Framing NZ Standards

Please note the differences in framing styles between the Australian and NZ ways.

Changing the framing to comply with local council requirements to use the “Framing Panelization Tool” is very time-consuming.

Is it possible to have more options to select from in the “Wall tool”?


An option to set a NEW DEFAULT after changes have been made to a wall?

Although it is best practice to make all the changes in the end, it is not always practical or a good solution. Custom changes get lost—situations where changes to wall parameters happen pretty often after custom changes are made. As you would know, all the custom changes are then lost, and take-offs are regarded as incorrect and untrustworthy…

Hi Neil can you be more specific, so others can chime in? Could you upload some images showing the NZ AU differences if you have a minute?

When you make a change by adding a member/s to walls with the beam tool or other, the process to save these items is:
1.Draw the extra member
2. Select the wall and the member ( group or component or beam object) click +Walls
3. Right-click the wall and the items you wish to add to the wall ( Use Shift)
4. Select +objects to wall
5. To add new objects select Add Object to wall to remove pre-existing objects select [b]Remove All Objects
How to save manual changes to PlusSpecs PlusDesignBuild  walls roof rafter etc using add object to walll .jpg

Have you seen the video I did on creating Vignettes? This saves wall-type configurations, I have not tested it to remember plate overrides, yet It won’t work for manual overrides (at this stage). If you could add a few screenshots of your preferred frame configuration, that would help. I will get them into development.

Ideally, we get a consensus before making changes, as many framing options are specific to carpenters/builders’ preferences instead of to Code. I was under the impression New Zealand and Australia worked under the same timber framing code. AS1684?

Currently, you can change the bottom plate size and grade as you asked in the email you sent; you can do this on one wall or multiple walls by:

  1. Select a wall ( Space bar is the keyboard shortcut for select) you can use Shift to select multiple walls. Or you could right-click a framed wall and select all connected walls
  2. Hover over +Walls
  3. left click on ADV. framing option (PlusDesignBuild Only)
  4. Scroll down to Bottom plate Override and choose the material size, grading and treatment type ( See image below for detailed instructions)
    Change bottom plate size and grading to pressure treaded in PlusSpecs PlusDesignBuild .jpg

Note: you can also change the Junction configuration from/to standard 4Stud 3 Stud to 2 Stud corner, California Corner, and you can offer your top plates, so they lap the adjoining adjacent wall (instead of using Gangnails/Nail plates)

Framing Disparities.pngThanks for your help Andrew,

NZ does not use the same building code as Australia. The NZ version is NZ3604.

No doubt that there will be many similarities; however, the difference does cause time-consuming adjustments.

Vignettes certainly do help a great deal and are being used extensively. However, the take-offs are incorrect, and all the Penalisation Drawing needs to be manually changed to comply with NZ3604.

Once again, this is very time-consuming and can take up to a couple of days to get sorted. Providing there are no changes required that cause the drawings to revert to the PlusSpec default. If that happens, it is back to square one.

Ok, thanks Neil item 1 is to remove the head trimmer under the header/Lintel. The workaround at the moment is to type in a negative “frame buffer top” in the frame section of the wall tool . This way you only need to delete the header trimmer instead of moving the lintel height and jamb studs. You could also save this as a vignette.
this is the workaround for doing so.

  1. Go to the wall tool
  2. scroll down to Framing
  3. Type a negative number in “frame buffer top” ( in your case, it would be the window/lintel clearance minus the thickness of the framing timber/wood/lumber) If using 90x45 and you may need a 20mm clearance (depending on lintel deflection) between the header and window the equation would be 20mm-45mm=-25mm so type in -25mm in the “frame buffer top” section of the wall tool.
  4. click submit
  5. Draw all walls
  6. Add joists or roofs etc. in a vignette and save it as a component in the component menu inside Sketchup
  7. Delete the header trimmer
    Removing header trimmer from wall frame when using double header lintels.jpg
    I know it’s not ideal, but it will save you a lot of time editing frames.

FYI: We do this in Australia because we only use single lintels on smaller spans or non-loadbearing walls, and therefore the frame needs to be packed out for plasterboard (GIB/ Drywall) or external cladding. I assume you use a batten for cladding packing.
Item 2 Add extra jack/cripple studs under the sill trimmer.Yes, I agree with this one. The way it delivers is the cheapest method of building wall frames, but I would always add these studs on my jobs. The current workaround is to select the existing Jack cripple (when deleting the lintel trimmer above) and use CTRL MOVE to position the new studs.
Wall framing member names Australia New Zealand USA UK ireland.jpg

Item 3
Different size Ribbon/ Top plate. This is an unusual one. We will have to develop this one. Currently, the best workaround is to use the beam tool and click the flip plate option; yet we do have the option hidden in the masonry wall tool as a top plate, so this should not be too hard. All we need is the selection criteria.
Ribbon plate with beam tool.jpg

  1. choose beam tool
  2. choose beam type (note masonry wall already has a top plate option)
  3. Choose the section size of material
  4. Scroll down and click Plate flip
  5. click submit
  6. draw a plate; you have two options: Option 1 click from one end of the frame and double click on the opposite end of the frame. This will create the plate at the length.
    Option 2 draw a plate around 400 long> copy and rotate. Move all plates to the top of each wall that needs the special size ribbon plate. Select the beam and right-click “extend beams” or “mitre beams” Mitre beams will be faster as it will extend both plates at the same time.

The good news is that the changes are in development; we are still working on removing the head trimmer.
Wall frmaing stud configuration in PlusSpec.png

Guys, reach out to me on LinkedIn to get Beta access.

Hi Neil, you will be happy to know we have made changes to align wall battens with studs. This should save you hours. Neil, if you don’t already have it, contact Tyler for the latest Beta. You will also notice you now have the ability to turn battens off and on inside the shop drawing wall frame tool