This tutorial shows you the necessary steps to building the shed walls. From laying out the plates to framing door openings and assembling the walls.
The materials used in wall framing are the wall plates and wall studs. The plates are the horizontal boards that run along the tops and bottom of the wall. The plates hold the studs at 16 or 24 inches on center. The wall studs are the vertical boards that are installed between the top and bottom plates. Together they form the skeleton of the wall.
The first step is to mark the wall locations on the shed floor.
Start by sweeping the shed floor and then measuring in three and one half inches from the edges of the shed floor and placing a mark. Do this on each side of all four corners of the shed floor.
Verify that the distance between the two inner marks is 7 inches narrower than the overall width of the shed and then use a chalk line to mark the inner edge of the shed walls on all four sides of the shed floor.
The second step is to use the dimensions from the plans to mark and cut the wall plates to length. Only cut two plates for each wall at this time. You will cut the double top plate after framing and standing the walls.
Set the wall plates in their final locations on the floor and line them up with their respective wall marks on the floor and make sure that the ends of the boards are flush with each other. Also make sure that the corners meet the adjoining walls and are lined up with the wall marks.
The third step is to install layout marks on the wall plates to mark the wall stud and doorway locations. Start by rolling each set of wall plates on their edges and make sure that the crown edge is facing up. Flush up the ends of the boards and make sure that each set of boards are snug against each other.
Now you are ready to put the layout marks on the wall plates. Hook your tape measure on the ends of the two plates and pull the tape measure along the top edges. Put the first mark at 16 and three quarters inches. Then put an X on the side of the mark closest to the tape measure hook end to help you remember what side of the mark the wall stud will go on. Continue making marks every 16 inches along the edges of the boards. (When the tape measure is hooked on the ends of the boards you will put the mark at 3/4's of an inch past the multiples of 16 inches.)
Once all the layout marks are made you will transfer marks to the other board and make a line across both boards using a framing or speed square. Make sure that both boards have an X to show the side of the mark that the wall stud will go on.
The door opening will be marked on the wall plates that the doorway is on. Measure and mark the doorway trimmer and king stud locations on both plates. The King stud goes from the bottom plate to the top plate on both sides of the door header.
You should mark its location with a K instead of an X so that you remember what it is when you are nailing on wall studs. The trimmer stud goes on the inside of the door opening to hold up the door or window header. Mark the Trimmer locations with a T. If there are any window openings you will mark them in the same way.
The fourth step is to make sure the wall studs are the proper length and then assemble the wall plates and the wall studs by nailing them together.
Measure, mark and cut the wall studs to the length shown on the plans. If you are building the shed with pre cut 92 5/8" inch studs then you will not need to cut the wall studs.
You will build one wall at a time so keep the plates for the first wall you will build on the shed floor and move all the other wall plates off the shed floor. Make sure to keep the wall plates that go together with each other so they do not get mixed up.
Separate the top and bottom plates far enough apart so that the wall studs will fit in between them. Make sure to keep the crowned side with the layout marks facing up. Also keep the ends that the layout starts on on the same end.
Set the wall studs on the shed floor between the wall plates with one stud next to each layout mark. Crown each wall stud and set it close to its respective layout mark on the wall plates.
You are now ready to Nail the plates to the studs. Align the end of the wall stud with the layout marks you made on the wall plates and nail the wall plate to the wall stud. use 2 nails at each connection for 2x4 walls. Make sure to nail the wall studs on the X side of the layout marks.
The fifth step is to build the header for the doorway opening. The header for the doorway is made by sandwiching a piece of O.S.B. between two header boards and nailing them together. Window headers are built and installed exactly the same as door headers.
Start by cutting two header boards to the length shown on the plans. Then cut a piece of O.S.B. or plywood to sandwich between the two header boards. It should be a bit smaller than the header boards so it does not stick out around the edges.
Crown the two header boards and then set the piece of O.S.B. between them, align the edges of the header boards flush with each other and then nail them to each other using 12d nails.
The sixth step is to assemble the wall with the doorway in it. Mark the height of the door header from the shed floor on the king studs so your door will fit properly and then nail the king studs to the header boards.
Now nail the king studs and header assembly to both the top and bottom plates on their respective King Stud marks.
Now you can finish building the rest of the wall as you did the other walls.
After the wall is framed you will install the trimmer boards.
Measure the distance from the bottom of the header to the top of the bottom plate and cut a trimmer board for each side of the doorway.
Crown and install the trimmers by nailing the bottom plates to them and nailing them to the king studs. Make sure to nail from the inside of the doorway so if the nails protrude they will stick out on the inside of the wall and not into the doorway.
If there is open space between the door header and the top plate you can install the cripple studs above the header at this time.
The seventh step is to stand the shed walls. Start by clearing everything off the shed floor and sweeping it clean.
Stand one of the long walls first. Align the wall with the wall line marks and the edge of the shed floor.
Attach the wall to the floor by nailing the bottom plate of the wall to the floor with 2 12d nails every 16 inches. Try to install the nails so they go through the bottom plate and flooring into the floor joists below. You can see where the floor joists are by looking for the nails heads on the floor.
Stand and nail the remaining walls in the same way. As you stand each wall and nail it to the floor, flush up the corner boards of the two walls and nail the two walls together at the corner. Use one 12d nail at 12 inches on center vertically.
Make sure that the corner boards of the two walls are flush with each other
Stand the remaining walls and attach them to the floor and to each other.
The final step to building the walls is to install the double top plates. Adding a second top plate further locks the walls together and strengthens the top of the wall to better hold the roof.
Install the double top plate on the shorter framed walls first. Install nails on both sides of the wall to wall connection to tie the walls together. Continue nailing along the top plates by using 2 12d nails at 16 inches on center.
Finally install the double top plates on the longer walls between the first two top plates you installed.
Next time you are in a lumber store check out the 8 foot 2x4 boards. You will notice that there are 8' long boards and 92 & 5/8" boards. The 92 5/8" boards are pre-cut studs.
A typical house wall is framed with pre-cut 92 5/8" boards (or 104 5/8" or 116 5/8"). This makes the finished wall 8'-1 1/8" tall. This works great for homes because an 8' tall piece of drywall fits on the wall even when it is dropped down 1/2" because of the ceiling drywall. But on a shed it makes the outside 8' tall siding not fit too well and requires additional strips of siding above the 8' sheet.
To solve this, and make the wall easier to frame, we design many of our sheds with a 7'-7" wall height. This is the perfect height to allow a 6'-8" pre-hung door be installed under a 2x6 header and not have any cripples above the door. This makes the walls easier to frame and gives the siding on the outside a nice overhang below the floor to floor joist joint.
Always frame the window and door openings before attaching the wall plates to them, this means to build the header and attach the King studs to it.
Then set it between the wall plates where it goes on the wall and attach the header to the plate. Then set it on the ground and crown all the wall studs and nail the top plate to them and then go along and attach the bottom plate to all the studs.
The trimmers and cripples can be measured and installed after the bottom plate is on or after the wall is stood up.
"I'm declaring victory over the shed project. Thanks for the great plans and for answering my various e-mails along the way." John
You guys are awesome! Thank you very much!" Denise