This task is referred to as construction
framing and is well in the capability of most DIY homeowners. Basic
tools consist of a saw, square, measuring tape, and a level.
Wall framing begins with an accurate wall framing layout, starting
at the end of the sill plate, marking a line 16 on center (o/c). For
the first stud measure 15-1/4" and line and place an X to the right
of it. Do the same thing for 31-1/4", 47-1/4" and so forth.
One might ask, why not mark on the actual 16" on center. The
reason is that the thickness of a 2"x 4" or 2"x 6" is 1-1/2", half
the thickness of that is (1-1/2" -3/4"=3/4"). The 16 inch
spacing minus 3/4" =15-1/4".
The same rule applies to all the
stud spacing. If the wall is a non structural wall the stud layout
can be 24 inches on center. Sheathing wallboard are 48 inches in
width and will coincide with the 16 or 24-inch o/c spacing of the
If there is going to be a door in the wall the door rough opening
must be 2 inches wider than the door size. For example a 2 X 6 door
is actually 30 inches wide so the rough opening will be 32 inches so
the door frame will fit into the wall. However, if the wall is a
structural wall a header is required over doors or doorways. The
opening must accommodate the header (a 2 x 6 header for a 2 x 6
door) on top and a 2 x 4 (called a jack) on each end to hold up the
The distance between the two jacks that are holding up the
header is the actual rough opening, the 32 inches for a 2 x 6 door.
The height from the floor to the bottom of the jack will be two
inches taller than the actual door height. If the door height is 6 x
8 (68 inches) the rough opening will be 70 inches.
If you are building more than one wall to form a room, where the
walls intersect at 90 degrees, a double stud is placed in the end of
the wall to form an inside corner for attaching the sheathing or
wallboard to the inside of the room.
The two basement walls illustrated in the pictures represent a
standard 2 x 4 studded wall and a 2 x 6 structural studded wall that
is framed for a door. Note that the sill plate, the bottom 2 x 4, is
doubled to provide for nailing trim after the floor is installed.
Whether you are framing basements, a house or shed, the process
building stud walls is the same. Accurate measures are required to
maintain the 16 or 24 inch o/c layout pattern to accommodate the
sheathing that will be placed on the walls.