What are the Three Types of Wood Framing?


Wood framing is an essential part of many construction projects, from residential homes to commercial buildings. Understanding the different types of wood framing methods can help you make informed decisions for your construction needs. In this article, we will delve into the primary three types of wood framing: Platform Frame Construction, Balloon Frame Construction, and Plank and Beam Frame Construction.


Key Takeaways

  • Platform Frame Construction is the most common and is ideal for residential buildings.
  • Balloon Frame Construction is less common but offers specific advantages for taller structures.
  • Plank and Beam Frame Construction is versatile and allows for creative architectural designs.

Platform Frame Construction

Platform frame construction is the most commonly used method in residential building. In this method, the first-floor joists are covered with sub-flooring, creating a surface upon which exterior walls and interior partitions are erected.


  • Ease of Construction: The wall framing can be assembled on the floor and tilted into place, making it easier and quicker to build.
  • Cost-Effective: This method is generally more economical due to its straightforward construction process.


  • Limited Height: Platform frame construction is generally limited to low-rise buildings.

For more information, you can visit The Constructor.

Balloon Frame Construction

Balloon frame construction is another method that, although less popular, is utilized when conditions require it. In this method, exterior wall studs and first-floor joists are supported by an anchored sill. The exterior wall studs are continuous to the second floor.


  • Strength: The continuous exterior wall studs provide added strength to the structure.
  • Ideal for Taller Buildings: This method is often used for taller structures due to its added strength.


  • Complexity: Balloon frame construction is generally more complex and may require specialized skills.

Plank and Beam Frame Construction

Plank and Beam frame construction involves the use of beams, whose ends are supported by posts, and planks used to cover floors and roofs. This method allows for a great deal of architectural creativity.


  • Architectural Flexibility: Allows for creative designs and layouts.
  • Strength: The use of beams and posts provides a strong and durable structure.


  • Cost: This method can be more expensive due to the specialized materials and labor involved.

For more insights, you can read this article from EVstudio.

Read also: 9 Best Wood Framing Software In 2023

Material Choices in Wood Framing

When it comes to wood framing, the choice of materials can significantly impact the quality and longevity of the structure. Here are some commonly used materials:

PineGeneral framingAffordable, easy to work withLess durable
CedarExterior framingResistant to decayExpensive
OakLoad-bearing wallsStrong, durableHeavy, expensive

For more information on material choices, you can read this article from BuildRT.

Building Codes and Regulations

When planning a construction project, it’s crucial to be aware of the local building codes and regulations. These codes often specify the types of wood framing methods that can be used, as well as the materials and fastening techniques.

Important Building Codes

  • International Residential Code (IRC)
  • National Building Code of Canada (NBCC)
  • European Committee for Standardization (CEN)

Safety Measures in Wood Framing

Safety is paramount when it comes to construction. Here are some safety measures to consider:

  • Proper Fastening: Use appropriate nails, screws, or bolts for fastening wood frames.
  • Fire Safety: Use fire-resistant materials and coatings.
  • Structural Integrity: Ensure that the wood framing can withstand natural forces like wind and earthquakes.

For more safety tips, you can watch this YouTube video:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the Best Type of Wood Framing for Residential Homes?

Platform Frame Construction is generally considered the best for residential homes due to its ease of construction and cost-effectiveness.

Can Balloon Frame Construction be Used for Commercial Buildings?

Yes, Balloon Frame Construction is often used for commercial buildings, especially those that require taller structures.

Is Plank and Beam Frame Construction Eco-Friendly?

Plank and Beam Frame Construction can be eco-friendly if sustainable wood and materials are used in the construction process.

For more FAQs, you can visit this Construction Knowledge PDF.

Additional Resources