Time to move on to framing walls. At this point, your house starts to get its personality and you will start enjoying the entire project a whole lot more.
Some people will start by putting a sill plate down on the outside perimeter of the floor, and then mark it for studs and door openings.
If you opt to put the sill plate down first, then you will attach the wall studs by toe nailing. Otherwise, you can pre-build the walls in 8 ft sections and stand them up and then nail them to the floor.
You need to nail into a floor joist for strength. If you are using 2×6’s for walls, then you will probably want to build in 8 ft sections because of the weight when standing them up.
When you’re building the walls, you will need to space the 2×4’s on 16” centers. With 2×6 walls, you can probably get away with 2’ centers. At the corners you will have to make a corner post. Where interior walls will attach to exterior walls, there will need to be a partition post. Corners need to be connected in a strong manner.
Where there is a doorway or a window, a special form of bracing needs to be done. The jack studs act like regular wall studs. They help brace the trimmers and the headers.
The door and window openings are called rough openings. You need to know the rough opening dimensions of doors and windows before you build the wall.
You can get all the rough opening measurements where you get the doors and windows. The rough opening dimensions depend on the sizes of doors and windows you want although some sizes are pretty much standard for entry doors.
After you get the walls up, you will need to run a double plate on top to hold the sections together better. The same thing applies to the interior walls.
A top plate all the way around the exterior wall will be a 2×4 or a 2×6 depending on the thickness of the wall. Most interiors are 2×4 studs so the top plate will be 2×4’s. Make sure to offset the joints to maintain stability when you’re framing-walls.
This is how you overlap the joints for extra strength. This is necessary on interior walls.
We’ll talk a little more about framing walls as we build headers for windows and doors on the next page.