When building a new home, the frame of the structure is among the most important aspects of the construction process. If the frame isn’t built properly, the remainder of the construction process likely won’t go according to plan. When you start adding the framing of a home, this is when the home starts to take shape. A home’s frame is the basic skeleton of the building that supports the finishing features, which can include everything from the drywall and roof to doors and windows.
Because of the importance of framing to the construction of any home, no home can be fully built without the assistance of a home framing contractor. This individual will have the expertise and training necessary to put the frame in place before the rest of the foundation is added. Once the framing contractor does their job, it becomes much easier to envision how the home design will translate from paper to an actual structure. Framing contractors can work on their own or with the assistance of a team that’s comprised of general contractors.
Before someone can obtain a job as a home framing contractor, they must first meet a range of education and experience requirements. It’s possible for an individual to become a framing contractor by attending a technical school or vocational school that offers a certificate or associate’s degree in carpentry, framing carpentry, or building construction technology.
Once the individual graduates from a technical school or vocational school, they will usually be tasked with serving as an apprentice under a fully licensed framing contractor for a period of 3-4 years, after which they should be able to work as a framing contractor. This position is different from a normal contractor or subcontractor because framing contractors only focus on a single aspect of the construction process.
However, it’s important to hire this contractor for any new construction project because of the need for sturdy and well-built framing. Keep in mind that the framing will support every component in the building design, which is why it’s necessary to have a framing contractor on hand who understands how to translate designs into the beginnings of a structure. This guide goes into more detail about why you need to hire a framing contractor for your next home construction project.
The Industry for Home Framing Contractors
Framing contractors may be hired to construct any type of building, which includes airports, schools, office buildings, hotels, apartment buildings, warehouses, and homes. While it’s possible for framing contractors to work on residential and commercial projects, some of these contractors specialize in one area.
In most cases, framing contractors don’t have a standard 9-to-5 job. Instead, their schedules center around project demands as well as specific deadlines that have been set by the client. As mentioned previously, framing contractors have the ability to work on their own or with a separate team comprised of general contractors and subcontractors.
The other contractors on their team could have specialties that tie into the framing aspect of a construction project. For instance, the framing contractor you hire may have a roofing contractor or wall framing contractor on their team. Before framing contractors can begin working on a construction project, they must first make sure that all of the necessary building permits are in order. Since the framing is the very first aspect of the building that goes up, the framing contractor may be required to send in a building permit application themselves before getting started.
The average salary for a framing contractor varies depending on numerous factors. Once an individual receives the appropriate credentials and training, they should be able to earn a relatively high salary. However, individuals with a higher amount of experience will invariably earn a higher salary. The project location can dictate what a framing contractor earns as well.
Framing contractors will also earn more if they work on a larger structure. For instance, framing contractors who work on a spacious commercial building earn considerably more than framing contractors who work on a small residential home. The median salary for a framing contractor is currently around $33,000. However, it’s possible for contractors with more experience to earn upwards of $56,000 if they advance in their careers.
Questions to Ask a Home Framing Contractor
There is a range of questions that you should ask before hiring a home framing contractor. The most pertinent questions that you should have answers to include:
- Where is your lumber sourced from?
- How long have you worked as a framing contractor in the industry?
- Have you had any experience with balloon framing?
- Do you understand how to create custom stud placements?
- Have you obtained the licenses and insurance necessary to finish the job?
- How does the house framing you put up last over an extended period of time?
- What do you expect the project timeline to be?
- What is your preferred payment schedule?
It’s important that you gain answers to these questions if you want to avoid making a poor decision when hiring a framing contractor. If you find that the contractor you’re interviewing evades some of your questions or doesn’t provide clear answers, you should avoid hiring this individual.
Framing is a critical component of any building, which is why your decision on which framing contractor to hire is likely the most important one you’ll make for the construction project at hand. Make sure that you check any references that were given to you by the framing contractor you’re considering hiring.
How to Find a Reliable Home Framing Contractor
In the event that you’re hiring a framing contractor for new home construction, it’s possible that your general contractor will be able to provide you with a reference for a reputable framing contractor in your area. However, it’s still important that you conduct your own research if you want to hire a framing contractor you can count on. With the right research techniques, you should be able to find an experienced framing contractor at a reasonable price.
One mistake that many people make when hiring any kind of contractor is immediately hiring the person who offers the lowest price. It’s possible that this contractor is offering a much lower price because they don’t have the necessary licenses or because they use low-quality materials. Whatever the reason, it’s important that you look for contextual information surrounding the estimated price for your project.
As touched upon previously, framing contractors can work alone or with a team. In most cases, however, these contractors will work alone for home construction. A team of contractors may only be necessary in the event that a large building is being constructed. A great way to find a reliable and reputable contractor is by looking at online reviews, which should provide you with a good idea of the contractor’s reputation and ability to complete a job by a given deadline. If someone you know has recently had their own home constructed, you could ask them what the process was like and if they would recommend the framing contractor they hired.
Before hiring a framing contractor, it’s important that you first take the time to hire a general contractor. The general contractor you hire will assist you in designing the home’s framing and will eventually provide the framing contractor with an idea of what the framing should look like. With this information in hand, the framing contractor you hire will be able to provide you with a more accurate and informed estimate. Make sure that you also speak with your general contractor about the size of the home, the number of rooms you want, what the roof’s slope will be, and what type of wood you would like to use for the framing.
Poor framing can lead to costly mistakes with the design of your home, which is why it’s important that you take your time to interview prospective framing contractors. You want to work with someone you know you can trust, which isn’t always easy to find.
If you hire a general contractor beforehand, they should be able to provide you with recommendations and help you determine if a framing contractor you’re thinking of hiring is a good fit for the project at hand. Your general contractor should can also tell you if a pricing estimate is fair or if the framing contractor is attempting to ask for more money than they are owed. Whether you’re building a small single-family home or large estate house, a home framing contractor will one of the first professionals you hire.
Jason Somers, President & Founder of Crest Real Estate
With over 15 years of professional experience in the Los Angeles luxury real estate market, Jason Somers has the background, judgement and track record to provide an unparalleled level of real estate services. His widespread knowledge helps clients identify and acquire income producing properties and value-ad development opportunities.