The Pros and Cons of Stick Framing

Stick framing refers to the traditional way of building roof supports. A carpenter works out the angles that the individual rafter pieces should adhere to and then assemble the rafters onto the house structure. This article discusses the pros and cons of this way to roof a building.

The Pros

Ceiling height flexibility. Stick framing allows an architect to decide how high he/she wants a roof or ceiling to be. This is because this kind of framing does not consume a lot of space like using trusses to frame a roof. Trusses have many braces that limit the space available to vary the height of a roof or ceiling.

Adjustments take a short time. Adjusting the framing material takes a very short time. This is because the person making the adjustment is the same person who designed that stick frame so there is no need to consult other people. This is very different from what happens when designing roof trusses. The installer has to call the plant that fabricated the trusses so that they can adjust a given truss. That procedure can be time consuming.

Fewer regulatory requirements. Many jurisdictions require that a structural engineer must approve any adjustment made to roof trusses. This is because the trusses were designed after careful calculations were made to factor in the loads that the frame will carry. Any change must therefore be crosschecked to confirm that it does not compromise the integrity of the frame. Stick framing does not have such a restriction (in many jurisdictions) because the authorities trust that the installer has the competence to determine what needs to be adjusted.

The Cons

They aren't cost-effective. Stick framing is time consuming. Each piece of the framing system is measured, cut and assembled at the worksite. This makes the process labor-intensive and expensive.

Limited pitch options. It is very hard to build a house with several roof pitches if you use a stick roof framing style. This is because calculating the different rafter angles and forces that the roof will carry is very complex. This can limit the options that a house designer has to come up with a unique house design.

As you can see, stick framing has its pros and cons. Compare it to other systems (such as using trusses) so that you select the best option that will meet your needs. An experienced roofing contractor like Wadsworth Joinery can be helpful in explaining the intricacies involved in each roof framing style so that you make an informed decision.