Ladder Blocking: Framing Technique for Even More Insulation

Ladder framing or ‘ladder panels’ creates space for more insulation while reducing the amount of wood needed to frame the home. By using less wood but keeping the structural integrity of the frame, we are using what engineers call “OVE,” or “optimal value engineering.”

The best application of the ladder framing technique is when we connect an interior wall to an exterior wall. By using short lumber pieces and attaching them between the studs of the exterior wall, we provide a nailing surface to support the interior wall. We can make use of scrap lumber to accomplish this.

With the exterior sheathing in place you can see the space created for insulation behind each of the perpendicular interior wall intersection studs. This eliminates a thermal bridge.

We often use ladder blocking even on interior wall intersections to save lumber.

Ladder blocking used at the intersection of interior and exterior walls provides a nailing base while allowing space for continuous insulation in the exterior wall behind the ladder framing. Another simple way to improve our building envelope by making sure we reduce those thermal breaks.