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why is framing unfinished?

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Forum topic by DeWolf posted 09-08-2019 08:28 PM 901 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DeWolf

2 posts in 15 days


09-08-2019 08:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dumb question

just a dumb question, I was curious, why is framing made from unfinished wood?
I am repairing an RV that is framed in wood, and it was waterlogged for a while and the wood rotted. It got me wondering- why is framing always done with unfinished wood? it seems like a simple finish would significantly protect wood in flood events, and I couldn’t think of a reason not to seal the wood, except for the cost/effort. Is there another reason? does it somehow help the wood if it can breathe?


24 replies so far

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Bill White

5225 posts in 4444 days


#1 posted 09-08-2019 09:22 PM

Floor plates are usually treated. Wall framing is not. I would not want to live in a home that was totally built with pressure treated lumber framing. Have you seen how wet that stuff is when newly bought?

-- [email protected]

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ibewjon

924 posts in 3277 days


#2 posted 09-08-2019 11:56 PM

The framing should never get wet, and the cost would be prohibitive. If it gets that wet, there are bigger problems to worry about.

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Bunyon

10 posts in 749 days


#3 posted 09-09-2019 12:12 AM

I would also think the finish could still possibly fail under water exposure. Depending on the type of finish, It could also make it toxic, making it harder and more expensive to get rid of the cut-offs. The exterior finish is what needs to keep moisture away from the wood.
I have seen plenty of water rotted wood, including pressure treated wood. Eventually, even treated wood will break down under extreme circumstances.

-- Paul, Strathroy, Ontario

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pottz

6043 posts in 1468 days


#4 posted 09-09-2019 03:06 PM

to treat or add a finish to a framed home would be very expensive and serve no real purpose.as said if your frame of your house gets wet youve got a real problem that finished framing lumber wouldn’t solve.ive never even heard of anyone using finished lumber to frame a house.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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Andre

2758 posts in 2290 days


#5 posted 09-09-2019 03:25 PM

Seen some new houses being built with extensive use of mold/fire resistant materials, house across the street was bright pink, 2 by 4s and sheeting. Really stood out until they put on the wrap and siding. Floor joists were green and I think the support beams are a yellow, orange color. Scrap cut offs not much use for fire pit:)

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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tomsteve

960 posts in 1703 days


#6 posted 09-09-2019 03:29 PM

when wood structures are built AND maintained properly, there is no need for any sort of treatment to avoid water damage.
that RV probably wouldnt have had the damage of it was maintained properly. too many people get em, use em, and never do any maintenance. those things are shaking,bouncing, vibrating, and moving a lot when traveling down roads. things are bound to happen and need maintaining.
the roof on an rv is the most neglected area. out of site out of mind. some say annual maintenance on them. i say every 6 months.

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MrRon

5666 posts in 3728 days


#7 posted 09-09-2019 07:02 PM

Mobile homes and trailers were never designed to survive a flood as from a hurricane. Any finish put on wall studs would soon get water logged and that would prevent the wood from drying out.

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edapp

300 posts in 1914 days


#8 posted 09-09-2019 07:06 PM

Same reason you dont joint/plane boards to be perfectly flat straight and square. Time, cost, and no real benefit to doing so in the final product.

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bandit571

23632 posts in 3167 days


#9 posted 09-09-2019 07:17 PM

Unless the house is a Tudor design…..

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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therealSteveN

3656 posts in 1058 days


#10 posted 09-10-2019 08:41 AM



The framing should never get wet, and the cost would be prohibitive. If it gets that wet, there are bigger problems to worry about.

- ibewjon

I agree. But all of my understanding of construction is on houses, and none of them had wheels???? Really not sure, but I would think the same thought applies to rollers.

-- Think safe, be safe

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Robert

3516 posts in 1965 days


#11 posted 09-10-2019 02:19 PM

Finish will not protect wood in a flood. Don’t believe me? Throw your dining table in the pond and see what happens :-D

Wood has to be pressure treated or of a species resistant to rot in order to achieve what you want.

Brings up a point my brother built a beach house many years ago and code required all the inside framing to be pressure treated up the the second story.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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Sark

178 posts in 844 days


#12 posted 09-10-2019 03:10 PM

I’ll add a couple of thoughts:
Framing is done with green/wet wood, not kiln dried wood. Wet wood is more flexible, resists splitting better, holds screws without pre-drilling and in general is more forgiving to use when doing a framing project. You will not find dried lumber on a construction site, except for trim work, moldings, special beams, etc… but the dimensioned lumber used for framing is wet.

I can think of one exception, and that is the Green and Green Gamble house in Pasadena, where in the attic all the visible lumber, rafters, etc… was beautifully finished. Now that famous house was the work of about 200 craftsmen who worked for 2 years on it. 400 man-years of labor. Worth a visit if you’re in California and want to see perfection in woodworking.

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Kazooman

1349 posts in 2436 days


#13 posted 09-10-2019 03:26 PM

Metal studs don’t rot.

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ibewjon

924 posts in 3277 days


#14 posted 09-10-2019 03:30 PM

Framing is not done with green, wet wood. The wood is kiln dried, just to a higher level of moisture than furniture grade lumber. About 15% for construction grade I think.

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Andre

2758 posts in 2290 days


#15 posted 09-10-2019 04:38 PM



Same reason you dont joint/plane boards to be perfectly flat straight and square. Time, cost, and no real benefit to doing so in the final product.

- edapp

LOL! are you the guy who framed (tried) my house? I was banned from site in the first week but I made sure walls were straight and square!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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