Assemble the Frame

On a flat area of ground, I laid out the framework for the first wall like this, before I drove in any nails:


  1. I laid out the treated sill plate lumber, butting the ends together and cutting off the end 5-1/2" shorter than the length of my foundation.
  2. Measure where each anchor hole will need to be drilled in the sill plate, and mark the locations. It's important to make sure you don't place any studs over your anchor marks. If one of them happens to overlap, you'll have to place the stud just to the left or right. That will make nailing the OSB more difficult, so hopefully this won't happen to you.
  3. Starting at the end closest to the garage doors, I began adding the studs that would form the height of the walls. Place one of the 92-5/8" studs at the end. Make sure you place it on top of the treated lumber, not beside it! You don't want non-treated lumber touching concrete.
  4. Then, measure 14-1/2" and place the next one. This results in boards which are 16" OC. If your OC is different, adjust accordingly.
  5. I continued on at 14.5" intervals until the end. For the last stud, no point in measuring... Just place it at the very end, on top of the sill plate just like all the others. Then place one more stud right next to it on top of the sill plate. Then one more right next to that. This builds the 3-stud corner.
  6. Now set the first board of the double-top plate on top. Remember that this is the longest lumber you can use, and does not need to be treated.
  7. Butt the boards of the top plate together until you come to the end, but do not cut the last board yet!


Measure and measure some more:

So, this is starting to look like a wall, laying on the ground, but it's not true at this point, unless you are a miracle worker. To true it up and make sure everything is square, you need to measure the diagonals, and the diagonals have to be EXACTLY the same. So measure from one corner to it's diagonal corner, record that number, then measure the other diagonal. Chances are, the measurements will be different the first time. Now adjust your boards until the diagonals come out identical. You can cut the end off the top plate at this point as long as you are sure the measurements are perfect. I used a grease pencil to mark the centerline of each stud on the top and sill plates, so that later on as I was nailing, I could correct any accidental movement without throwing the whole wall out of square.


Now that everything is square, you can finally start using that nail gun. Since the wall is on the ground, nails can go through the bottom of the sill plate into the studs, and through the top of the top plate into the studs. 2x4 construction will use 2 nails at each joint, 2x6 construction will use 3 nails. Make sure everything is staying square. Also make sure to nail the 3-stud end together as well, not just to the plates.

Drill holes for anchors:

Drill anchor holes at each anchor mark in the sill plate. These need to be accurate or else you will be doing it again as your friends are tiring from holding the wall up.

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