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Construction and Framing

Posted By: Ron Brown In: 3 Easy Ways to Organize Your Home
Date: Wed, Oct 26th 2016 12:05 pm

Plan the layout. Using a chalk line (a cheap tool for marking long, straight lines) and angle measuring tools, mark where the wall will be on the floor. Be sure to note any doors you intend to put in the wall.
  • Be sure that the wall meets other walls at a 90 degree angle at all four corners. A slight deviation now will lead to a less-secure wall later.
  • Note whether the joists (floor or ceiling girders) at the top of the room run perpendicular or parallel to your new wall.
  • Cut the plates. Choose a strong, pressure-treated wood and cut 2” by 4” boards to twice the length of your wall, then divide those into groups of equal length. These are the plates, or base pieces, that will run just above and beneath the wall to anchor the frame.
  • Mark the plates for studs. Lay the top and bottom plates down next to each other. Measuring every 16” from one end, carefully mark horizontally across both plates until you reach the end. These guidelines will help you know where to install studs.
    • You can also mark Xs along the lines so they're easier to see.
Install blocking boards. Blocking boards add a bit of additional structure, and also serve as fire breaks in case of a house fire. They are made from the same 2” by 4” boards you've used for everything else so far.
  • Cut your blocking boards so that they will fit snugly between each stud, placing them about 4 feet (1.2 m) up, end-on between each stud. Firmly attach the blocking boards at both ends with 3” nails on both sides, hammered in at an angle of 60 degrees. You can vary the height slightly from block to block to make pushing tacks and nails into the finished wall a bit easier, if you want.
  • Take measurements in the space where the wall will go. You need to measure the total height of the wall and the width of the wall to be framed using a tape measure. The width will be used to measure the top and bottom frames, and the height will be used to measure the individual studs.
    • In general, when you're building a wall for a non-basement room, you will build the entire frame on the floor first, and then lift and move it into place before attaching it to joists and beams accordingly. To do this properly, you must know exactly how long each stud has to be to make the wall the correct height.
    • Buy enough 2 x 4 to fill the space. You'll need one stud the height of the wall every 16 in. along each frame, which will be the width of the wall. You can divide the width by 16 to quickly determine how many studs you'll need, and how much to buy.
    • Cut studs and plates to the appropriate lengths, given your measurements. Using a table saw or a circular saw, cut your plates and studs to match the measurements you took in the previous step. Start by cutting bottom and top plates that correspond to the width measurements you took for the wall to be assembled. Hold them against each other, to make sure every board is flush, and clean them up on the ends if necessary. Then cut the studs of the appropriate height.
      • Each stud needs to have the width of the bottom and top plate subtracted from the total height of the measurement you took, to account for the added space.
      • Assemble the frame. Use your studs to lay out the frame of the proper size and shape, laying the boards out on the ground to assemble them.
        • Start with an end stud. Lay it on end against the top lip of the bottom plate and nail from underneath the bottom plate into the end stud, using 3” nails, square through the bottom plate. Be very sure that the boards are lined up squarely.
        • Continue attaching all the studs to the bottom plate, centering them using the lines. Using your markings, attach each stud 16” apart all the way to the end with 3” nails.
        • Attach the top plate. Now that all the studs have been attached to the bottom plate, lay the top plate along the free ends of the studs, and nail through the top plate to attach each stud with 3” nails.
        • For more information Call Ron Brown at 843-864-6064 or email me at ron.brown@agentownedrealty.com.