How To Frame Interior Walls

frame interior walls

There are two basic ways to frame a wall, on the ground and stand it up or build it in place. This article teaches you how to build a wall on the ground and then stand it up. If you are building a wall in place, like for a basement wall, see the article called basement framing.

brief how to

  1. Mark the wall location on the floor
  2. Layout the top and bottom plates
  3. Lay the studs next to the marks on the plates and crown them
  4. Nail the studs to the plates on their marks
  5. Stand the wall up

tools and materials

  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Carpenter square
  • 4 foot level
  • Chalk line
  • Construction Pencil
  • Circular Saw
  • Tape measure
  • Specialty tools that make the job much easier: Nail gun and nails.

step 1 Mark The Floor

Layout the wall location on the floor by marking the floor with a chalk line. Mark the ends of the wall if it is not butting up against another wall.

step 2 Layout The Top And Bottom Plates

Measure the length of the new wall and cut two 2x4's for interior walls and/or 2x6's for exterior walls or interior plumbing walls to the length of the new wall. If you are building the wall on concrete you will need to use one treated board and one regular board. If the wall is on a wood floor you can use two regular boards of douglas fir.

Crown the boards: Now stand the two plates on their edge and look down them, most boards have a "crown" or bow in them, place this bow upward on both boards. Put the boards next to each other and make sure the ends are flush with each other.

Layout stud locations by hooking the tape measure on the end of the plates and marking every 16 or 24 inches depending on your preference. To make sure the studs are 16 or 24 inches "on center" you will need to hold back the mark half of the width of a 2x4 which is 1 1/2" wide so you will hold back 3/4" on each mark, ie. mark at 15 1/4", 31 1/4"....etc.

If this is confusing you can mark the first stud location on the plates at 1 1/2" in from the end and then put a nail on that line, hook your tape measure on that nail head and pull layout down the plates. Now when you measure 16" or 24" o.c. you will mark it directly on the 16" or 24" mark. Make sure to mark an X on the correct side of the inch mark so the stud gets nailed in the proper location.

step 3 Put The Studs In Their Place

Lay the studs next to the marks on the plates and crown them. If the studs have been crowned the finished wall will have an imperceptable curve instead of an in and out wave.

Step 4 Nail The Wall Together And Stand It Up

Hold the stud up against the plate so that the edges that are closest to you are flush with each other. Nail the studs to the plates on their marks. Use _______ nails. Use two nails for a 2x4 wall and three nails for a 2x6 wall. Make sure that the studs are naile on the proper side of the marks you made earlier.

safety tip: The main safety concern here is making sure that the hand that is not holding the nail gun is far enough away from the gun that a nail cannot go thru a board and hurt the hand that is holding the board. Also, you will want to wear safety glasses whether you are using a nail gun or hammering.

Stand the wall up and put it on the proper side of the line on the floor. Put one nail between each stud thru the plate into the floor. If you are installing the wall on concrete you will need to use powder actuated shots to nail the bottom plate to the concrete.

After your wall is framed you will need to install wiring and drywall click on these links to learn how:

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