with square, shiplap, or tongue-and-groove joints, is
laid, driven tight, and bolted directly to the steelwork
with carriage bolts. You must make sure that all
materials and workmanship conform to the
requirements of the specifications and that the floor is
finished smooth and even.
Wood (stick) framing is widely used throughout the
construction industry; however, the cost doubles that of
metal framing. It is still the preferred method of
construction, particularly for emergency and temporary
construction. Quarters and temporary barracks may be
of typical frame-house construction. Storehouses,
particularly of the large one-story type, may have frames
of wood posts, beams, and joists with wood roof
sheathing. Shop buildings may have to be built of wood
when steel and concrete are not available. Such
structures may require heavy built-up timber columns
and trusses, particularly if crane runways have to be
provided. Large, wooden hangars have been built,
necessitating trusses, with each member consisting of a
number of heavy planks.
Structures that require wide-span construction have
occasionally been framed with laminated wood arches,
consisting of a large number of plies of relatively thin
planks, glued together, with a special waterproof,
durable glue. In addition, you may encounter many
other special types of framing. With changing
technology, glued-laminated beams will be a thing of
the past and plastics may take overwho knows? We
just cannot cover every aspect of the construction
As the inspector, you must familiarize yourself fully
with the drawings and specifications and the standard
specifications used for references. Make sure the
framing material is of the specified grade, size, and the
surface has been inspected and grade marked.
You must make certain that the nails, bolts, screws,
connector rings, and other fastening devices conform to
the requirements in type and size. Also, ensure that
metal ties, straps, hangers, stirrups, joist hangers, and
similar accessories are suitable and correctly used.
Where numerous plies of lumber are held together by
long through-bolts, you should recheck the tightness of
the nuts before the project is finally accepted because
shrinkage of the lumber may have caused them to
As an inspector, make sure that the wall material
conforms to the specifications as to the kind of wood,
grade, and manufacture or has been inspected or grade
marked. You must ensure that the wall sheathing is tight
and covered with a building wrap (vapor barrier) and
flashed as necessary for weathertightness. Also, make
certain that siding is applied carefully so that the lines
are straight and true and that laps and exposed faces are
correct. In addition, make sure that nails are the
specified kind and weight, are driven flush, recessed, or
blind, as specified; and that, if recessed, they are filled
over with a suitable plastic wood putty.
Wood partitions are used in all frame construction.
In most cases, wood partitions are composed of 2- by
4-inch wood studs with sills and plates of the same
material. Studs are doubled at openings, and the top
plates are usually doubled to provide strong splices.
Headers, encountered in light-frame construction,
are required at all openings of load-bearing and
non-load bearing walls. Remember, non-load bearing
headers run parallel with the joist, and unless the
opening is more than 3 feet wide, a single 2 by 4 (laid
flat) is sufficient as a header. Load-bearing headers run
perpendicular to the joist and carries the load
immediately above the openings. Load-bearing headers
should be doubled and laid on edge. If the opening is
more than 3 feet in width, the header will need additional
strength to carry the load imposed upon it from above.
Check the local building codes, plans, and
specifications, and Architectural Graphics Standard
(AGS) for more information on headers.
Wood partitions to be finished on both sides are
covered with wood lath, metal lath, plasterboard, or
some other base or may be covered in drywall
construction with wallboard of various types. Wood
partitions in offices are frequently covered by paneling.
This type of construction uses studs spaced fairly wide
apart (2 feet) with either tongue-and-groove panels,
wallboard, masonite, or other material used for wall
coverings. Such partitions frequently extend only part
way to the ceiling, and the upper panels maybe glazed,
glass panels, or glass block. In the Tropics, wood
partitions may be surfaced on one side only, leaving the
studding fully exposed on the other side to eliminate all
concealed spaces and permit effective control of
termites and other vermin.
As the inspector, you must ensure the following:
That all partitions are adequately anchored to the
floor, the walls, and the ceiling, as specified, and are
adequately braced and stiffened at all splices and
That studs are set truly plumb and in line, and are
well nailed to sills and plates.