How to Nail a Wall Frame


Underneath a room's drywall is a wooden frame built of 2-by-4-inch boards. Each frame looks more or less the same. Two boards run horizontally, one near the floor and the other near the ceiling. Between them, more 2-by-4 boards stand vertically. All these boards are nailed together, then nailed to both the subfloor and the ceiling joists. Constructing a wall frame is simple enough for a novice homeowner to accomplish in one weekend.

Things You'll Need

  • 2-by-4-inch boards
  • Tape measure
  • Carpenter's square
  • Chalk line
  • Hammer
  • 3 1/2-inch nails
  • Plumb bob
  • 3-inch nails
  • Circular saw
  • Level
  • Stud-framing clips
  • 2-inch nails
  • Lay two 2-by-4 inch boards side by side on the floor. Measure 1 1/2 inches from the edge of each board and make a mark there. Line up a carpenter's square with the mark. Hold the square so it runs perpendicular across both boards. Trace along the carpenter square's edge with a pencil. Place a large X on the end of each board between the edge and the pencil line.

  • Measure 16 inches along the boards from the same end and make a line across both boards. Measure 1 1/2 inches over from this line and make a second line. Place an X between the two lines on both boards.

  • Measure 32 inches along the boards from the same end and make a line across the boards. Measure 1 1/2 inches over from this line and make a second line. Draw an X between the lines. Continue along the boards' length, making an X every 16 inches.

  • Measure 1 1/2 inches along the board from the opposite end and make a line. Place an X between the line and the boards' edges.

  • Mark the wall's location on the ceiling joists with a chalk line. Line up the top plate with the chalk line, marked side down. Hammer 3 1/2-inch nails through the top plate and into each ceiling joist.

  • Hang a plumb bob from one of the top plate's ends. Place a mark on the floor where the plumb bob's end indicates. Repeat this step on the top plate's other end. Snap a chalk mark on the floor between these two marks.

  • Line up the bottom plate with the chalk line. Hammer 3-inch nails through the bottom plate and into the subfloor. Space the nails 16 inches apart.

  • Measure the distance between the top plate and the bottom plate. Transfer this measurement to as many 2-by-4-inch boards as there are X marks on the bottom plate. Cut the boards to the appropriate length using a circular saw.

  • Line up one of the board's top and bottom edges with the first X marks on both the top and bottom plate. Hold a level against the board and make any necessary adjustments.

  • Hold a stud-framing clip against the board and the top plate. Hammer 2-inch nails through the stud-framing clip's nail holes. Do the same with a stud-framing clip against the board and the bottom plate.

  • Repeat Steps 9 and 10 with the remaining X marks on the top and bottom plates.

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