How to Frame a Wall

Framing a wall is the act of building a wooden frame to serve as the “skeleton” of a new wall. It is an important step to ensure a wall's strength and stability. Whether you're building a room from scratch or adding a wall to an existing space, read the steps below to learn how to properly frame a wall.

Layout and Foundation



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.

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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. Make sure to always have two plates at the top.

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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. Since the measurements are 16" on center, you'll need to account for half the thickness and mark an “X” on the right side. These guidelines will help you know where to install studs.

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