Structure Checklist

Purpose: to provide a checklist of items for dealing with structural changes for your project. 

Read time: 4 min

Order of Events
  1. Temporary Power Pole

  2. Demo Accessories


Mark the Site

This should be done by the surveyor. 


Tree Removal

Be sure to mark your gas, water, and power lines before you remove any trees. Ripping out roots next to these lines could be catastrophic, and bring a lot of unwanted issues down from the municipality. 


If you can’t remove a tree successfully, grind the stump down and go over the area for grass and mulch. Note however that this procedure can’t be done if the stump interferes with the foundation. 


Concrete and Masonry

Get your surveyor to put pins in concrete to stake out corners of masonry. This will ensure proper locations. 


Note: the concrete masonry unit (CMU) wasn’t made popular as a commercial product until will into the 1970s. If the house was built before this time period, it will likely have a pier and curtain wall system. 



Some building codes require a “drain to daylight”: drainage needs to have a cap, such as a clean rock, over the drain entrance in the crawl space. 



Door openings need to be framed 2” wider than the door size. 


Make sure you put a 2x6 at both sides of the shower and tub to allow for future glass door or shower rod installation. 


All potential TV installations should be wall-mounted. 



The International Residential Code requires a 7” rise and a 10” run. 



Before you install roofing, be sure you understand how the facade and the trim are going to be installed, and where the gutters are going. You need to be sure that there is enough overhang fo a proper shingle installation. 


Order of Operations: it’s best to fix the facade and facia prior to the roofing to guarantee a proper final roofing layout. If the roofing is done prior to the facia, there is a potential for roofing shingles not to fit. For this reason, make sure your roofing and facade is complete prior to calling out a roofer. 


Shingles are the lowest-cost option, but no permitted on low-slope roofs. Note that you must have a minimum 12/2 pitch for shingle usage, however it is more recommended that you have a 12/3 pitch. Failure to do so will result in the collection of material on the roof, and water will wick under the shingles, causing failure and myriad future issues. 


Flat roofs are either TPO or EPDM, and are more expensive as they take skill and more expensive material to install. 


The bathroom widths and dimensions are critical hold measurements that must be verified, especially around the bathtubs. 


A framing inspection is needed for projects with additions; framing inspections will fail without one. This is a service that can be provided by the surveyor for a few hundred dollars if they have already completed the initial survey. Expect to pay $150 to $200.


Instructional Videos

“The Honest Carpenter” provides a great 12-minute framing tutorial that gives you all the basic knowledge you need to understand house construction and framing members. 

Perkins Builder Brothers provides a step-by-step instructional video on how to framing a basic window rough opening in a wall, from how to do layout on wall plates to assembling the jacks, cripples, sill, header, and king studs. 

Perkins Builder Brothers explains how to lay out walls, floors, and roofs. Specifically, framing layout and spacing, the most common layout types, and how to measure and mark layouts for studs, joists, and trusses.