Best Practices for Wall Framing

Wall Framing is regarded as one of the most critical aspects of wall construction. Framed walls are integral to any building’s construction since they affect the interior/exterior finish of walls, provide support to sheeting, offer housing for electrical connections and help in segregating internal space. There are some guidelines and best practices that should be followed when undertaking wall-framing projects.

Getting Started in the Right Manner

Confirm a basic layout for the house in terms of the location of doors and the division of internal space before putting-up the walls. Framed walls essentially lifted into their respective positions. Thus, you need to manage some sort of assistance before starting such a project. Ensure that the floor sheeting is installed before initiating a wall-framing project. Wall framing requires the use of some heavy tools. Arrange for these and mark-out the space needed for setting-up the tools. The use of power tools like nail guns means that you should have the appropriate safety gear.

Regarding wall-framing methods, you can choose from:

Recommended Wall Framing Method: Balloon Framing

Instead of using heavy timbers, lighter lumber is used. Studs refer to the vertical lumber pieces. The studs are configured perpendicular, between the horizontal parts. The horizontal plates consist of top plates and bottom plates. Bottom plates are commonly referred to as sills. These are attached to the foundation. The studs are placed between the sills and eave of the roof, where the stud is secured with the top plate. Rafters (diagonal lumber sections) are used for distributing the load of the wall. Wooden rafters are installed between the top plate and studs. A part of the load induced on the studs is transferred to the sill and the remainder, directed towards the foundation. This wall framing method is recommended for DIY wall framing projects.

Recommended Wall Framing Method: Platform Framing

This is among the most common of residential wall-framing methods. This method too uses lightweight lumber and studs/plates. However, the studs are a bit restricted here. They don’t extend from the roofing eave to the foundation. Instead, the studs are cut shorter at small intervals due to the presence of horizontally-positioned joists. This is a recommended wall framing approach for homeowners wanting greater thermal insulation in their drywalls.

Recommended Stud-Plate Assembly Practices

  • When nailing/screwing studs onto the plates, use toe nailing or slanted nailing technique—ensure a 45-degree angle when securing these nails/screws.
  • For platform framing, ensure that the successive joists are precisely located above each other to increase the load-bearing capacity of the drywall.
  • Lumber used for creating studs may have a crowning or bow, i.e. some sort of irregularity in the overall shape. If you cannot replace such lumber with uniform lumber, ensure that the bow or crown is aligned across all the studs, i.e. place them in the same direction to create a uniform pattern. This makes the structural composition of the wall more compact.