Wall Framing Basics

The first and most important thing when learning wall framing basics lies in realizing the significance of making them (the walls) square. By square, this means that any corners created should make a perfect ninety-degree angle. Otherwise, you will find that putting on a roof or adding another story to the house are just two of the problems you will encounter if you do not square all corners at the very beginning with framing the walls. Un-squared walls can haunt you forever with things like having problems getting molding to fit, getting flooring to fit, even hanging pictures on the walls can become a problem when walls do not come out square.

Work on the Ground

The next thing in importance as far as wall framing basics go is to do the entire frame building on the ground. Trying to build wall frames in the air will keep you busy just trying to keep the wood together and everything stable enough to get a nail into the two-by-fours. Once you have the wall frame completed, you can then lift it up, hopefully with at least one willing helper, and attach it to the connecting wall.

At this point in learning wall framing basics, iti s time to attach oriented strand board (OSB), plywood, or whatever other type of covering you have decided to use as sheathing for the wall frame. Although the urge to go ahead and put up the wall without doing this is great because you reason it will be so much lighter, dont! Go ahead and attach the sheets to at least the four corners. If your wall is bigger than that, you can leave the other spaces until you have more time. The weight of the panels will prevent the wall from moving if high wind gusts come along.

Straighten it Out

Wall framing basics also must include getting the frame perfectly straight before you nail it in place. Do this by snapping a chalk line on the floor from the connecting wall to the end of where the new wall is going. With one or two helpers at one end and you at the other, scoot the frame to where it follows the chalk line. You will need to hammer-tap the bottom of the frame until it is flush with the line. Tack the framing onto the line to help keep it stable and in place.

Then, get one of your helpers to measure diagonally from one corner to the other of the frame, while you do the same at the opposing corners. The intersection of both your tape measures should create a centered X. Whoever has the longest measurement should tap the frame at the top end with a hammer or a small sledge until both persons measurements are equal. After the frame is properly straight, you can then permanently nail it to the floor and attach the remaining wall sheathing, if necessary.

The more experienced you become, the better you will get at doing this and will figure out your own shortcuts and ways to do the job faster and easier. But there is nothing like jumping right in and doing it, so go ahead and try. Even if you mess up, you can only learn from those mistakes, which means the next time you try, you will be that much closer to success.