Tips for Framing Walls

Framing walls is like working a puzzle. The lay out carpenter has already marked the wall plates for the location of windows, doors, corners, studs, and wall intersections.

Once you have learned to recognize these lay out marks, it is a rather simple task of building and raising the walls one at a time. These lay out marks are the basis for all aspects of rough framing carpentry. If you can learn to frame a wall, in time you can learn to frame a floor, ceiling, roof and even more complicated carpentry tasks.

Cut and Build Components

As many wall framing components should be cut and assembled as possible before framing begins. Cut and assemble all headers, cut window sills, trimmers, and cripples.

Step by Step Framing Walls

    1. Begin by clearing off the area where the wall is to be framed. Move any other wall plates to the side, after taking note of their location. Sweep the area to remove any nails, wood chips, etc. that may hinder the wall framing process.
    2. Study the layout marks on the wall plates to determine the location of any doors, windows, corners, and wall intersections. If you have any questions, now is the time to ask the boss, before framing walls not after.
    3. Remove the top plate and place it about where it will end up after the wall is framed.
    4. Gather up all wall framing components and place them approximately where they go, against the bottom plate.
    5. Nail king studs to headers, if you're framing a window go ahead and nail in your trimmers, sills, and cripples and place entire assembly where it will be nailed to the bottom plate.
    6. Always start nailing the corners, king studs, and cripples to the bottom plate first. Depending upon whether you're right or left handed, start nailing on one end of the bottom plate and work you're way to the other end nailing each component as you pass by.
    7. Nail on the top plate, as before, starting at one end and working to the other.
    8. Double check that all studs and cripples are nailed tight to the top and bottom plates. Use you're hammer to tighten them up if necessary.
    9. Nail on the second top plate making certain to leave openings for any corner or wall intersection tie-in's.
    10. This is all there is to framing walls, depending on how the company operates you are now ready to move onto the next step. Some outfits stand the walls without sheathing them, but if at all possible you should apply sheathing before it is stood and nailed into place.

More Tips for Framing

Always clear up any questions with the lead man before framing walls.

Tighten and flush all framing components, even if you have to take out you're hammer. I've heard it said that you can tell an experienced framing carpenter by how often they take out their hammer.

Never move from bottom to top of wall to nail up a single member.

Always work from one end of plate to the other.

Never work yourself into a corner, think about what order to frame the walls to allow room for the rest.

Always gather up all wall framing components and place them near where they go. This is the most efficient way, instead of stopping to go get stuff when it's needed.

Links to Related Carpentry Pro Framer Pages

Framing Walls to Home

Basics of Wall Framing

Laying Out Wall Plates

Balloon Framing

Garage Door Framing

Squaring Walls

Door Framing

Window Framing

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