Basics of Construction

Carpentry Fundamentals

Basic Residential and Commercial ConstructionWe offer many resources that can be useful in learning the basics of the trade. The following materials are helpful supplements that align with the carpentry curriculum of organizations such as:

If you're ready to go beyond the basics, tap into the APA Resource Library, an extensive collection of detailed, technical information for architects, builders, code officials, engineers, specifiers and others in the trade. GO >

Have a specific question? Consult our experts at the APA Help Desk, staffed weekdays 7–4 Pacific, for answers about the specification and application of engineered wood products and systems. CONTACT >

Basic Carpentry Education

Building Materials, Fasteners and Adhesives

Video

Overview of Engineered Wood ProductsOverview of Engineered Wood Products
Learning objectives: Upon completion, students will be able to identify and describe
• Various types of engineered wood products (plywood, oriented strand board [OSB], glued laminated timbers [glulam], I-joists and structural composite lumber [SCL])
• Significant features and benefits of engineered wood products
• Significant characteristics of engineered wood products
• Appropriate applications (uses) for each
VIEW >

Publications

A Guide To Engineered Wood Products, Form C800
Overview of engineered wood products and the applications in which they are used. GET >

APA Engineered Wood Construction Guide, Form E30
Comprehensive guide to engineered wood construction systems for both residential and commercial/industrial buildings. Includes information on fastening schedules and floor adhesives. GET >

Build A Better Home: Mold and Mildew, Form A525
Outlines the characteristics of mold and mildew, their effects on a structure and its inhabitants and methods for prohibiting their growth. GET >

Builder Tips: Minimize Nail Pops, Form S300
Describes how to reduce nail pops through recommended fastener selection and installation. GET >

Introduction to Construction Drawings, Specifications and Layout

Publications

APA Engineered Wood Construction Guide, Form E30
Comprehensive guide to engineered wood construction systems for both residential and commercial/industrial buildings. Includes information on specifying plywood, OSB, glulam, I-joists, LVL and other structural composite lumber, Rim Board® and CLT. GET >

CAD Details

APACAD.org
Offers CAD details for wood-frame construction. Free downloads in DWG, DWF, DXF and PDF format. GO >

Downloadable Specs

These downloadable spec sheets outline and explain the information included in the APA trademark and include a sample specification:
Specification Guide for Rated Sheathing GET >
Specification Guide for Rated Sturd-I-Floor (OSB) GET >
Specification Guide for Rated Sturd-I-Floor (Plywood) GET >

Floor Systems

Video

Floor construction detailsI-Joist Floor Framing and Rim Board® Construction Details
Learning objectives: Upon completion, students will be able to identify and describe
• Best practices in designing engineered wood floor systems
• Recommendations for Rim Board in I-joist floor systems
• Proper techniques for notching and drilling I-joists and Rim Board
• Correct use of web stiffeners, squash blocks and blocking for I-joist floors.
VIEW >

Articles

Floor Sheathing Explained: Underlayment, Rated Sheathing, Single Floor
Breaks down the differences between single floor (or Sturd-I-Floor) versus two layers (underlayment with subfloor) and when to use each. GO >

Publications

APA Engineered Wood Construction Guide Excerpt: Floor Construction
Provides information on framing and materials used for floor construction. GET >

Subfloor Preparation to Receive Finish Flooring, Form V440
Provides guidelines on installing wood structural panel subfloors for optimal performance of finished floors. GET >

Build A Better Home: Foundations, Form A520
Illustrated guidance on moisture-resistant design details for foundations. GET >

Builder Tips: Construct a Solid, Squeak-Free Floor System, Form Q300
Describes how to prevent floor complaints and callbacks with proper floor sheathing installation. GET >

Builder Tips: Proper Selection and Installation of APA Plywood Underlayment, Form R340
Includes information on selection, handling, installation and fastening. GET >

Technical Note: Floor Squeaks—Causes, Solutions and Prevention, Form C468
Discusses typical floor-squeak causes and provides corrective and preventative measures. GET >

Wall Systems

Video

Sheathe for SuccessSheathe for Success
Learning objectives: Upon completion, students will be able to identify and describe
• Easy solutions for common building challenges using wood structural panel wall sheathing
• The functions of a building’s structural shell and energy envelope
• How to balance structural integrity, energy efficiency and cost effectiveness in building design
• Methods to simplify the support of common cladding materials.
VIEW >

Articles

Wall Bracing Basics
Explains the concepts behind the need for wall bracing and offers several further resources.
GO >

Publications

APA Engineered Wood Construction Guide Excerpt: Wall Construction
Covers installation of wall sheathing, single-wall siding, panel and lap siding installation over sheathing and more.
GET >

Build A Better Home: Walls, Form A530
Describes the primary sources of moisture intrusion in wood wall construction and shows methods to prevent moisture penetration. GET >

Ceiling Joist & Roof Framing

Video

Basics of Roof Construction with I-JoistsI-Joist Roof Framing and Construction Details
Learning objectives: Upon completing this course, students will be able to identify and describe
• Best practices in designing and detailing residential engineered wood roof systems
• Proper techniques for connecting, notching and drilling I-joists in roof systems
• Correct use of web stiffeners and blocking in I-joist roof systems.
VIEW >

Publications

APA Engineered Wood Construction Guide Excerpt: Roof Construction
Application of sheathing for roofs, preframed roof panels, long span systems, soffits and more.
GET >

Build A Better Home: Roofs, Form A535
Outlines moisture-resistant design details for roofs. GET >

Builder Tips: Proper Installation of APA Rated Sheathing for Roof Applications
Step-by-step instructions for roof sheathing installation.
GET >

Builder Tips: How to Minimize Buckling of Asphalt Shingles
Describes building techniques to ensure optimal performance of finished roofing.
GET >

Common Framing and Construction Practices

Video

Frame for Success: Avoid CallbacksFrame for Success: Avoid Callbacks
Learning objectives: Upon completion, students will be able to identify and describe
• How the material properties of wood can affect construction in order to resolve common framing challenges
• How the consistency of design and building practices can impact the quality of wood structures and how to use consistency to improve construction
• How moisture affects wood products and how to prevent some common challenges arising from moisture exposure
• How wind or seismic forces impact the roof, walls, floors, foundation and connections of a structure; the concept of a continuous load path; and its importance in structural integrity.
VIEW >

Frame it Right!Frame it Right: Back to Basics for Big Buildings
Learning objectives: Upon completion, students will be able to identify and describe
• Common pitfalls in the construction of low-rise wood buildings for floor, wall and roof systems in order to reduce liability and ensure greater client satisfaction
• How the loads on a nonresidential wood building (gravity, lateral and moisture) influence framing and use this knowledge to effectively frame a building that mitigates negative effects of loading
• How engineered wood products (EWP) may be used in a wide spectrum of applications and how to choose the EWP that most efficiently meets these needs
• How to navigate technical resources to address the challenges facing today’s nonresidential wood building framers.
VIEW >

Articles

Avoid Common Framing Errors
Describes how to prevent the most common problems that occur during framing and construction.
GO >

Publications

APA Engineered Wood Construction Guide, Form E30
Comprehensive guide to engineered wood construction systems for both residential and commercial/industrial buildings. GET >

Simple Air Sealing with OSB and Plywood Sheathing, Form T210
Lists 10 common sources of air infiltration that should be sealed during construction. GET >