How to Frame Walls

Submitted by Ana White on Mon, 10/03/2011 - 11:33

Planned Outage

Before we get to this post, there will be a planned site outage tonight at 10PM CST, lasting approximately 1 hour.  During this time, the site will not be available due to scheduled maintenance.  If you are in the middle of a project, please print out or make sure you can access the plan through a cached version (search for the plan with Google and select "cached version") prior to the planned downtime.

Wall Framing!

We are finally building walls! Framing is my most favorite part (well, aside from building the furniture) of building because you see a ton of progress for the work you invest.

If you are thinking of framing walls up in your unfinished basement, or just wondering what the heck is behind your drywall, read on!
Step 1 Diagram
Step 1

<h1>How a Wall is Framed</h1>Wall framing is pretty simple, but there are a few things you need to know. A wall is comprised mainly of top and bottom plates and studs. The studs are spaced either on 16" or 24" centers. This is done because plywood and drywall comes in 48" widths, so your plywood or drywall seams always end in the center of a stud. You follow the 16" or 24" on center pattern without exception - if you don't, you will just be adding the blocking in later when you hang drywall.<div><br></div><h1>About Studs</h1><div>Studs come in 92 5/8" lengths, so you can just add top and bottom plates, plus the top tie in plate, to get a wall that is 96 1/8" high - just perfect for hanging drywall on. &nbsp;Our walls in this post are actually 9 feet tall, so we cut 2x4s to length.</div><div><br></div><h1>Headers and Openings</h1><div>For doorways, windows and other openings, you will need to frame in a header and support to the sides. &nbsp;This is done by simply adding a King and Jack stud, topped with a header, with Cripple Studs above the header in the 16" or 24" on center pattern. &nbsp;Check with your door or window for rough opening requirements.</div><div><br></div>

Step 2 Diagram
Step 2 Instructions

<h1>Basement Walls</h1><div>We have five main walls to build for the Momplex lower floor. &nbsp;It starts with the load bearing wall down the center (not pictured) and then we will build two walls on either sides of the stairs with doorways in them. &nbsp;</div>

Step 3 Diagram
Step 3 Instructions

<h1>Chalk Line</h1><div>First things first, the location of walls is marked using a <a href="…; title="" target="_blank">chalk line</a> on the concrete slab.</div>

Step 4 Diagram
Step 4 Instructions

<h1>Load Bearing Wall</h1><div>The center load bearing wall is made of 2x6s per recommendations by our structural engineer. &nbsp;We reused the <a href="; title="" target="_blank">boards from the scaffolding system</a> for the studs to minimize waste and save money. &nbsp;Every little bit adds up.</div><div><br></div><div>A framing nailer was used to fasten the walls, but you certainly could use a good ole hammer here.</div>

Step 5 Diagram
Step 5 Instructions

<h1>Standing Walls</h1><div>Every little bit of help helps when it comes time to stand the center load bearing wall - it's a heavy one! &nbsp;Ready, set, lift!</div>

Step 6 Diagram
Step 6 Instructions

Almost there!

Step 7 Diagram
Step 7 Instructions

Victory lap.

Step 8 Diagram
Step 8 Instructions

We added blocking to the center wall where the smaller walls are tied in.

Step 9 Diagram
Step 9 Instructions

<h1>Bracing</h1><div>Followed by bracing to keep the walls plumb. &nbsp;</div>

Step 10 Diagram
Step 10 Instructions

<h1>Real Alaska Man</h1><div>We are getting a ton of work done lately, and I know it's because this handsome guy is visiting. &nbsp;What a guy, to volunteer his time off to helping build the Momplex for his family!</div><div><br></div>

Step 11 Diagram
Step 11

<h1>Headers</h1><div>For the smaller walls, we had to add in doorways. &nbsp;The headers are pretty simple to build, the main thing is keeping with the 16" on center pattern and adding in the extra support. &nbsp;</div>

Step 12 Diagram
Step 12

<h1>Long Walls
</h1><div>For longer walls, you may need to join bottom plates to get the full length of the wall. &nbsp;Just plan for the seam to be centered on a stud as shown in the photo.</div>

Step 13 Diagram
Step 13

Then it's just a matter of standing more walls.

Step 14 Diagram
Step 14

Making sure the walls are level.

Step 15 Diagram
Step 15

And trying not to look out the window at the approaching snow line.

We've still got some work to do on the walls to get them secured to the slab and adjoining walls, but that's a whole 'nother day and a whole 'nother post!

Happy wall building!