For a lot of homeowners the mystery of exactly how to layout wall framing seams to be at the top of the framing  issues list! After-all, the correct placement of the 2″ x 4″‘s in our framed wall is critical in a lot of different ways. Atop this list is laying out our walls correctly for drywall hanging later in the project. Positioning the 2″ x 4″ wall stud’s so that full sheets of drywall will work perfectly is not hard to do, but there is a definite layout procedure that must be followed in order to work out.

Laying out your basement walls for framing is accomplished by making “stud layout marks” on the top and bottom plates of each wall that will dictate where each individual 2″ x 4″ will be placed and fastened into the framed wall structure. Knowing exactly how and where to make these stud marks is the key component to a successful basement framing project.

The only tools needed for a successful layout process are a contractor-grade 25′ or 30′ tape measure, a “speed square” sometimes called a Rafter square and a  carpenter pencil (not a school pencil!)…that’s it! You are now ready to begin the basement wall layout process.

Most basement walls us a 16″ o.c. (on center) layout. You should NEVER use a 24″ o.c. layout on your basement walls, it’s to far between wall studs and your drywall and trim may warp between the wall studs over time! The traditional 16″ o.c. layout is the most common wall layout in residential and commercial construction.

This layout works well for drywall because drywall is typically 48″ wide and 96″ long, both measurements are a multiple of 16″, meaning, your drywall should “hit” walls studs anyway you hang it if your layout is correct! If your layout is wrong your drywall will not land on studs at each end causing you a lot of hassle while hanging, and will make drywall finishing a nightmare.

The video above will help you understand why a proper wall framing layout is critical to your framing success, and will give you a good start towards laying out your first basement wall.

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