House Framing 101: Cost, Timeline, & Tips to Frame a New House

Building a house is no easy task. It takes time and effort to make your dream home a reality. But the benefits of building a new home can outweigh the repairs and maintenance of purchasing an older home or going through a costly remodel or the frustration of a DIY renovation.

One of the essential steps in the building process is framing the house. This article will teach you everything you need to know about framing a house, from the cost and timeline to tips to help the process go more smoothly.

What Does Framing A House Mean?

Ariel image of a new construction home being framed

Framing a house refers to creating the skeletal structure of the home. Framing includes putting up walls, floors, and ceilings. The framing stage is one of the most important steps in building a house because it creates the structure for everything else that will come after.

What Time During The Home Building Process Will A House Get Framed?

The framing stage of construction usually happens after the crew lays the foundation. Once the foundation is in place, the framers will begin to put up the walls, subfloors, ceiling, and roof structure. The exact steps depend on whether you're building a custom home, semi-custom home, spec home, or tract home. That said, here are a few common steps you'll experience when building a new home:

  1. Find suitable land: The first step is to purchase a plot of land on which to build your house.
  2. Permits and inspections: Once you've found the perfect spot, you'll need to get building permits, zoning, and inspections from your local government. Then, it's time to start construction!
  3. Excavation and foundation: You'll need to excavate the land and either lay a foundation or pour a concrete slab.
  4. Framing: Now we finally get to start the framing! Once the foundation is complete, it's time to frame the walls, floor, and roof.
  5. Plumbing, electrical, and HVAC: Once the crew completes the framing, the plumbers will install plumbing, electricians will add all electrical components, and install the HVAC systems.
  6. Drywall and interior finishes: Your home is finally taking shape. It's time to finish the interior by adding drywall, paint, floors, cabinets, and fixtures.
  7. Landscaping: Landscaping and exterior finishes are the final steps in completing a new house.

Building a home can be a rewarding experience with careful planning and execution. Now let's dive deeper into step 4 from above: Framing a House.

What Are The Steps To Framing A House

Image of a group of construction workers pouring a house foundation.

The framing team will follow specific steps and consult blueprints to ensure the project is successful. Here are the basics steps to frame a house:

  1. Prepare the foundation: After leveling the ground, a crew will pour a concrete slab or build a foundation with a crawlspace and footings.
  2. Install the sill: The sill is a treated lumber barrier between the foundation and the untreated framing above. The sill prevents the house from moving off the foundation and water from penetrating the untreated lumber above.
  3. Install joists: Joists are the support structure of floors and ceilings. A joist is a horizontal structural member used in framing to support loads over an open area.
  4. Install the subfloor: Subflooring is the layer of your flooring that sits on top of the joists and beneath the finished surface. The subfloor covers the entire perimeter of the floor plan. The subfloor provides support and stability for your finished floor. Plywood, OSB (oriented strand board), or concrete are common subfloor materials.
  5. Frame the exterior walls, interior walls, windows, and doors: The most common type of wall framing is stick framing. Stick framing uses lumber cut to specific lengths to create wall studs, bottom plates, top plates, doorways, windows, and other openings.
  6. Frame staircases: Framers or carpentry experts will install staircases to access secondary or tertiary floors.
  7. Frame the roof: The roofers will calculate the roof's dimensions, including the width, length, and pitch. They'll assemble the trusses and then attach them to the house.
  8. Sheathing: Once the framing is complete, the framing crew will add plywood sheeting or strand board sheathing to the exterior walls and roof. The crew will then add a house wrap or moisture barrier to protect from water damage.

Framing a house is a big job, but following these steps will help ensure a quality framing job.

How Long Does It Take To Frame A House

If you're planning to build a new home, it's important to factor in the time it will take to frame the house when you're making your plans. Depending on the circumstances, the average build time to frame a house is anywhere from one week to several months to complete the job. By understanding how long it typically takes to frame a house, you can better plan for your project and avoid unnecessary delays.

Image of a construction worker framing a house

What factors determine how long it may take to frame a house?

Many factors go into framing a house. The most important factor to consider is the size and square footage of the house. The bigger the house, the longer it will take to frame it. Other factors include the type of framing and the number of people working on the project.

Why would it take some homes longer to frame than others?

There are many potential causes of delays when framing a home. One common cause is weather conditions. If it rains or snows heavily, the framers may not be able to work. Another potential cause of delays is material shortages. If the lumberyard doesn't have enough lumber in stock, the framers will have to wait for new shipments to arrive. Finally, labor shortages can cause delays. If there aren't enough workers available to frame the house, the job will take longer than expected.

These potential causes can make it difficult to predict how long it will take to frame a home. As a result, homeowners should be prepared for possible delays and plan accordingly.

What Is The Average Cost To Frame A House

The cost of framing a house will depend on the size and complexity of the project. The average price to frame a house is $15,000 - $30,000. However, some homeowners spend as much as $50,000 to frame their homes. The cost of materials and labor will be the most significant factors in determining the final cost of your project. Make sure to get multiple estimates from different contractors before making a final decision.

What could cause cost overruns when framing a home?

The foundation being unlevel is one of the biggest potential causes of cost overruns when framing a home. If the foundation isn't level, the house's frame will be off, and it will be much more challenging to put up walls and install windows and doors. It could also cause problems with the house's stability over time.

Another potential cause of cost overruns when framing a home is if there are unforeseen problems with the lumber or the quality of other materials. For example, if there are knots in the lumber or if the lumber is warped, it will be more challenging to work with and cost more money.

What kind of home is the cheapest to frame?

A smaller home will require less lumber and other materials and therefore be cheaper to frame. The second factor is the type of home. A simple rectangular ranch-style home or a-frame home will be more affordable to frame than a more complex Victorian-style house. The third factor is the location of the home.

In general, though, a small, rectangular ranch-style home in an area with plenty of timber will be the cheapest type of home to frame.

What kind of home is the most expensive to frame?

The most expensive type of home to frame is typically a two-story home. The framing process of a two-story home is more complex and time-consuming than a one-story home. In addition, there are more materials required to frame a two-story house.

What Materials Are Required When Framing A House

Image of the exterior of a new construction home being framed.

When it comes to framing a house, there are certain materials that you will need to get the job done right. Below, we have outlined some of the basic yet most important materials that you will need to frame a house. Using quality materials is vital when framing a house. Don't use subpar products.


Lumber is one of the most important materials used in framing. When choosing lumber for your project, select a high-quality wood that is suitable for the climate in which you live. Choose lumber with minimal warping, bowing, or twisting and is free of splits and large knots.

Nails and Screws

Nails and screws are other essential materials you will need when framing a house. Nails and screws hold the lumber together and provide support for the structure. When choosing fasteners for a framing project, select nails, and screws that are the correct size for the lumber you are using. For example, a 2x4 frame will use different size fasteners than a 2x6 frame.


Plywood is another essential material used when framing a house. Plywood covers the outer walls and floors of a house. When choosing plywood for your project, select plywood suitable for your climate and material that is free of excessive bending and warping.

What Should You Avoid When Framing A House

When framing a house, there are several things you should avoid to ensure the house's structural integrity.

  1. Too much weight on the frame. Excess weight can cause the structure to warp and potentially collapse.
  2. Not properly securing the frame to the foundation. The frame becomes unstable and shifts over time.
  3. Using substandard materials when framing a house. Substandard materials can cause water damage and lead to termites.

By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that your house will be safe and structurally sound for years to come.

Interested In Buying Or Building Your Dream Home

The best way to find new construction homes for sale or qualified and reputable builders is to contact Felix. We'll alert you whenever a new home that matches your criteria is being built. Plus, we can introduce you to vetted builders. At Felix, we'll learn a little about what you are looking for in a home and we will guide you throughout the process, from choosing the best area to picking a reputable builder and managing the construction process.

Sign up to get more Real Estate related Goodness right to your inbox.