Some Terms to Learn If You're Framing Your Own Home

If you're thinking of building an addition or changing your home's overall footprint in any way, you'll need to learn the different parts of a home's wood frame. A frame for a home involves more than just upright studs and crossbeams, and knowing about the parts relating to timber wall frames will be necessary when tackling your own renovations. Note a few terms you'll need to learn about the different pieces that go into the frame of a home so you're sure to get all the timber you need before work begins.

Jack studs

Jack studs are placed under a window to give it added support and strength. Jack studs are usually spaced as far as standard studs, but if you're using a heavy material for the window frame, you might want to add more jack studs across its width. For example, timber windows may be heavier than a lightweight PVC or vinyl and they could use more support to keep them from cracking the frame and letting in drafts. 


A nogging is a short beam that is connected horizontally to two studs to give them added support. Nogging is usually placed at the halfway point of a stud's height. You might add additional nogging pieces if you want to create insets or shelves that are built into a wall; the nogging itself becomes the shelf and you simply add drywall or plaster around the exposed studs for easy wall storage.


A brace is just that: It's a beam that you attach to a wall frame diagonally in order to help disperse the weight that's being held up by the studs. Even if it's not required by building codes, a brace can be a good choice in tropical areas as it can keep your home from settling and sinking into soft soil. If you're adding another room to your home, a brace can be needed to help disperse that extra weight across the length of the roof and to provide more structural support.

Soffit bearer

A soffit is a type of box that is built when you need to run ducts across the ceiling of a room; the box or soffit is covered in drywall so that it looks like a part of the room, and the ducts are then hidden away. A soffit bearer is the timber used to create this box. Note that this piece typically doesn't support much weight so you can often use a softer, thinner, cheaper wood for the soffit bearer than you would for any other part of the frame.