Studs? Joists? Rafters? I-Joists?  When an Architect and builder sit down to discuss the plans for framing a house, they speak a common language.  Sometimes I forget that the terms we use are not words used by other people everyday.  Dimensional Lumber and Engineered Lumber are designations of types of wood used in framing a home.

Framing a home using 2X4's

Framing a home using 2X4’s

When a house is being framed, it looks like a bunch of sticks put together to make the form of a house.   The traditional type of wood used for framing is called dimensional lumber because the lumber is cut into planks of varying dimensions and can be cut to specific lengths.  Pieces of dimensional lumber which are cut to be 2X4, or 2×6 are usually used as studs which are the vertical pieces of wood used to frame walls.

Lumber that is cut to the dimensions of  2X8,  2X10, and 2X12 are used for the Joists and rafters.  The joists are pieces of dimensional lumber laid horizontally to become the structural framing for a floor or ceiling.  The pieces of lumber used to frame the roof of the house are known as Rafters.joist-stud

osb-600x339Another type of wood used for construction is Engineered Lumber.   This type of lumber is made from wood strips which are bonded together in a resin.  This type of manufactured lumber is stronger and can be made to be longer in length.  Engineered Lumber is more resistant to shrinkage, and makes better use of lumber resources.   An I-joist is made from Engineered Lumber and is stronger and can be made longer than a traditional joist made from Dimensional Lumber.

Are there other words that you would like defined and illustrated?  Send me an email:    I am also building a glossary on my website,   Hope you visit that site too.