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Framing a New Wall

 
 
Part of building a wall is knowing where to put it. Unless you want it to fall down, you've got to put a wall where you can nail it to something. If a wall runs perpendicular to the joists, for example, you nail to the joists. But if a wall runs parallel to the joists, it can cross an entire room without crossing any framing. And nothing guarantees the end of a wall will run into framing in the existing wall. If you need joists or studs that aren't there, you have two choices: Move the wall or add framing.
 
Once you've picked the location, build the wall flat on the floor and tilt it into place. If you have 3 or 4-inch diameter pipes running through the wall, construct the wall with 2x6s. If not, use 2x4s.
 
Wing walls are only a few feet high and a few feet long and present their own problems. You can't nail them to the joists above, and one end of the wall will stop before it meets another wall. Give wing walls strength by running the end stud through the floor and bolting it to a joist.
 

WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS JOB:

TOOLS:

 

MATERIALS:

  • 2x4s
  • 16d common nails

 

Step 1: Temporarily law out the new wall

Step 1: Temporarily lay out the new wall Temporarily lay out the new wall. Run a stud finder along the ceiling to locate the joists. If the joists are parallel to the new wall, adjust the layout so that the wall is directly under a joist. If they run perpendicular to the wall, put the wall where you want.  
  

Step 2: Measure from a corner and mark where new wall will meet existing wall

Step 2: Measure from a corner and mark where the new wall will meet the existing wall Measure from a corner and mark where the new wall will meet the existing wall. Measure from the opposite corner and lay out the other end of the new wall. Snap a chalk line between the marks. This marks one edge of the top plate. Measure diagonally between opposite corners. If the measurements are the same, the new wall is square. If they're not, adjust the layout so they're equal.
  

Step 3: Lay out sole plate and drive a nail into the ceiling close to chalk line

 Step 3: Lay out the sole plate, drive a nail into the ceiling close to the chalk line To lay out the sole plate, drive a nail into the ceiling close to one end of the chalk line. Hang a plumb bob from the nail and mark the floor at the point. Repeat at the other end of the ceiling chalk line. Snap a chalk line between the marks to lay out one edge of the sole plate. Mark an “X” to the side of the line where the plate will be positioned.
  

Step 4: Set the top and sole plates on the floor

Step 4: Set the top and sole plates side by side on the floor Set the top and sole plates side by side on the floor. Starting at one end, measure and mark the plates every 16-inches. Then, with a combination square and a pencil, extend the lines across the plates. Draw an “X” at the end of each plate and to the right side of the line on each plate to mark the location of studs.
  

Step 5: Determine the stud length

Step 5: Determine the stud length by measuring the distance between the ceiling and the floor at several places Determine the stud length by measuring the distance between the ceiling and the floor at several places. Take the shortest distance and subtract 3 ¾-inches to allow for the combined thicknesses of the top and sole plates. This also allows for the clearance you'll need to tilt the wall into place.
  

Step 6: Cut the studs to length

Step 6: Nail the bottom plate and first stud on edge Cut the studs to length. Lay the bottom plate and first stud on edge and nail them together with 16d nails. If the first stud (or any other stud) is warped make sure the crown faces up. This will allow you to nail the ends without the stud rocking.
  

Step 7: Nail the studs in place

Step 7: Nail the studs in place one at a time Nail the studs in place one at a time. Once all the studs are attached to the bottom plate, set the top plate on edge and nail it to the studs at the marks. 2x4s placed between the studs act as firestops in case of a fire inside the wall. Cut them to fit, position them to make nailing easy, and nail them in place.
  

Step 8: Align bottom plate with floor chalk line

Step 8: Align bottom plate with floor chalk line With the studs nailed in place, align the bottom plate with the floor chalk line. Carefully tilt the wall into place and align the top plate with the ceiling chalk line. For a large wall, get someone to help you lift it into position.
  

Step 9: Shim between the top plate and ceiling and check wall for plumb

Step 9: Shim between the top plate & ceiling and check the wall for plumb with a level Starting at one end of the new wall, shim between the top plate and ceiling, and check the wall for plumb with a level. As you shim and plumb each section of wall, drive 16d nails through the top plate into the framing. Fasten the bottom plate by driving 16d nails through it into the floor. Nail the end studs to framing in the existing wall. Score the shims with a utility knife and snap them off flush with the plate.