How to Build a Stud Wall Part 2 How to Build a Stud Wall Part 2

Framing a stud wall may seem like a difficult project for the average homeowner but in reality it can be a fairly easy job. Once you learn this useful skill you’ll be able to perform a wide range of home improvement projects. (This is Part 2 of 3. Click to view Part 1 or Part 3.)

To build a stud wall you’ll need the following tools, materials and safety equipment:

  • Circular saw
  • Tape measure
  • 2X4 8 foot lengths
  • Pencil
  • Saw horses
  • Four foot level
  • Hammer
  • 3 inch 10 penny framing nails
  • Framing square
  • Safety goggles

Step 1 – Mark the Top and Bottom Plates

The length and height of the stud wall will determine the length of 2x4’s you’ll need to frame the wall. As an example, we’ll describe the steps for framing a 12 foot long by 8 foot high 2x4 stud wall with a double top plate and single bottom plate. To construct the top plate lay a full length 2x4 on the floor and a four foot rip end to end. Then repeat the process so that the seams are on opposite ends and nail all four pieces together using the framing nails. This will form the top plate of the stud wall. To form the bottom plate you’ll need a full length 2x4 and 4 foot piece which should be tacked to the top plate. Now take your tape measure and mark out the 16 inch stud lines. Using your framing square, you can transfer the marks across both plates ensuring the studs will line up exactly.

Step 2 – Install the Studs

Lay the bottom plate and top plate parallel to each other about 8 feet apart on the floor. Now take a full length 2x4 and align it with the stud marks on the each plate. Before fastening the stud to the bottom plate use the framing square to make sure the stud is square. Then use the hammer to drive two framing nails through the bottom of the plate into the bottom of the stud. Now align the top of the stud with the corresponding 16 inch mark on the top plate. Again, before fastening the stud to the top plate make sure it is square. Then repeat the process with each stud until every stud has been installed.

Step 3 – Set the Wall

The last step is to set and level the stud wall in place using a little elbow grease. Simply tilt the assembled wall off the floor so that the top plate touches the ceiling. A single person should be able to handle a wall of this length but anything larger would require an additional set of hands. Start at one end of the wall and place the four foot level on each stud. As you level each stud fasten the top plate to the ceiling using the framing nails. Then fasten the bottom plate to the subfloor using the framing nails as well. Repeat the process for each stud until you’ve firmly secured the both plates of the wall.

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