October 6, 2022

Working Off One Control Line

In this episode of Site Visit with NS Builders, I meet up with Mike Hume for a walk through of our Needham project. And I’ll explain how one control line can affect the rest of the house when framing begins. Let’s get started.


Because this house has so many corners (46… I’m not kidding!), we must make sure everything remains square as framing takes off. This can be achieved by working off of one control line down the center of the foundation. And honestly, I feel this is one of the best things we do on our jobs. 

A line was snapped at about the center of the foundation—at a point where we could run the line as long as possible to the left and right. Although this line is not technically “center,” it will work for our purpose. Then off this line, we are pulling square to the wall plates, perpendicular to that control line. 

From the control line inside the foundation, we then snap control lines up on the wall perfectly parallel to it. So even if the foundation was off square (which could happen with all these corners), we will be working off of one control line. And that line is actually going to transfer from floor to floor. Everything we do will be built off of that original control line and not relying on the foundation's outside face.

Huey Lewis was right: It’s hip to be square.  


Mike used a grinder to smooth out the top of the wall—all 400 feet—removing any rough spots or buildup. Why? To get the top of the walls as flat as possible. This way, when the sill plates go down—accompanied by acoustical sealant and standard sill seal—it will create a super tight connection between the top of the wall and the sill plate. We want this house to be as airtight as possible and this acts as an effective air seal. 

It’s time to discover what NS Builders can intentionally design and build for you! Contact us today to get started on your custom dream home. Together, we can make it happen. 

—Nick Schiffer


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