The framing of an interior wall is an easy project, whether it is a single wall during a remodel or a whole house from scratch. Interior walls can be framed using 2′ X 4′ wood studs or metal studs. The procedure is basically the same with just a few minor differences and a few different tools.
Here we explain framing an interior wall with wood studs (also called “stick framing” in the trade). When you buy your material, pick through the studs carefully. Only buy the ones that are straight and true.
Tools that You Will Need
Lay Out the Wall
If you are working from blueprints, refer to them to locate where the wall will go. Remember that the dimensions on blueprints represent finished walls so subtract the thickness of the drywall (1/2” for residential, 5/8” for commercial).
If you’re not using blueprints, decide where you want it. Measure from your control line and make a mark. Make another mark further down and strike a chalkline between the two marks. This is the edge of your bottom plate.
Check for square using the 3-4-5 method. That is, make a mark on the floor 3′ down the perpendicular wall you are coming off of (from the chalk line/wall intersection). Now make a mark on the chalk line 4′ from the corner. The distance between the two marks should be exactly 5′. Adjust the chalk line as needed. If there are any doors or case openings, go ahead and mark them for rough openings. The bottom plate will be discontinuous here.
Build the Wall
First nail down the wall’s bottom plate, leaving out any openings as we mentioned earlier. Nail it down with the powder actuated gun to concrete, or with a hammer and nails to a plywood subfloor. If the ceiling joists are perpendicular to the new wall, you’re fine.
If not, nail railers between joists above the bottom plate. Now use the plumb bob to mark the edge of the top plate – outside edge of the bottom plate plumb with the outside edge of top plate. Do this on both ends of the wall and strike a line.
Now lay out where the studs will go. From the wall you are coming off of, measure and mark 16” (or whatever your code calls for) on the front of the bottom plate. This mark is the center of the second stud, the first one is going against the wall you are measuring from.
Mark out where the rest of the studs go, every 16”. Continue through any openings. Now just measure, cut, and toe nail the studs in. You’ve got the center marked on the bottom plate; use your level against the stud so you know where to nail it at the top.
Finally, insert a horizontal header between the studs in any rough opening – the height determined by your door or case opening size. Now put short studs between the header and the top plate, carrying through with your 16” on center.
We are maintaining the 16” so that the drywall will work out on the joints. If this is for a door, a 2′ X 4′ will suffice for the header. If it is a wide case opening, double up two 2” X 6”s and nail them in back to back.
All that’s left to do before hanging the sheetrock is installing any electrical components or plumbing.