Custom Home

The Budget

Choosing a Builder

The Lot

Architectural Design

Windows and Doors

Interior Design



Air Conditioning





Brick and Stone


Sheetrock ®



Paint and Wall Coverings



Say What?


The framing stage of your new custom home construction is one of the most exciting ones because that is when it becomes obvious that your house is really going up. It is also one of the most important stages.

Here are the specifications I recommend:

  • The studs need to be finger joint stud grade material and 2x4's except were the plan designs call for 2x6's.
  • The first floor bottom plates need to be pressure treated.
  • Use Tyvek® HomeWrap®. Tyvek helps protect against air infiltration, manages moisture vapor, and protects the wall when rain and water get behind vinyl siding, wood siding, brick or stucco.
  • Use 1/2 inch insulated sheathing and/or 7/16 inch OSB for stucco siding.
  • For my west and south walls, I used TechShield radiant barrier sheathing from Louisiana Pacific. It can only be used behind brick or stone, not behind stucco, because you need an air gap between the TechShield and the exterior wall. The metal side of the sheathing faces out from the house. It is pretty shiny and obnoxious until the exterior goes up, but it sure makes a difference in the amount of heat that gets through the wall. Warning: radiant barriers will absolutely kill your cell phone and radio reception.
  • I also used TechShield radiant barrier sheathing for my roof decking. Because of the air gap, the metal side faces down, away from the shingles.
  • Your floor joist should be a professionally engineered TJI system.
  • For the sub-floor sheathing, use 1 1/8" (or thicker) tongue and groove plywood that is both glued and nailed.

One decision that needs to be made before the framing begins is whether you want the soffits painted or stained. If any part of them is going to be stained, that part needs to be constructed of real wood or a material that can be stained.

Here are some things to watch for during framing:

  • Make sure that your walls are going up in the right places. This might sound obvious, but you need to make sure your rooms are the right size.
  • Ensure that the walls are all the correct height.
  • Most windows are framed so that the top of the window is at the correct height first. Then the windows are installed. The idea is to get most of the windows lined up at the top.
  • Make sure that your window widths are correct also.
  • Pay attention to how the windows are framed underneath if you are going to want electrical outlets underneath or between two windows. The electrical line has to get there somehow. Before the framing is finished, have the builder and/or electrician sign off that you can have the outlets you want around windows.
  • Watch your door heights and widths. They are often framed wrong also.

Balthazar Custom Homes

If you are looking for a great custom home builder in Dallas, check out John Balthazar of Balthazar Custom Homes. He is fair and knowledgeable. His quality is first-rate. He uses great sub-contractors.

You can contact John at 972-618-7653.



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