Questions on shims, sheathing, and next steps after wall is framed?


Old 09-10-14, 05:38 AM
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Questions on shims, sheathing, and next steps after wall is framed?

Hi Guys,

So I got my first wall framed in yesterday. Pretty simple, but I think I could have done a bit better. I made sure all the studs were level, so I think I'm ready for the door & window install. I wanted to make sure my next few steps were correct.

1) Which should I do next? Should I hang the sheathing first on the wall, and then install the window & door, or vice versa?
2) Which is easier. Should I just hang the sheathing and then cut the holes for the windows with something like a sawzall (after making sure the framing is the correct size by test hanging the windows/doors), or should I just measure and cut the sheathing to custom sizes? I understand that you want to keep a 1/8" gap (roughly the width of a nail) between the sheathing.

House Wrap & Waterproofing
1) I understand you want to put the house wrap on as soon as you put the sheathing on. Here is the house wrap I got. How should I install it? Is it Adhesive? Staple gun?
2) For the window and door jambs, what additional waterproofing precautions should I take? I saw a video where some guy used some kind of tape that looked like they were 9-12" wide, layering them over one another, and then using silicone. What is the name of that tap, and should I use anything like plastic protectors in the corners?

Hanging Door
1) The door is prehung in a frame. So I should be ready to complete the door jamb. First, insert the door from the outside inward. The lip of the door frame should extend over the two side studs, and over the header.
2) Use a level to check the door to make sure door jamb is square and level both horizontally and vertically.
3) Use shims if door is not level or to fill in excessive gaps around outside of door jams. Shims are simply thin pieces of scrap board that fill in the gaps and help to level the door. Should they be flat, angled (like a door stop), or both? I'm using deck screws to secure everything (in case I make some errors). How many shims should I use around the edges of the door frame? Should I put the screws through wood that thin, and likely running across the grain wouldn't it probably split?
4) Once level and square. Secure door frame to studs, subfloor, and header. I was planning on using 3" deck screws, and was planning on doing 1 screw every 6" - or is there a specific patter that I should use to secure the door jambs to the frame? Once secure the door frame should be done.

For the window, the steps should be identical to the hanging the door.

Thanks in advance for any tips and advice
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Old 09-10-14, 07:58 AM
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What are you building?

Ideally I would install the exterior sheeting to a wall while it was flat and before standing it up. This puts more of the work down on the ground where it's easier and you can more easily insure that the wall is not racked.

House wrap is usually stapled. I have always called the tape "flashing tape".

When installing a door you need to make sure it's square and level in every direction. Trouble can arise if the wall is twisted causing the door to hit the jamb at the top or bottom when it should make even contact top to bottom. Keep an eye on the gap between to the door and jamb. It should be even and consistent all the way around. The best way to use shims is to have two of them opposite each other. That way their tapers cancel out and you have a flat surface against the door casing and framing. The thickness can be varied by how much you shove the two shims together.
Old 09-10-14, 04:08 PM
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As pilot dane mentioned, you often want to sheath the wall while it's still laying down... before you stand the wall up. Doing that will help assure your walls are just as square as the sheet of sheathing is. But since its too late for that, maybe you can drive a couple 16d nails in halfway under the sill plate and then set rest the sheathing on that pair nails. (It's just an easy way to hold the sheathing even with the bottom of the plate.) So yes, 1). sheathing is next. And yes, verify your rough openings before you put the sheathing on. Don't set them in place, just measure. Your rough openings should be a total of 3/4 to 1" larger than your windows or doors are.

And 2). You can cut the openings out with a sawzall from the inside when it comes time to install the window... otherwise its often best to leave them boarded shut. If you're using an air gun, be sure you don't nail the sheathing where the RO's are (where there are no studs) The nail would blow right through the sheathing and if someone is inside you could shoot them in the face.

Housewrap: Pactive is complete garbage. I would recommend you return it and pay the extra for a better housewrap that is more like Tyvek or Typar. Also, the 9' rolls go on a lot faster. A hammer tacker stapler is best. For windows, you probably want a 3 or 4" window and door flashing tape. I know Lowes sells the Pella window flashing tape, it's nice stuff. We don't know what your windows are or what kind of fin they have so we can't comment much on the corners.

Doors: 1). When setting a door, you usually want to check the rough opening with a short level to see if the opening is level. If it isn't, set a small shim in the opening where the door jamb will set on it. Once you have the RO level, you can set the door in place and not have to worry about level anymore. Caulk a bead of sealant across the opening and set the door into that sealant.

2). The word for "vertically level" is plumb. So things should be plumb, level and square.

You center the door in the rough opening so that you have an equal amount of space on each side of the rough opening, then plumb the hinge side of the door first. I will insert shims at the 4 corners to plumb the hinges up. A 72 or 78" level works best for this so that you are checking all 3 hinges at the same time. Before you're done you will want shims behind each hinge, and a 3" screw through the hinges into the studs. (remove 1 screw and replace w/ longer screw if there isn't one left out already). Once the hinges are plumb, then you should shim the latch side and check it with your level to get it plumb/ perfectly straight. I usually have 5 sets of shims evenly spaced along the latch side.

3). I like tapered cedar shims. Pilot Dane pretty much covered it... you always use them in matching pairs, with one facing one way, the other facing the opposite way. As you slide the shims back and forth on each other they get thicker or thinner. You can always predrill a pilot hole for your screws, which will eliminate any splitting.

4). You don't secure a door to the subfloor, that's what the sealant is for. Every 6" is a bit insane. I will usually run screws through the shims... so since I have 5 sets of shims per side, that's 5 screws per side jamb. I rarely will fasten the top jamb at all. The trim will hold it in place.

If you insulate with expanding foam, be sure you use great stuff "window and door foam" in the blue can, not the original great stuff in the red can. Also start out with just the minimum amount needed to plug the gap... don't completely fill the space! I will often run 2 beads of foam... one clear to the exterior... and then once it's cured, I'll run another bead closer to the drywall.

Windows and doors aren't exactly the same... so the installation will vary somewhat. Windows don't usually require jamb screws, for example, and you don't set windows in a bed of sealant.

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