Introduction to Wall Framing
The walls of most single-family dwellings are framed with 2 X 4 or 2 X 6 lumbers. Exterior sheathing and siding, along with interior finishes such as drywall are then attached to the framing.
There are two critical steps in the framing process.
The first is accurate measuring and layout. The second is accurate leveling and plumbing of the walls. Any deviation in leveling or plumbing will result in serious problems later in the construction process.
Once the walls are erected, the ceiling joists are placed on the walls to serve as a supporting frame for the next level. Again, proper measuring, layout, and placement of these framing members is critical.
The use of steel studs for wall framing is common in commercial construction and is becoming increasingly popular in residential construction as the cost of lumber rises.
While the layout process is essentially the same as that of lumber framing, different tools and fastening methods are used.
Components of a Wall
Click on each of the buttons to find out more about the structural members of a wood frame wall:
A wood block used as a filler piece and support between framing members.
A short framing stud that fills the space between a header and a top plate or between the sill and the soleplate.
Double Top Plate
A plate made of two members to provide better stiffening of a wall. It is also used for connecting splices, corners, and partitions that are at right angles (perpendicular) to the wall.
Applying sheathing, windows, and exterior doors to a framed building.
Narrow wood strips nailed to a wall or ceiling as a nailing base for finish material.
A roof with two slopes that meet at a center ridge.
A horizontal structural member that supports the load over an opening such as a door or window.
A roof with four sides or slopes running toward the center.
The top (head jamb) and side members of a door or window frame that come into contact with the door or window.
The full-length stud next to the trimmer stud in a wall opening.
A wall that subdivides space within a building. A bearing partition or wall is one that supports the floors and roof directly above in addition to its own weight.
A 1 x 4 nailed to the ceiling joists at the center of the span to prevent twisting and bowing of the joists.
An opening in the framing formed by framing members, usually for a window or door.
The lower framing member attached to the top of the lower cripple studs to from the base of a rough opening for a wall or partition to which the studs are nailed. It rests on the rough floor.
The lower framing member attached to the top of the lower cripple studs to form the base of a rough opening for a window.
An L-shaped arrangement of lumber used to support ceiling joists and keep them in alignment.
The main vertical framing member in a wall or partition.
The upper horizontal framing member of a wall used to carry the roof trusses or rafters.
The vertical framing member that forms the sides of rough openings for doors and windows. It provides stiffening for the frame and supports the weight of the header.
Corners, Partitions, and Headers
When framing walls, you must have solid corners that can take the weight of the structure.
In addition to contributing to the strength of the structure, corners must provide a good nailing surface for sheathing and interior finish materials. Carpenters generally select the straightest, least defective studs for corner framing.
B) Partition Intersections
Interior partitions must be securely fastened to outside walls. To do this, there must be a solid nailing surface where the partition intersects the exterior frame.
The nailing surface can be a full stud nailed perpendicular between two other full studs, or it can be short pieces of 2 X 4 lumber, known as blocking, nailed between the two other full studs.
When wall framing is interrupted by an opening such as a window or door, a method is needed to distribute the weight of the structure around the opening. This is done by the use of a header.
The header is placed so that it rests on the trimmer studs, which transfer the weight to the soleplate or subfloor, and then to the foundation.