• Play the Inspector Game!
    Play the Inspector Game!
  • The Hobbit House and More
    The Hobbit House and More
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
  • Video: Build a curved step
    Video: Build a curved step
  • Deck Design & Construction
    Deck Design & Construction
  • How to Install Housewrap Solo
    How to Install Housewrap Solo
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details
  • Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • Electrical Articles & Videos
    Electrical Articles & Videos
  • Shorten a Prehung Door
    Shorten a Prehung Door
  • 9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
  • The Passive House Build
    The Passive House Build
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • Buyer's Guide to Insulation
    Buyer's Guide to Insulation
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • Remodeling in Action
    Remodeling in Action
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • 12 Remodeling Secrets
    12 Remodeling Secrets
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting

Frame a Top-Plate Ladder

A typical detail in wood-framed houses is a recess for a standard medicine cabinet. You make it by blocking out a rough opening 14-1/2 in. wide (usually starting 3 in. from the end of the end wall adjacent to the bath sink) and 24 in. tall. I hook my tape on the bottom plate and make marks for the blocks at 4 ft. and 6 ft. above the plate. At this point, I like to add a third block at 2 ft. off the floor. Once the walls are raised, this gives me a built-in ladder so that I can climb up onto the top plates to top off, plumb and line, or spread joists or trusses.

Jud Peake, Oakland, CA