Sole plates in timber frame construction

Date Published

18 August 2022

Document Type




Sole plates are a vital element in a timber framed building. Their installation has a direct effect on the building’s service life, line, level and plumb, and contributes to the speed of construction.

This Wood Information Sheet provides advice on getting the installation of sole plates right first time so that the timber frame structure fits together quickly, tightly and correctly. In addition, it features a useful breakdown of the key tasks relating to sole plates and identifying typical responsibility for each.

Key Information

In the construction phase the main contractor and frame erector must understand and agree their responsibilities for the installation of sole plates.

Sole plates must be level and correctly laid out to the sole plate drawing. To achieve this, it is imperative that ground workers understand the importance of the interface between the foundation and the timber frame.

To prevent moisture from the ground reaching the inside of the building, the sole plate should be at least 150mm above the external ground level.

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