What holds a house together? Its foundation is the most likely answer. And, it is likely that only a few will mention about the frames.
Foundations are indeed vital in any residential or commercial building, but you should also never forget about its frames. After all, they are the ones responsible for giving a building its shape, as well as providing much-needed support to keep it from collapsing.
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Framing will not just involve the structure itself; this is also needed in smaller components of any home. Door frames, as well as window frames, are vital and not just a useless accessory. Without them, your doors and windows will come crashing down because there is nothing to hold them in place; hinges are not enough.
When it comes to framing a house or other projects requiring construction contractors, this is not something that anyone can just attempt to do. Successfully making a frame for your garden shed is a whole lot different from framing a house, and you need to get building framers for the latter.
If a house or construction framing contractor near you is what you are looking for right now, you are in luck because we can help you speed up your search for one. Plus, you will do it without breaking a sweat.
How is it possible? You will find that out later, after learning the basics about house and construction framing.
Don’t skip those sections; it will help you out a lot.
Types of Material Used for Framing
Since a building’s frame is primarily used for support, and is also integral in preventing structural damage, it must be made of durable materials. So, what materials are available for you to choose from when it comes to framing?
Here is a handy guide to help you choose:
Among all framing materials, wood is the most commonly used in home construction. Although a light material, it is known to be durable, able to withstand fires, and can be easily cut into whatever length required. And best of all, it is cheap.
The biggest drawback to this is the fact that it is still susceptible to the damages associated with wood, especially rotting. To avoid this, the wood needs to be properly treated first before you can use it as a framing material. Unfortunately, the needed treatment will depend on the kind of wood used, and this is something not all professionals are familiar with. Wood is also a popular siding material offered by companies like Home Depot.
Using steel as a framing material is slowly gaining popularity, since it is lighter than wood but is not easily susceptible to pest infestations, warping, and damage. It is also known to be more environment-friendly to produce, since its source material is usually recycled steel coming from old cars and buildings. It is also more durable than wood.
However, steel is a much more expensive material. This makes it impractical for most homes, that is why you normally see steel frames in commercial buildings. Also, not all framing contractors know how to work with steel frames. Corten, or rusted steel, is, however, a material often used for the exterior of homes
Aside from wood, concrete is also a material suitable for residential framing, and even on larger buildings. Concrete is known to be durable, water-resistant, and can be formed by either pouring the mix into molds or getting them pre-casted then installed onsite.
Priced a little higher than wood but cheaper than steel, concrete needs to be reinforced to be effective, and this can greatly increase the total cost. Its mix should also be properly proportioned; if not, it may not be durable and unable to bear the weight of your home for long.
Although rarely used as a framing material nowadays, asbestos frames are still present in several homes, especially in older ones. It used to be the material of choice for many who are after its low maintenance, weather and fire resistance, and sound absorption capabilities. Also, it has an attractive price.
Why it is no longer widely used is because of its association with various health issues that are considered life-threatening, such as cancer. These risks are not only for those who work with the material, but also those who stay in homes that have asbestos.
Insulated Concrete Forms
Also known as ICF, it acts not just as a frame for any structure but also as an insulator. It can be made of a combination of different materials and is also known to be long-lasting.
On the downside, ICFs is quite expensive, no matter which material combinations are used for it. Also, it can be a challenge to create for many contractors. It is also susceptible to groundwater penetration, which can badly damage it. And since ICFs are installed permanently, it will be a nightmare to fix.
Structural Insulated Panels
Made up of a foam core that is sandwiched between two sheathing materials, the SIP is known for being airtight and bears weight better than wood frames. It is also a good insulator, not to mention energy-efficient. This material is not only used for framing but also on floors and roofs because of its durability.
Unfortunately, SIPs can be affected by pest infestations and are not fire-resistant. Depending on the chosen material, it can also be susceptible to rot and mold, particularly when wood or oriented strand boards (OSB) are used. They are also pricey and are produced according to the given specifications for an order, and manually modifying them can be challenging.
Among all these, wood, steel, and concrete are the most commonly used framing materials in both homes and large buildings.
Your choice of framing material will also affect the risk of having structural damage in your home.
Dangers of Structural Damage
There are some issues involving your home where fixing it can be done some other time, or even ignored altogether, and there are also those that need a homeowner’s immediate attention. And if you are possibly dealing with structural damage, the urgency of fixing it is real.
Structural issues in any home is not just brought about by disasters and other natural calamities, such as earthquakes. They can also occur gradually because there are leaks in your home that already affect the foundations, your roof is in poor shape because of missing shingles or tiles, or your foundations are sinking on badly excavated ground.
So, why do you have to fix any structural damage in your home asap?
At first, you may only find yourself having a harder time to open or close your doors and windows, not knowing that they are already misaligned because a small structural movement occurred. A quick call to a window or door framer may temporarily fix the issue, but there is no guarantee that it won’t happen again until you address the root cause.
Unless it was constructed that way, your entire home or just parts of it may also appear skewed or start visibly sagging over time. Think warped chimneys and uneven roofs This is likely because subsidence is happening; your home is starting to sink. In some cases, this subsidence will settle over time and eventually stabilize your home; it will just look crooked, but it is still habitable.
But the biggest danger present in a structurally compromised is the greater likelihood of a collapse. Structural damage means the load-bearing walls, frames, and/or foundations of your home are weaker and are less capable of keeping it standing upright.
The damage to your home, as well as to your bank account once you finally get it repaired, is not the only possibility if your home comes crashing down. More importantly, there is always the risk of anyone getting injured, or even dying.
Do you now see why you should always take structural damage seriously?
Signs of Structural Damage to Your House
Homes can collapse at any time, especially if structural damage is the main culprit. But this is something that is easily preventable, since there are warning signs that you can keep an eye out for that will tell you if your home already has structural damage.
Some of these signs include:
- Cracks on the walls, glass, foundations, concrete pavements, wood structures, ceilings, or floors, especially if they are growing and are associated with other damage to your home
- Presence of termites, rats and other pests. Termite infestation is often indicated by holes present in drywall or wood, including in wood framing, and dry mud tubes on crawlspaces and foundations
- Leaky and sagging roofs
- Floors that need leveling, and problems with floor joists
- Doors and windows that do not easily close, or will no longer remain shut inspite of no damage to the locks
- Subfloors or insulation that is moist, which can then result in mold growth
- Damage to electrical, gas, and water lines that causes other home issues, such as lights going on and off on their own, leaky pipes, and gas leaks
- Certain electrical outlets giving off a metallic odor, no matter which appliance is plugged in in those outlets
- Visible efflorescence, or the white residue that appears only on bricks
- Rotting wood structures, including those made up of timber
- Ceilings that are distorted
- Damaged concrete that shows signs of crumbling, especially on concrete slabs
- Gaps present between walls
- Rust stains that appear between cracks
- Space between the porch or stairs leading to the main door and your home appeared out of nowhere
- Parts of your home are visibly tilting
If many of these signs are something you see inside and outside your home, you need to call your contractor asap to check them out and do much need repairs before it gets worse
Is Structural Damage Covered by Homeowners Insurance?
One of the best investments you can get for your home is to get homeowners insurance. This primarily helps you lessen your expenses when you experience unforeseen events that involve your home and anyone in your property affected by the incident.
Just like a life insurance, your homeowners insurance claim will only be accepted by your insurance provider if you fulfill their requirements. So, if you suspect that structural damage is present, will your homeowners insurance pay for its repairs?
Maybe. But more often than not, it is a ‘no’ from them.
Insurance providers will look at one specific reason to determine whether they will pay for it or not – the cause of the damage.
In general, they will likely honor your insurance claims only if the damage is caused by weather disturbances or unexpected accidents.
And no, your lawnmower “accidentally” running over the front door is not an acceptable reason for filing a claim to get new doors.
Homeowners insurance policies are specific when it comes to their covered perils that they will accept as a valid claim. An inspector must first check out your home to determine the cause of the structural damage to it.
If the inspector discovers that the cause of the structural damage galls under any of these perils, your provider may honor your insurance claim:
- Falling objects
- Windstorm and hail
- Volcanic eruption
- Smoke or fire
- Riots and civil disorder
- Damage from vehicles and aircrafts
- Water damage
- Damage resulting from the weight of snow, ice, or sleet
The above list are perils generally found in most homeowners insurance policies, but it is important that you are aware of the perils present in your own policy. There may also be perils that are not on our list that are present and specific to your policy, or some perils stated above are not part of yours.
Structural damages to your home are more than likely caused by problems with workmanship, materials used, improper design, or soil and foundation-related issues. Because these do not fall under any of those perils mentioned above, fixing them will not be covered by insurance, which is also the reason why insurance won’t cover roof leaks.
Getting Quotes from Competing Construction Framers Near You
In order to lessen the risk of your home getting structural damage in the future, it starts with having supporting structures that are durable and of excellent quality. You should not just focus on the foundations, but also on the frames as well.
Because of its important role, you must make sure that your home’s framework is properly built and capable of supporting your home for a long time.
To do this, you need to get the services of a construction framer that will not only install your frames properly but also guide you in choosing the best materials suitable for your home. Again, framing is not something that you can do yourself.
If you are wondering where you should start your hunt for such a contractor, why not start where you are right now? Yes, you do not even have to take a step outside your door to do it. And best of all, you pay… nothing! It is absolutely free!
All you need to do is fill out the form we have, and it will only take you a few minutes to do so. Once you send it back to us, framing contractors who are interested in the project will contact you.
Expect to get as much as four contractors to give you free quotes, and maybe other offers as well that they think will make them stand out from their competitors.
And because of this competition, you can expect reasonable quotes from them; they know that competitive prices are what will entice potential clients like you the most to avail of their service.
But, what if none of their offers are up to your liking? We know that this is a possibility, and it is okay. You can turn them all down without paying us for using our service; you are not obligated to hire one contractor from all those who send you a quote when you use our service.
Making sure that the framework of your home can easily support the entire structure for a long time will greatly depend on the construction framer. So, go ahead and use our form to find one that will suit your requirements!