After finishing the first floor sheathing we moved on to framing our first floor walls! It’s amazing how fast the project seems to move once you start framing. There were definitely some things we learned while framing our first floor walls that will help make the second floor framing go even smoother. Once we got a hang of the process of framing a wall we quickly got into a good rhythm, but there were a few challenges along the way.
How To Frame A Wall
An important part of framing is the prep work. You need to start by laying out the locations for your walls so you can plan out where walls will tie in to each other and accurately measure how long each wall will be.
Once you have the correct measurement, line up two boards next two each other flat on the floor. These will become the top and bottom plates of your wall. Mark out your studs every 16″ on center (or whatever your structural engineer or building code calls for). Be sure to consider where you should start your 16″ measurement based on where your wall sheathing or drywall will line up (depending on if you are working on an exterior or interior wall). Next mark out the locations of any jack or king studs for openings in your wall.
After you have your top and bottom plates marked, move them apart the distance of your wall studs / wall height. Now you can lay out the studs you need based on the locations of your marks. Then you nail each stud to the top and bottom plates, nail any jack and king studs together, and nail in any headers for openings. Be sure to follow your local codes for type and spacing of nails and your structural drawings for any headers or specific requirements. You can usually find this information on your local jurisdiction’s building code website or in the International Residential Building Code (IRC) which can be found for free online here. Be sure to use the current year / edition adopted by your local jurisdiction.
Now you can tilt your wall up into place and nail it in! After it is in place, be sure to add any required temporary bracing to hold the wall in place. Once you have your walls in place, you can go back through and install your second top plate that will help tie all your walls to each other.
For a video tutorial on how to build a wall yourself, check out the below video from our YouTube channel!
Using a Story Pole
One of the tricks we have learned to help framing our first floor walls go smoother is using a story pole. A story pole is a template or measuring stick for your studs, cripples, openings, etc. Using an extra stud you can mark out your measurements for different cripple heights, door / window jack studs, and any other key measurements you will be using throughout the framing process. This allows you to have all your key measurements in one location so you don’t have to remeasure them if you forget and you can then cut numerous pieces ahead of time that you can use as you frame your walls. It’s a great tool to help you be a more efficient framer.
Check out our tutorial below for how to create your own story pole!
Wall Framing Tips
Looking for more framing tips? Check out the video below! We have learned a lot over the course of framing our first floor walls and hopefully our experience can help you become a better DIY wall framer as well!
To stay up to date on our project or see more framing videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel! We are having so much fun sharing our DIY home building journey with all of you and can’t wait to see how the project turns out!