Wood light-frame construction is a popular method of building homes in North America. The construction can be broken up into four sections, foundation, floors, walls, and roof. Some advantages arti mimpi of the building method include, utilizing smaller members to make large components and the redundancy of the entire system. Building with wood also has its advantages because it is easy to work with, displays signs over loading and is a renewable resource.
The foundation of a lightwood frame home is used to dissipate the loads from the building into the soil. The foundation is made up of two parts a footing and a wall. The footing is the weight bearing portion of the foundation. The wall or in some cases a pier extends from the footing to the first floor of the building.
Footings are typically comprised of poured in place concrete. In colder climates where frost heave is an issue, footings must be set deeper in the ground then the frost reaches. The purpose of the footing is to take the above weight load of the building and displace it on the soil. In softer soils, or where large weight loads occur, pilings may be driven into the ground under the footings.The foundation walls are used to transport the loading of the first floor onto the footings. They can also form the walls of basements, if soil is excavated on one side. Typicallymade of poured in place concrete, prefabricated concrete, or masonry blocks all of which have high compression strength. In some drier climates or in old construction, the walls may be made up of treated wood or large stones.
In lightwood frame construction floors are built to carry the weight loads of occupants and walls. They are made up of two components, joists and sheathing. The joists are evenly spaced and are responsible for bearing most of the load. The sheathing fills in the spaces and distributes any weight placed on the floor.The foundation walls hold up the first floor. In most cases it becomes inefficient to span the entire distance between walls so beams will be used in addition to the walls. Beams typically rest on notches in the foundation walls and have additional posts that connect to additional footings in the center of the building. On any second and higher floors, the wood frame walls, both interior and exterior, are used to hold them up. In some cases beams are also used for upper level floors that span large openings or when there are heavy load requirements.