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How to Frame an Interior Wall

Preparations for Framing

Preparations for framing may seem an intuitive topic. Yet a mistake here can mean hours of trouble down the line. A wrong measurement can mean disassembly of the frame. A misjudgement in the number of studs can mean an extra trip to the lumber yard. Like most other things in life a bit of forethought can make things a lot easier.

First, of course, you will want to figure out where your new wall will be positioned. If possible, try to butt it up against a stud in the wall and make it perpendicular to ceiling joists. If moving your wall a few inches either way makes no difference to your project, accommodating your current structure may make your job simpler. To find out where studs and ceiling joist run in your walls and ceiling you will want to employ a studfinder.

braces in wall or ceiling
Next remove any molding that might be in your way. Using a hammer and a prybar and perhaps some shims, carefully pry the old molding away from the wall. Molding is generally easy to crack or break so take your time with this operation, especially if you plan on reusing the molding.

As accommodating existing structures is not always feasible, you may have to tear through existing drywall to provide support. Cut out the drywall between studs (or ceiling joists) using a keyhole saw (if you want to take your time about it) or a sawsall. Be careful about cutting through electrical wiring or pipes. Your studfinder and a bit of common sense will help you locate these obstructions.

Measure the distance between studs or joists and then cut four or five pieces of 2X4 to that length. Wedge the pieces in and then toenail them to the studs or joists. Toe-nailing is simply nailing at 45 to 60 degree angle through the brace and into the stud. This can be made easier by pre-drilling the holes slightly smaller than the nails you use. (Nails should be 10D).

Now you are ready for some precise measuring. You should measure the width and height of the frame of the wall you expect to put into place.

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