Title:
Construction framing system and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The framing fastener is made up of a configuration of plates used to attach any number of posts and beams to each other or to a base material. The framing fastener may include a substantially flat first plate with at least one hole extending there through and a substantially flat second plate with a hook formed at one edge thereof. The first and second plates are attached together such that the first and second plates are substantially coplanar or substantially perpendicular. The first plate of the framing fastener is attached to a post by means of one or more fastening rods. Then a beam is attached to the second plate of the framing fastener by means of one or more fastening rods, one of which rests in the hook.



Inventors:
Homma, Yoichi (Ladera Ranch, CA, US)
Kikuiri, Hiroyuki (Irvine, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/352390
Publication Date:
08/16/2007
Filing Date:
02/10/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/653.1, 52/712
International Classes:
E04H12/00; E04B1/38
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
AMIRI, NAHID
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP (PA) (Palo Alto, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A framing fastener comprising: a substantially flat first plate with at least one hole extending there through; and a substantially flat second plate with a hook formed at one edge thereof, wherein said first and second plates are attached to one another such that said first and second plates are either substantially coplanar or substantially perpendicular to one another.

2. The framing fastener of claim 1, wherein said at least one hole is disposed near an edge of said first plate remote from said hook.

3. The framing fastener of claim 1, wherein said at least one hole is disposed remote from a junction between said first plate and said second plate.

4. The framing fastener of claim 1, wherein said first plate includes at least two holes extending there through.

5. The framing fastener of claim 1, wherein said first plate includes four holes extending there through.

6. The framing fastener of claim 1, wherein said second plate includes at least one hole extending there through.

7. The framing fastener of claim 1, wherein said first plate and said second plate are welded to one another.

8. The framing fastener of claim 1, wherein said first plate and said second plate are manufactured as an integral unit.

9. The framing fastener of claim 8 wherein said first plate and said second plate are stamped or laser cut.

10. A framing fastener comprising: a first plate having opposing substantially flat sides with at least one hole extending there through; and a second plate having opposing substantially flat sides and a hook formed at one edge thereof, wherein said first and second plates are attached to one another such that said first plate's substantially flat sides and said second plate's substantially flat sides are either substantially coplanar or substantially perpendicular to one another.

11. The framing fastener of claim 10, wherein said at least one hole is disposed near an edge of said first plate remote from said hook.

12. The framing fastener of claim 10, wherein said at least one hole is disposed remote from a junction between said first plate and said second plate.

13. The framing fastener of claim 10, wherein said first plate includes at least two holes extending there through.

14. The framing fastener of claim 10, wherein said first plate includes four holes extending there through.

15. The framing fastener of claim 10, wherein said second plate includes at least one hole extending there through.

16. The framing fastener of claim 10, wherein said first plate and said second plate are welded to one another.

17. The framing fastener of claim 10, wherein said first plate and said second plate are manufactured as an integral unit.

18. The framing fastener of claim 17 wherein said first plate and said second plate are stamped or laser cut.

19. A framing fastener comprising: a substantially flat first plate with at least one hole extending there through; and a substantially flat second plate with a hook formed at one edge thereof, wherein said first and second plates are attached to one another such that said second plate is substantially perpendicular to said first plate.

20. A framing fastener comprising: a substantially flat first plate with at least one hole extending there through; and a substantially flat second plate with a hook formed at one edge thereof, wherein said first and second plates are attached to one another such that said first and second plates are substantially coplanar.

21. The framing fastener of claim 20, further comprising a substantially flat third plate with a hook formed at one edge thereof, wherein said third plate is substantially perpendicular to said first plate.

22. The framing fastener of claim 21, further comprising a substantially flat fourth plate with a hook formed at one edge thereof, wherein said fourth plate is substantially coplanar with said first plate and substantially perpendicular to said third plate.

23. The framing fastener of claim 21, further comprising a substantially flat fourth plate with a hook formed at one edge thereof, wherein said fourth plate is substantially perpendicular to said first plate and substantially coplanar with said third plate.

24. The framing fastener of claim 22, further comprising a substantially flat fifth plate with a hook formed at one edge thereof, wherein said fifth plate is substantially perpendicular to said first plate, and substantially coplanar with said third plate.

25. The framing fastener of claim 24, further comprising a substantially flat sixth plate with at least one hole extending there through, wherein said sixth plate is substantially coplanar with said first plate and substantially perpendicular to said third plate.

26. The framing fastener of claim 20, further comprising a substantially flat third plate with a hook formed at one edge thereof, wherein said third plate is substantially coplanar with said first plate.

27. The framing fastener of claim 20, further comprising a substantially flat third plate with at least one hole extending there through, wherein said third plate is substantially coplanar with said first plate.

28. The framing fastener of claim 27, further comprising a substantially flat fourth plate with a hook formed at one edge thereof, wherein said fourth plate is substantially coplanar with said first plate.

29. The framing fastener of claim 27, further comprising a substantially flat fourth plate with a hook formed at one edge thereof, wherein said fourth plate is substantially perpendicular to said first plate.

30. The framing fastener of claim 27, further comprising a substantially flat fifth plate with a hook formed at one edge thereof, wherein said fifth plate is substantially perpendicular to said first plate and substantially coplanar with said fourth plate.

31. A framing fastener comprising: a first plate having opposing substantially flat sides with at least one hole extending there through; and a second plate having opposing substantially flat sides and a hook formed at one edge thereof, wherein said first and second plates are attached to one another such that said first plate's substantially flat sides and said second plate's substantially flat sides are substantially perpendicular to one another.

32. A framing fastener comprising: a first plate having opposing substantially flat sides with at least one hole extending there through; and a second plate having opposing substantially flat sides and a hook formed at one edge thereof, wherein said first and second plates are attached to one another such that said first plate's substantially flat sides and said second plate's substantially flat sides are substantially coplanar to one another.

33. The framing fastener of claim 32, further comprising a third plate having opposing substantially flat sides and a hook formed at one edge thereof, wherein said third plate is substantially perpendicular to said first plate.

34. The framing fastener of claim 32, further comprising a fourth plate having opposing substantially flat sides and a hook formed at one edge thereof, wherein said fourth plate is substantially coplanar with said first plate and substantially perpendicular to said third plate.

35. The framing fastener of claim 32, further comprising a fourth plate having opposing substantially flat sides and a hook formed at one edge thereof, wherein said fourth plate is substantially perpendicular to said first plate and substantially coplanar with said third plate.

36. The framing fastener of claim 33, further comprising a fifth plate having opposing substantially flat sides and a hook formed at one edge thereof, wherein said fifth plate is substantially perpendicular to said first plate, and substantially coplanar with said third plate.

37. The framing fastener of claim 36, further comprising a sixth plate having opposing substantially flat sides with at least one hole extending there through, wherein said sixth plate is substantially coplanar with said first plate and substantially perpendicular to said third plate.

38. The framing fastener of claim 32, further comprising a third plate having opposing substantially flat sides and a hook formed at one edge thereof, wherein said third plate is substantially coplanar with said first plate.

39. The framing fastener of claim 32, further comprising a third plate having opposing substantially flat sides with at least one hole extending there through, wherein said third plate is substantially coplanar with said first plate.

40. The framing fastener of claim 39, further comprising a fourth plate having opposing substantially flat sides and a hook formed at one edge thereof, wherein said fourth plate is substantially coplanar with said first plate.

41. The framing fastener of claim 39, further comprising a fourth plate having opposing substantially flat sides and a hook formed at one edge thereof, wherein said fourth plate is substantially perpendicular to said first plate.

42. The framing fastener of claim 39, further comprising a fifth plate having opposing substantially flat sides and a hook formed at one edge thereof, wherein said fifth plate is substantially perpendicular to said first plate and substantially coplanar with said fourth plate.

43. The framing fastener comprising: a substantially flat first plate with at least one hole extending there through; and at least one other plate selected from a group consisting of: a substantially flat second plate with a hook formed at one edge thereof, wherein said first and second plates are attached to one another such that said first and second plates are substantially coplanar with one another; a substantially flat third plate with a hook formed at one edge thereof, wherein said first and third plates are attached to one another such that said first and third plates are substantially perpendicular to one another a substantially flat fourth plate with a hook formed at one edge thereof, wherein said first and fourth plates are attached to one another such that said first and fourth plates are substantially perpendicular to one another; a substantially flat fifth plate with a hook formed at one edge thereof, wherein said first and fifth plates are attached to one another such that said first and fifth plates are substantially coplanar with one another; a substantially flat sixth plate with at least one hole extending there through, wherein said first and sixth plates are attached to one another such that said first and sixth plates are substantially coplanar with one another.

44. A framing system comprising: a post having opposing first and second post ends, wherein a post slot is formed at the second post end that extends into said post towards said first post end, and wherein at least one post hole is defined through said post in a direction substantially perpendicular to said post slot; a beam having opposing first and second beam ends, wherein a beam slot is formed at the second beam end that extends into said beam towards said first beam end, and wherein at least one beam hole is defined through said beam in a direction substantially perpendicular to said beam slot; a framing fastener comprising: a substantially flat first plate with at least one framing hole extending there through, said framing hole having a diameter larger than a diameter of said post hole, where said first plate is configured to be received within said first slot; and a substantially flat second plate that forms a hook at one edge thereof, where said second plate is configured to be received within the second slot, and said first and second plates are attached to one another such that said first and second plates are either substantially coplanar or substantially perpendicular to one another.

45. The framing system of claim 44 further comprising a second slot formed in the second post end such that it is substantially perpendicular to said post slot.

46. The framing system of claim 44, further comprising at least first and second pins configured to be friction fit in the holes in the post and beam, such that when assembled the first plate is held in the first slot by the first pin and the second plate is held in the second slot by the second pin.

47. The framing system of claim 44 further comprising beam and post made from standard lumber.

48. The framing system of claim 44 further comprising a beam and post made from a material selected from the group consisting of laminated strand lumber; solid wood; laminated veneer lumber; parallel strand lumber; glue-laminated lumber; and combinations thereof.

49. The framing fastener of claim 1, wherein the first and second plates form an L-shape with one another.

50. The framing fastener of claim 1 further being sized to receive 4×4 and 4×6 posts and beams;

51. The framing fastener of claim 1, wherein an edge of said second plate opposite said hook forms a right angle with an edge of said first plate.

52. The framing fastener of claim 1, wherein said hook is formed in said second plate near a corner of said second plate.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The embodiments disclosed herein relate to a system and method for constructing buildings and, in particular, to a system and method for constructing buildings using framing fasteners.

DESCRIPTION OF THE RELATED ART

Most current systems and methods for the construction of wooden framed buildings or structures require that skilled framers or carpenters measure, cut, and join lengths of lumber or timber for framing walls, roofs, etc. These lengths of lumber are generally used to form the structural framework of the building and include posts, beams, studs, headers, sills, rafters, etc. The various components of the structural framework are generally joined to one another using nails, screws, or glue. Once the structural framework has been completed, the remainder of the structure or building is assembled, including adding dry-wall, etc.

Traditional wooden framing systems, however, suffer from a number of drawbacks. For example, such framing systems are highly complicated, often requiring a plethora of components, including different sizes of lumber, such as 2″×4″ or 4″×4″ beams and posts, different brackets, bolts, nails and screws, etc. Such framing systems also typically require many skilled construction workers who are capable of reading building plans, measuring, cutting, laying-out, and joining the various components of the building or structure together. These drawbacks lead to increased construction costs and long construction times.

In light of the above described high costs, skilled labor requirements, and long construction times, many attempts have been made to increase the efficiency of the construction process by using pre-fabricated components. Such pre-fabricated components can be made offsite and in advance and then later assembled onsite by less skilled laborers in less time. However, such pre-fabricated components typically require many different types of brackets or connectors to couple the various pre-fabricated components together. Furthermore, these brackets or connectors often require many different types of nails, screws, or bolts to fasten the brackets or connectors to the pre-fabricated components. Still further, the manufacturing and purchase costs of complicated prefabricated components is high. In addition, the complexity of assembly using many different types of brackets or connectors again requires skilled labor.

In light of the above, it would be highly desirable to provide a framing system that allows structures or buildings to be assembled quickly, inexpensively, and easily. Moreover, such a framing system should have few variations in lumber and brackets and connectors to construct a large variety of structures. Furthermore it would be desirable to provide a framing system that requires fewer construction workers having a lower skill level who can assemble a structure with a small set of brackets or connectors in a shorter amount of time and for a lower cost.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the invention there is provided a framing fastener including at least a first and second plate attached to one another such that the second plate is substantially perpendicular or substantially parallel to the first plate. The first plate has opposing substantially flat sides with at least one hole extending there through. The second plate has opposing substantially flat sides with a hook formed near an edge thereof. The first plate may contain more than one hole through which one or more fastening rods are inserted. The second plate may contain no holes or multiple holes. At least one fastening rod is positioned such that it rests in the second plate's hook. If the second plate contains one or more holes further fastening rods are inserted through the corresponding holes.

The framing fastener may contain more than two plates. The plates contained in the framing fastener may be similar to the second plate, such that they have hooks, at any location surrounding the first plate. For example, the fastener may contain four such plates where two plates extend on either side of the first plate parallel to the first plate and two other plates extend on either side of the first plate perpendicular to the first plate. A plate similar to the first plate may also extend above the first plate, i.e., coaxial and coplanar with the first plate. Alternatively, the first plate may be replaced with an anchor used to secure the framing fastener to a base material.

A framing system makes use of the above described framing fastener to secure any number of posts and beams to each other or to a base material. This is achieved by attaching posts and beams to the framing fastener by means of fastening rods. A post which contains a post slot for receiving the first plate of the framing fastener and a post hole which extends through the post perpendicular to the post slot is provided. Likewise a beam which contains a beam slot for receiving the second plate of the framing fastener and a beam hole that extends through the beam perpendicular to the beam slot is provided. The first plate is placed in the post slot and secured with one or more fastening rods running through the post hole(s) and hole(s) of the first plate of the framing fastener. A fastening rod is placed through the beam holes. The beam is then lifted over the second plate such that the second plate is received within the beam slot and secured when the fastening rod slides into the hook on the second plate of the framing fastener. If more holes exist in the beam and the second plate, further fastening rods are inserted through these corresponding holes to further secure the beam to the framing fastener. A beam may be secured to two posts on either end of the beam simultaneously.

Accordingly, the above described framing fastener, framing system and method for constructing buildings or structures requires a small set of framing fasteners, fastening rods, beams, and posts. A standard type of beam, post, and fastening rod can be used at each junction. Only the framing fastener configuration will change depending on its use. One advantage of using a small set of components is that one can easily and inexpensively construct a building or structure using unskilled labor in a short amount of time.

For a better understanding of the nature and objects of the invention reference should be made to the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings described below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a framing system, according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the framing system shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an isometric view of a framing fastener, according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 4 is an isometric view of another framing fastener, according to another embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 5 is an isometric view of yet another framing fastener, according to yet another embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 6 is an isometric view of one other framing fastener, according to one other embodiment of the invention;

FIGS. 7A and 7B are isometric views of other framing fasteners, according to other embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 8 is an isometric view of yet another framing fastener, according yet another embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 9 is an isometric view of still another framing fastener, according to still another embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 10 is an isometric view of yet another framing fastener, according to yet another embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 11 is an isometric view of another framing fastener, according to another embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 12A is a side cross-sectional view of a framing system, according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 12B is front cross-sectional view of the framing system shown in FIG. 12A;

FIG. 13A is a side cross-sectional view of yet another framing system, according to yet another embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 13B is a front cross-sectional view of the framing system shown in FIG. 13A.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The following describes a framing system used to construct, assemble, or build a building or structure that includes posts and beams held together by framing fasteners and fastening rods. The posts and the beams serve the purpose of supporting the walls, ceilings, and floors of a building or other structure. The posts generally provide vertical support elements of the structure, and the beams generally provide horizontal support elements of the structure. Any combination of posts and beams can be used to construct a building or structure having one or more floors. The framing system may generally be used to attach: one post to one beam; one post to a base material; two opposing beams to a post; two beams disposed at right angles to one another to a post; three beams, where two are opposite each other and the third is substantially perpendicular to the other two, to a post; four beams, each being at right angles to a neighboring beam, to a post; a beam or beams extending from a post at right angles; a beam or beams extending from the post at obtuse or acute angles; or a first post attached to a second post.

Details of the Framing System Will Now be Described.

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a framing system 100 according to an embodiment of the invention. FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the framing system shown in FIG. 1 and shows some elements not visible and not labeled in FIG. 1. For ease of reference, the framing system 100 described below in relation to FIGS. 1 and 2 shows a partial view of a single post 102 and a partial view of a single beam 104. However, as will become evident from the description of the remainder of the figures, the framing system may be used to couple multiple beams and multiple posts.

The basic elements of the framing system 100 described below may be used to couple beams and posts to one another to assemble a building or structure having one or more floors. In general, this building or structure has vertical posts and horizontal beams. However, one skilled in the art will appreciate that any structure, such as building having sloped or curved walls, may also be constructed using the framing system 100 described below. Please note that the use of the term vertical refers to an axis that is parallel to a gravity vector, and the term horizontal refers to an axis perpendicular to the gravity vector.

The framing system 100 includes a post 102, a beam 104, a framing fastener 106, and fastening rods 108. Once assembled, the post 102 supports the beam 104 using the framing fastener 106 and fastening rods 108.

The heights, widths, and lengths of the post 102 (HP, WP, LP) and beam 104 (HB, WB, LB) may be any suitable dimensions dictated by engineering statics calculations and building codes. In addition, the post 102 and beam 104 may be made out of any suitable material such as wood, particle board, pressboard, metal, or plastic. In some embodiments, the post and beam are made from laminated veneer lumber (LVL), laminated strand lumber (LSL), glue-laminated lumber (GLULAM), parallel strand lumber (PSL), or composite lumber, which exhibit little warpage winding or shrinkage. To reduce costs and simplify manufacturing and construction, standard lumber may be used. For example, the post 102 and beam 104 may be the standard dimensioned lumber, such as 2″×4″ or 4″×4″, commonly used in wooden frame construction in the United States.

In one embodiment the posts 102 and beams 104 have the same dimensions and contain the identical slots and holes (described below) such that each can be used interchangeably with the other. In other embodiments the posts 102 and beams 104 may be manufactured with different dimensions, slots and holes to one another. Furthermore, some specialized applications may require posts 102 or beams 104 with different configurations.

The post 102 defines a slot 116 (not shown in FIG. 1) at one or both of its opposing ends 112 and 114. Similarly, the beam 104 defines a slot 128 at one or both of its opposing ends 125 and 126. The slots 116 and 128 may extend completely across the end of the post or beam, or the slots 116 and 128 may extend only far enough to receive the framing fastener 106. The post 102 may also include one or more holes 118 extending through the post near its end(s) such that the holes 118 from each side of the slot 116 are aligned. Similarly, the beam 104 may include one or more holes 130 near its end(s) such that the holes 130 at each side of the slot 128 are aligned. The slot 116 defined in the post (or post slot) and the slot 128 defined in the beam (or beam slot) are typically formed by cutting the post and beam with a saw, such as a circular saw or the like, that cuts entirely through the end of the post 102 or beam 104, as shown. Alternatively, as mentioned above, the slots 116 and 128 may also be cut just large enough to receive the framing fastener 106. The post holes 118 and beam holes 130 are typically made by drilling entirely through the ends of the post 102 or beam 104 perpendicular to the slots 116 and 128. The holes 118 and 130 are located such that they are aligned with the framing fastener holes 120 and/or the framing fastener hook 110 (described below). The post and bean may include as few or as many post holes 118 and beam holes 130 as required; however, most embodiments require multiple post holes 118 and at least one beam hole 130.

In its simplest form, the framing fastener 106 includes a first plate 122 and a second plate 124. Each of the first and second plates has substantially flat opposing sides separated by a predetermined thickness of the plates. In this embodiment, the first plate 122 is disposed co-planar with, and at a right angle (A) to, the second plate. The first plate 122 defines at least one hole 120 there through that extends from one flat side of the plate 122 to the other. In some embodiments, the second plate 124 also defines one or more holes 121 there through, although such holes 121 are not required in all embodiments.

The second plate 124 further defines a framing fastener hook 110 that is formed near one edge of the plate. In some embodiments, the framing fastener hook 110 defines a recess with substantially sloping hook side walls 132 that join at a seat 134. Once assembled, the seat 134 supports a fastening rod 108 that extends through the beam hole 130 located near an end 126 of the beam 104.

The framing fastener 106 can be made of any material capable of withstanding the compressive and tensile forces necessary to support the structure, and may, for example, be a metal, plastic, or a composite material. In some embodiments the framing fastener 106 may be made of, covered or treated with a non-corrosive material, such as a galvanized or anodized metal or aluminum. However, it should be appreciated by one skilled in the art that the material and dimensions of the framing fastener may be varied based on the weight and size of the post 102 and beam 104, the weight being carried by the framing fastener 106 (e.g., one or more floors), the type of post 102 and beam 104 used (e.g. metal or wood), or the like.

In embodiments of the framing fastener 106 where the plates are arranged substantially coplanar to each other (see FIG. 3), the framing fastener 106 may be manufactured by stamping all the plates as an integral unit. In other embodiments, the plates are cut to shape by a laser, water jet, plasma, or die cutting process, or are formed in molds, as an integral unit. In the embodiments where the plates are disposed substantially perpendicular to each other (see FIG. 7), the plates may be cut to size, such as by stamping or laser cutting, and subsequently welded or otherwise bonded together. Alternatively, the plates may be cast as a single unit.

The fastening rods 108 are configured to couple the framing fastener 106 to a corresponding post 102 or beam 104. In some embodiments, the fastening rod 108 is a nail, screw, bolt, or drift pin. FIGS. 1 and 2 show an embodiment in which the fastening rods 108 are a bolt having a smooth shaft with threads formed at one end thereof and a head at the other. A nut is then used to secure the bolt to the beam 104 or post 102.

Alternatively, a drift pin may be used. A drift pin is a pin held in place by friction. It is configured with a smooth surface diameter that is similar to the diameter of the hole into which it is inserted. One end of the drift pin is covered with knurling, bumps, or ridges extending out from the smooth surface. When the drift pin is hammered into a hole the knurling, bumps, or ridges either deform or they deform the interior surface of the hole, thereby forming a frictional lock with the surface of the hole to secure the drift pin in the hole.

Each fastening rod 108 is made of any material capable of withstanding the compressive and tensile forces necessary to support the structure such as metal, plastic, or a composite material. In some embodiments the fastening rod 108 may be made of or covered with a non-corrosive material such as a galvanized or anodized metal or aluminum.

In use, a structure is assembled by using the beams 104, posts 102, framing fasteners 106, and fastening rods 108 described above. The posts 102 and beams 104 are used to support walls, floors, ceilings, roofs, and other framing elements of a structure. A description of the assembly of the framing system follows.

Initially, a first plate 122 of the framing fastener 106 is inserted into a slot 116 in the post 102. The framing fastener 106 is secured to the post 102 by inserting one or more fastening rods 108 through the holes 118 in the post 102 and through the holes 120 in the first plate 122. This may be performed by hammering a drift pin into a hole 118 in the post 102, by inserting a bolt into a hole 118 and threading a nut 136 onto the end of the bolt, or by any other suitable fastening method. Other fastening rod(s) 108 may also be secured to the post 102.

A fastening rod 138 is then inserted through the holes 130 in the beam 104 and secured in place any suitable method. The beam 104 is then lifted over the framing fastener 106 and lowered such that the fastening rod 138 secured to the beam 104 contacts the sloping walls 132 of the framing fastener hook 110 and is guided into the seat 134 of the fastener hook 110. This allows the beam 104 to be supported by the framing fastener 106, which in turn is held in position by the fastening rods 108 securing the framing fastener 106 to the post 102.

It should be appreciated that while the above description only describes one side of the beam, the opposing end of the beam may also be supported by a similar framing fastener coupled to another post. In other words, the beam 104 may be lifted into place and supported by opposing posts and framing fasteners at each end of the beam 104. It should be appreciated that fastening rod 138 may be the same as fastening rod 108.

After the beam 104 is lowered into place, additional fastening rods 142 may be inserted into additional holes 131 in the beam and the additional holes 121 in the second plate 140 of the framing fastener 106. These additional fastening rods 142 are secured in place, as described above, to securely couple the beam 104 to the framing fastener 106. It should be appreciated that fastening rod 142 may be the same as fastening rod 108.

As will be described below in relation to FIGS. 4 to 11, depending on the configuration of the framing fastener 106, more beams 104 may be hung on the framing fastener 106 in a similar manner to that described above until the desired number of beams 104 extend from the framing fastener 106. In the embodiment described in relation to FIG. 4 below, following the securing of all of the beams 104, another post 102 may be secured to the top of the framing fastener 106 by means of one or more fastening rods 108. However, for ease of assembly, the top post 102 may be secured to the framing fastener 106 before the beams 104 are hung. The general steps of securing the posts 102 to the framing fastener 106 and hanging the beams 104 on the framing fastener 106 are repeated until the structure is fully assembled.

FIG. 3 is an isometric view of the framing fastener 300, which is the same as that shown and described in relation to FIGS. 1 and 2. As described above the framing fastener 300 includes a first plate 302 defining at least one hole 306 therein and a second plate 304 defining a framing fastener hook 308 with sloping hook sidewalls 310 that join at a seat 312. In this embodiment the first plate 302 and the second plate 304 are substantially coplanar to each other.

In some embodiments, the first plate 302 defines one hole 306, while in other embodiments the first plate 302 defines two or more holes 306. Similarly, the second plate 304 may define one or more holes 314. FIG. 3 shows an embodiment in which the first plate 302 defines four holes 306 and the second plate 304 defines one hole 314.

FIG. 4 is an isometric view of another framing fastener 400, according to another embodiment of the invention. In FIG. 4 the framing fastener 400 includes three plates 402, 404, 416. The first plate 402 is substantially the same as the first plate 302 shown in FIG. 3. The second plate 404 is substantially the same as the second plate 304 shown in FIG. 3. The third plate 416 is substantially the same as the first plate 302 in FIG. 3 but is attached above the first plate 402, i.e., substantially coplanar and coaxial with the first plate 402. This third plate 416 allows an additional post to be coupled to the framing fastener 400 directly above and collinear with the first post (102 of FIG. 1). In some embodiments the third plate 416 defines one or more holes 406 there through, as with the first plate 302 described in FIG. 3. All of the plates 402, 404, 416 in FIG. 4 are substantially coplanar to each other. The additional post may be coupled to the third plate in a similar manner to the coupling of the post (e.g., 102 of FIG. 1) to the first plate (e.g., 122 of FIG. 1) as described in relation to FIG. 1.

Another embodiment not explicitly shown contains a first plate 402 and a third plate 416 attached above the first plate 402 but with no second plate 404. This embodiment may be used to join two posts to one another without any beams extending from the fastener. This type of fastener might be used, for example, to increase the length of a post.

FIG. 5 is an isometric view of yet another framing fastener 500 according to yet another embodiment of the invention. In FIG. 5 the framing fastener 500 includes three plate 502, 504, 514. The first plate 502 is substantially the same as the first plate 302 shown in FIG. 3. The second plate 504 is substantially the same as the second plates 304 shown in FIG. 3. The third plate 514 is attached to the opposite side of the first plate 502 and is substantially the same as, but mirrors, the second plate 504. In some embodiments the third plate 514 defines no holes 506 or one or more holes 506 just like the second plate 304 shown in FIG. 3. All the plates are substantially coplanar to each other. This embodiment allows an additional beam to be coupled to the third plate 514 in a similar manner to the coupling of the beam (e.g., 104 of FIG. 1) to the second plate (e.g., 140 of FIG. 1), i.e., two opposing beams are coupled to a top of a post to form a T-shaped structure, as described in relation to FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is an isometric view of one other framing fastener 600, according to one other embodiment of the invention. In FIG. 6 the framing fastener 600 includes four plates 602, 604, 614, 616. The first plate 602 is substantially the same as the first plate 302 shown in FIG. 3. The second plate 604 is substantially the same as the second plate 304 shown in FIG. 3. The third plate 614 is substantially the same as the third plate 514 shown in FIG. 5. The fourth plate 616 is attached above the first plate 602 and is substantially similar to the third plate 416 shown in FIG. 4. In some embodiments the fourth plate 616 contains one or more holes 606 just like the first plate 302 plate shown in FIG. 3. All the plates are substantially coplanar to each other. This embodiment allows two opposing beams and a post to be coupled to a supporting post to form a plus-sign shaped structure.

FIG. 7A is an isometric view of another framing fastener 700 according to another embodiment of the invention. In FIG. 7A the framing fastener 700 includes a wedge shaped anchor 718 and three plates 704, 716, 714. The first plate 704 attaches to one side of the anchor 718 and is substantially the same as the second plate 604 shown in FIG. 6. The second plate 716 is attached directly above the anchor 718 and is substantially the same as the fourth plate 616 shown in FIG. 6. The third plate 714 is attached to the opposite side of the anchor 718 and is substantially the same as the fourth plate 616 shown in FIG. 6. All the plates are substantially coplanar to each other.

The anchor 718 is used instead of a plate as described in any of the previous or following embodiments of the framing fastener 700. The anchor 718 is used to secure the framing fastener 700 in a suitable base material, such as concrete. The anchor 718 may be of any shape such that it secures the framing fastener 700 to the base material. It could be a substantially flat wedge-shaped (as shown), or a deformed rod or plate, as shown by reference numeral 720 in FIG. 7B. FIGS. 7A and 7B illustrate a configuration of the framing fastener 700 that could be used to support two side floor beams and a post.

When an anchor 718 is used in assembling the ground floor of a building or structure an anchoring step is added to the assembly process. In other words, initially, the anchor 718 is secured into the base material such as a concrete foundation. In some embodiments, a post (e.g., 102 in FIG. 1) is secured to the framing fastener 700 by the same method as described above. Finally the beam(s) (e.g., 104 in FIG. 1) are attached to the framing fastener 700 by the same method as described above. In other embodiments the first floor is assembled by another means that does not include an anchor 718.

FIG. 8 is an isometric view of yet another framing fastener 800. In FIG. 8 the framing fastener 800 includes three plates 802, 804, 818. The first plate 802 is substantially the same as the first plate 302 shown in FIG. 3. The second plate 804 is substantially the same as the second plate 304 shown in FIG. 3. The third plate 818 is attached to one side of the first plate 802 substantially perpendicular to the first plate 802. The third plate 818 is substantially the same as the first plate 802 in configuration. The number of holes 806 in each plate may vary as described in previous embodiments.

Another embodiment not explicitly shown contains a first plate 802 and a third plate 818 attached substantially perpendicular to the first plate 802 but without a second plate 804. This embodiment might be used to attach a post (e.g., 102 in FIG. 1) to a beam (e.g., 104 in FIG. 1) in the same fashion as described in FIG. 1.

FIG. 9 is an isometric view of still another framing fastener 900. In FIG. 9 the framing fastener 900 includes four plates 902, 904, 916, 918. The first plate 902 is substantially the same as the first plate 802 described in FIG. 8. The second plate 904 is substantially the same as the second 804 plate described in FIG. 8. The third plate 918 is substantially the same as the third plate 818 described in FIG. 8. The fourth plate 916 is attached above the first plate 902 and is substantially the same as the fourth plate 616 described in FIG. 6. The number of holes 906 in each plate may vary as described in previous embodiments.

FIG. 10 is an isometric view of yet another framing fastener 1000. In FIG. 10 the framing fastener 1000 includes five plates 1002, 1004, 1014, 1016, 1018. The first plate 1002 is substantially the same as the first plate 802 described in FIG. 8. The second plate 1004 is substantially the same as the second 804 plate described in FIG. 8. The third plate 1016 is substantially the same as the fourth plate 916 described in FIG. 9. The fourth plate 1014 is substantially the same as the third plate 614 described in FIG. 6. The fifth plate 1018 is substantially the same as the third plate 818 described in FIG. 8. The number of holes in each plate may vary as described in previous embodiments.

FIG. 11 is an isometric view of another framing fastener 1100. In FIG. 11 the framing fastener 1100 includes six plates 112, 1104, 1114, 1116, 1118, 1120. The first plate 1102 is substantially the same as the first plate 1002 described in FIG. 10. The second plate 1104 is substantially the same as the second plate 1004 plate described in FIG. 10. The third plate 1116 is substantially the same as the third plate 1016 described in FIG. 10. The fourth plate 1114 is substantially the same as the fourth plate 1014 described in FIG. 10. The fifth plate 1118 is substantially the same as the fifth plate 1018 described in FIG. 10. The sixth plate 1120 is attached to the other side of the first plate 1102 substantially perpendicular to the first plate 1102 opposite and a mirror image of the fifth plate 1118. The number of holes 1106 in each plate may vary as described in previous embodiments.

FIG. 12A is a side cross-sectional view of a framing system 1200, and FIG. 12B is a front cross-sectional view of the same framing system 1200. The fastener 1206 is the same as the fastener 700 shown in FIG. 7. The framing system 1200 includes a base material 1204, an anchor 1212, a post 1202, a framing fastener 1206, and fastening rods 1208. This framing system 1200 is used to secure a framing structure to a foundation or base material. Typically this is done by setting the anchor 1212 into a suitable base material 1204, such as concrete, and allowing the base material to set or harden.

The post 1202 is attached above the base material 1204 on the first plate 1218 by means of fastening rods 1208 that extend through holes in the post 1202 and the first plate 1218 of the framing fastener 1206. In some embodiments only one fastening rod 1208 may be used to secure the post 1202 to the framing fastener 1206. However, more than one fastening rod 1208 prevents rotation of the post 1202 about the fastener 1206. This embodiment uses four fastening rods 1208.

The first plate 1218, second plate 1214, and the third plate 1216 are used to secure beams on either side of the post 1202 by means of fastening rods 1208 sliding into the framing fastener hook 1210. For ease of description, the beams are not shown in FIG. 12B. It should be appreciated that the second plate 1214 and the third plate 1216 are optional.

FIG. 13A is a side cross-sectional view of another framing system 1300, and FIG. 13B is a cross-sectional side view of the framing system 1300 shown in FIG. 13A. The fastener 1306 is the same as that shown in FIG. 6. The framing system 1300 includes two posts 1302, two beams 1304, a framing fastener 1306, and fastening rods 1308. This framing system 1300 is used to secure beams 1304 and posts 1302 together to support walls, ceilings, and floors of a structure. Another embodiment could include one or two more beams extending substantially perpendicular to the beams shown in FIG. 13A.

A lower post 1302 is attached to the first plate 1312 by means of fastening rods 1308 that extend through holes in the post 1302 and the first plate 1312 of the framing fastener 1306. An upper post 1302 is attached above the beams 1304 on the second plate 1318 by means of fastening rods 1308 that extend through holes in the post 1302 and the second plate 1318 of the framing fastener 1306. In some embodiments only one fastening rod 1308 is used to secure each post 1302 to the framing fastener 1306. In other embodiments two or more fastening rods 1308 may be used. This embodiment uses four fastening rods 1308 in each post 1302 of which two fastening rods 1308 are visible for each post 1302 from this view.

Each beam 1304 is attached to a plate on the framing fastener 1306 by means of a fastening rod 1308 positioned into a framing fastener hook 1310. In FIG. 13A the end of one of the beams 1304 and one fastening rod 1308 are shown. Other embodiments may include one or more holes 1308 in the beams 1304 and framing fastener 1306 through which more fastening rods 1308 may be driven.

Each beam 1304 is attached to a plate on the framing fastener 1306 by means of a fastening rod 1308 slid into a framing fastener hook 1310. Other embodiments may include one or more holes 1308 in the beams 1304 and framing fastener 1306 through which more fastening rods 1308 may be driven. FIG. 13B shows an embodiment using one fastening rod 1308 to support each beam 1304.

Accordingly, the above described system and method for constructing buildings or structures requires a small set of framing fasteners (see FIGS. 4-11 below), fastening rods, beams, and posts. A standard type of beam, post, and fastening rod can be used at each junction. Only the framing fastener configuration will change depending on its use (i.e. whether it is supporting a wall junction, an external corner junction, and internal corner junction, etc.). The advantage of using a small set of components is that one can easily and inexpensively construct a building or structure. Furthermore, the method of construction using this small set of components does not require skilled labor, which further reduces construction costs. Also, the construction time is lower as compared to traditional construction techniques.

While the foregoing description and drawings represent the preferred embodiments of the present invention, it will be understood that various additions, modifications and substitutions may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined in the accompanying claims. In particular, it will be clear to those skilled in the art that the present invention may be embodied in other specific forms, structures, arrangements, proportions, and with other elements, materials, and components, without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The presently disclosed embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims, and not limited to the foregoing description.