external and internal walls. The angles between the future walls must be strictly 90 degrees, otherwise the building will be unstable.
Step 2. Laying the foundation for a frame house
In order to properly lay the foundation, the following conditions must be observed: determine the type of soil on the site, the approximate weight of the future house, the height of the groundwater, snow and wind loads.
The great advantage of a frame house is that almost any type of foundation is suitable for it. The most common are pile-screw, slab and shallow tape types.
The pile-screw foundation is used most often, since it is quite simple and cheap. In addition, you can build it with your own hands. Such a foundation involves the installation of piles that are screwed deep inward. It is suitable for almost all soils except rocky ones. The pile-screw foundation is especially effective for waterlogged soils, where other types of foundation are expensive, since the dense soil rocks are deep enough.
The slab foundation is created from reinforcement and concrete. The resulting slab should be at least 30 cm high. It deepens into the ground by 10–20 cm. Such a foundation, despite the increased cost, has several advantages: it is stronger and more durable, it can be used as the basis for the floor without spending additional funds.
A shallow strip foundation is a concrete strip about 70 cm high, which is buried in the ground to a depth of 10–40 cm. A sand “cushion” is created in a dug trench, metal reinforcement is laid and concrete is poured. The cost of such a foundation is relatively small, it can be created on its own, but the installation technology must be strictly observed.
Step 3. Construction of the floor
In the case of a concrete floor, the slab foundation is already the foundation. When the strip foundation is installed, additional work is required to pour the concrete floor. In this case, light types of concrete are used, for example, expanded clay concrete.
The construction of a wooden floor on a pile-screw foundation requires more complex work. Initially, it is necessary to tie the foundation. It is performed using a beam measuring 150 by 150 mm or 150 by 200 mm. Strapping is needed to give strength to the foundation, evenly distribute the load on it and create support for the future floor.
The corners of the beams are connected using the “half-tree” method (half of the thickness of the beam is cut off) or “half-paw” (the beam is cut so that the connection elements are at an angle to each other). After that, the strapping angle is attached to the foundation with bolts.
The next step after strapping is the installation of the log. Logs (beams of appropriate length) are attached to the harness using fastening angles and nails at a distance of about 60 cm from each other. Such a distance is necessary so that a floor insulation can be placed between the lags.
The final work on the construction of the floor is associated with waterproofing and insulation. From below, a board is attached to the lags with the help of self-tapping screws. A waterproofing coating is laid on it, and a layer of insulation 15–20 cm thick is already on it. A vapor barrier is stretched over the insulation, which is covered with plywood or board.
Step 4. Installing the walls of the frame house
The frame of the house is assembled from boards measuring 50 by 150 mm or 50 by 200 mm, which are attached to each other and to the beams using metal corners and nails.
The walls are assembled on the finished floor of the frame house. Initially, the lower strapping is done. Details for the walls are prepared in advance, and the whole process is somewhat reminiscent of assembling a children’s designer. Usually collect each wall separately. It consists of vertical, top and bottom elements, which are called templates. On top of the wall, another strapping is made, which is necessary for installing the roof rafters.
Bevels and braces. These elements are needed to give stability to the wall. The slopes are installed from the inside in the case when the wall will be sheathed with slab material. In the process of such sheathing, the slopes are removed. If the wall is sheathed with clapboard, then permanent braces should be installed. They are attached to each pair of racks, 2 at the top and bottom.
Angles. They play an extremely important role in the frame of the house, since they have a large load. Therefore, it is customary to assemble them from several boards in order to increase the strength of the structure. Usually two racks are installed in the corner, and the resulting space is filled with a heat insulator.
Prostenki (internal partitions). They are assembled in the same way as external walls, from separate templates, after which they are installed entirely in the structure of the house. Since internal partitions do not carry a special load, they are made of lightweight boards. The insulation inside the walls performs the function not so much of thermal insulation as sound absorption.
Upper harness. After installing the walls, a board up to 150 mm thick is nailed on top around the entire perimeter. This is done for strong adhesion of the corners, combining all the elements of the frame walls into a single whole and for distributing the load. To further strengthen the structure of the house, plywood or OSB boards are used, which are nailed to the frame over the entire surface of the house.
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Step 5. Building the roof of a frame house
The roof of a frame house is not much different from the roofs of stone and concrete houses, and its fastening to the walls is easier to implement.
First of all, you should decide on the type of roof structure. Most often choose a gable or mansard roof. If the house is being built with your own hands, then it is better to stop at the first option, since it is easier.
The slope angle of the roof slopes should be in the range of 30–45 degrees, which provides the best way for water and melted snow to drain. The roof frame forms a set of rafters that are supported by strapping beams. It is necessary to calculate in detail the required number of rafters, their cross section and length, method of attachment and installation step. On top of the truss structure, a dry board crate is mounted — the basis for installing insulation and roofing material.
Step 6. Warming
In a frame house, everything should be insulated: walls, floor, ceiling. As a heater, mineral wool, basalt wool, polystyrene foam and expanded polystyrene are most often used. When choosing a heater, you need to take into account the features of the tree with which it will be combined in the best way.
The process of warming is carried out as follows. Outside, a special waterproofing membrane is stretched over the OSB-boards. Inside the house, the insulation is laid between the racks with an overlap at the junction of the previous one. The amount of insulation depends on climatic conditions and wall thickness.
The floor is insulated in a similar way. It is better to start insulating the ceiling from the attic. The vapor barrier film is attached from below to the ceiling beams and hemmed with plywood or board. After the insulation is laid, a vapor barrier film is stretched over it, protecting it from moisture from the inside of the house. Next, sheets of plywood or OSB boards are attached, on top of which the final interior decoration is carried out.
Step 7. Interior and exterior decoration
The final stage in the construction of a frame house is the interior and exterior decoration. Interior decoration can be done using the following materials: lining, OSP-plate (with further wall plastering), drywall or gypsum fiber (with subsequent wall painting or wallpapering).
The sequence of finishing works is as follows:
all joints between the plates are eliminated by putty;
a primer is applied for future painting of walls or glue for wallpaper;
wallpapering, wall painting, drawing, etc.
External finishing can be with or without a ventilated facade. Most often, a ventilated facade is chosen, which allows you to create additional space for warming the house. Materials for exterior decoration are very diverse: imitation timber, wood panels, plastic and metal siding, facade tiles and thermal panels.
In the process of laying the foundation, it is better to use piles that have an extended “heel”. This design of piles increases the bearing capacity of the foundation several times. In addition, this design will effectively counteract the heaving of the soil.
To fix the strapping beam, special studs should be prepared in advance, which will connect the base of the house with the foundation. The more often these studs are installed, the stronger the structure of the frame house will be.
For strapping, you can use a beam measuring 150 mm by 100 mm, but its cost is quite high. It is better to use several boards of smaller thickness, connected together, which will significantly increase the strength of the strapping.
In the event that the logs are very long, then a transverse beam is used, on which jumpers are nailed to increase the strength of the structure.
To reduce the cost of building a frame house and at the same time significantly increase its strength, you can use the technology of prefabricated racks, when each rack is assembled from two boards fastened with nails.
Popular questions and answers
How to reduce the cost of building a frame house?
First of all, you should clearly determine the optimal area of the building, its number of storeys, the presence of an underground garage, attic, etc. You can also buy building materials in winter when they are cheaper.
According to Timofey Tesin, development director of the construction company “Terem”, the main thing that can help against overspending during the construction process is a competent project, calculation of materials that should be used for construction, and strict control over the implementation of this project. At the stage of entering the construction site, it is not worth saving in the estimate on the quality of materials, as well as on the technology of erecting a frame house. An architect or technologist at the project stage can tell you how to competently build a building or objectively not inflate the estimate.
Alexander Korshunov, DIY segment development manager at ROCKWOOL Russia, notes that wooden frame structures are initially the most economical in terms of material consumption and labor intensity — they require 1.5–2 times less wood than log and block-beam structures. Unlike chopped, framed walls do not shrink and can be finished immediately after installation. In addition, competent insulation will not only ensure comfort in the house, protect it from mold and fungus, but also save money during operation. How well the structures are thermally insulated depends on how much the homeowner will pay for heating.
What is better to entrust to specialists?
Even when a frame house is being built with your own hands, you can’t do without the help of specialists. Construction requires versatile knowledge and skills. For some, it may be difficult to independently lay the foundation, install plumbing or install electricity.
But there are other jobs that are best left to professionals. It is often recommended to involve professionals at the design and calculation stage of the house, since only a specialist can tell if you have saved on something vital for the facility.
Particular attention is paid to the thermal insulation of frame structures. It is important to understand all the nuances of the choice of materials, since wooden houses have a reduced weight and increased fire hazard. Therefore, it is necessary to use a lightweight, fire-resistant material with optimal thermal and mechanical characteristics.
Are there standards for the construction of a frame house?
Alexander Korshunov cites the following standards for the construction of frame houses based on SP 31–105-2002 “Design and construction of energy-efficient single-family residential buildings with a wooden frame” and SP 64.13330.2011 “Wooden structures”.
The existing regulations aim, first of all, to protect the residents themselves. For this, the following requirements must be met:
- The frame of the house should be made of edged boards and coniferous timber, subjected to high-quality drying and treated with antiseptics; - When cladding frame houses, it is recommended to use OSB boards or plywood; - It is better not to use materials containing asbestos, which has carcinogenic properties; - The roof must be covered with light roofing materials (metal tiles, corrugated board, bitumen, ondulin); - For thermal insulation, refractory materials should be used: mineral wool, fiberglass.