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austinbirdman 12-14-2006 10:44 PM

Reactions to Timeline for Framing Addition
I am curious to know what you all think a good timeline would be for a framer helping my wife and me with an addition. This is a 1,000 s.f. addition that will have two stories (500 s.f. each) when complete, sitting on a pier and beam foundation attached to our house here in Austin, Texas. We had the foundation done to our engineer's specification, and now this very nice guy is doing the framing, all roofing (plain 20-degree gable roof), sheathing, siding and window installation for us. We are then going to finish it out - though we may end up doing a lot more of the work than planned, since we'll run out of money. I feel like our framer is taking a bit of a long time, but I don't have a sense of what's realistic. He works with two other guys most days, but sometimes just with one, his son.

Here's how he has progressed so far over 5 weeks of framing, which started Nov. 13, with our 2x12 floor joists already in place on the piers.

First 2 days: Install sublfoor (3/4 t&g)
Next 2 weeks: Frame 1st story (500 s.f. with 4 big window spans, opening to main house, and some attachment challenges)
Next 4 days: Ceiling rafters (2x12, making 18-foot span) / install 2nd story subfloor (3/4 t&g)
Next 8 days: Frame 2nd story walls (another 500 s.f. with 16 window openings)

Still to come:
2nd story rafters (2x8 naking 18-foot span)
2nd story roof frame
Roof decking & completion
Exterior wall sheathing
Windows, exterior door, hardiplank siding installation, exterior trim (we'll paint outside ourselves later)

Do you think his progress so far is reasonable, and how much time should I anticipate for the rest of the framing job?

He's doing great work - his window headers fit like a glove, and even our city inspector said he was impressed, as was the foundation engineer and an architect friend. We're on a tight budget, however, and I'm concerned if he takes forever, we'll run out of cash for the inside part we're getting ready to do.

AtlanticWBConst. 12-15-2006 07:40 AM

It sounds reasonable to me.
In essence, he is figuring out., laying out, measuring, cutting, checking, leveling, etc...
With inexperienced help, he is doing more work than he would with an experienced helper.
There is only so much that can be done in any given day, as he really is the one doing most of the brain work and a lot of the other work.
It is hard for anyone to estimate a reasonable pace of his work, when we are not actually on the site, we don't know the actual floor plan, the grade, weather conditions...etc. Not to mention the issues that always seem to come up; running out of some materials and waiting to get more delivered or plan measurements that are wrong and have to be verified and re-calculated onsite...

To give you an idea of how things normally go: We just built a 20'x20' room addition this Wednesday and Thursday.
Framed, raftered, plywood & Tyvek walls and plywood on the roof .... in 2 days. That is with 3 very experienced framers. All doing their part without having to be shown anything....working like 'lightning' with saws, tape measures and nail guns....

What you are doing is a completely different 'animal' because of the amount of inexperienced help involved....Again, to me, it sounds that he is going at a good pace, based on the circumstances.

austinbirdman 12-15-2006 08:23 AM

Thanks for reassurance - cost?
AtlanticWB: Thanks for the answer, which was both reassuring AND unsettling: two days! On that schedule you could have had my job framed, roofed, and sheathed in about 5-8 days tops. The attachment situation has been a minor challenge, but there have not been any other issues to speak of.

I have one more question, which I hope is not too much of a presumption to ask - what you expect someone to pay for this whole framing job (labor only) -- frame, roof, exterior sheathing, siding, windows and trim? I know it's hard to estimate without seeing the whole thing, but it's really a very straightforward job: flat terrain, plain gabled roof ... the connection to the existing house is just flashing the existing 1-story gabled roof to the new roof (it connects on the gable end). There are two complex elements: 1) A lot of windows (20 in all, and two span more than 6' wide) and 2) the plan is from home architect software. All dimensions are there, but the builder is figuring out the framing on the job. I am paying this guy by the week, but I'd like to see how what he makes ultimately on the framing compares to what I might have paid an experienced crew like yours to knock it out more quickly.

jbob 12-15-2006 12:33 PM

I would have scheduled about 3 weeks to completely finish
the job as you have described it. With myself, 2 experienced
carpenters, and a helper. I would have subbed out the roofing.


500 sq. ft. subfloor- 4 hours
frame 1st floor walls- 14 hours

Charges vary greatly around the country, but in my area
I would charge between $17.00 and $20.00 sq. ft.

Hope this helps:)

austinbirdman 12-15-2006 01:50 PM

Follow-up for jbob
JBob, that helps a ton, thanks. Sorry to sound really dim now, but the $17 to $20 a s.f. would be for labor only, correct? So framing labor would be in the $17K - $20K range? Or would materials purchase be included in that price?

jbob 12-15-2006 02:10 PM

Sorry, should have been more clear...No materials.
Labor, fasteners, adhesives only:)

Boblyle 01-19-2007 01:49 PM

Not to be harsh, but you should NEVER agree to pay a professional laborer by the hour, day, week, etc....and a PROFESSIONAL would never ask to be paid that way.

Sorry, but there are just too many con-artists, crooks and scammers in the building trades who WILL ask 'wages' because
1) they can make an easy buck by stretching out the time on a job or 2) they really don't know what they're doing and can't commit to a specific time frame.

It's something you learn the hard way...


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