Jul 05,2013

How To Order Basement Framing LumberYour basement has been designed, your floor plan has been approved, building permits have been issued and your concrete floor layout is completed, it’s now time for the first major hands-on stage of the basement to commence, the FRAMING!!

You’ve been dying to get your hands on some power tools at this point, ready to give-er-hell, but hold on a minute…you need some framing lumber to start with. Do you know what to order and how to order all of your framing materials? Well lets start with the obvious lumber first…the wall studs. These will be 2″ x 4″‘s going into all of your walls at 16″ intervals and will make up most of the framing project . But what length 2″ x 4″‘s do you order for the wall framing, 8′, 9′, 10′? Here’s how you figure the correct lengths for your “stud” order: (a “stud” by-the-way is another name for a 2″ x 4″ that goes in your framed walls and nothing at all to do with being manly.

First use your tape measure to measure from the floor to the bottom of your floor joist in 2-3 different places in the basement and write down these measurements. Then use the chart below to determine what length 2″ x 4″‘s you will purchase for the entire job, you will only be ordering one length 2″ x 4″ for How To Order Basement Framing Lumberall of your wall studs. I do not use “pre-cut” 8′-0″ 2″ x 4″‘s because they cost a little more and your always going to be cutting your wall studs to length anyhow when framing basement walls.


  • 0″ to 98″ order Regular 8′-0″ 2″ x 4″‘s
  • 98″ to 110″ order Regular 9′-0″ 2″ x 4″‘s
  • 110″ & over order Regular 10′-0″ 2″ x 4″‘s
  • (Note: You can go approximately 2″ Higher than what the stud’s length measures because the thickness of the top and bottom plates together equal 3 more inches of height!)

OK you got your length now, now how many studs do you need to buy for your walls? Well I use the wall lengths of the areas that will become finished living space as my guide to how many 2″ x 4″‘s I will order for my project. Use the method below for your 2″ x 4″ wall framing lumber order:


  • First measure the lengths of all of your walls to be built (interior and exterior walls).
  • Add all of the individual wall lengths together and write down that number
  • Multiply that number by 12 and write that number down
  • Divide that number by 16 and write that number down
  • Add 50 to that number and now you have the total number of 2″x 4″ studs to order.

How To Order Basement Framing LumberThis stud count order will get you close to what you will need. It includes waste for crooked studs, it includes extra studs for corner-nailers, soffits framing overhead, frame blocking, built-in framing, etc.

If you need more studs it won’t be many. If you have a few extra, it won’t be many and you can take them back for a store credit when your framing is 100% completed.



We have only figured out our wall stud order and misc. framing lumber order so far. We must now calculate our top and bottom 16′-0″ wall plates and our 16′-0″ Soffit plates a.k.a. “Soffit Ladders”. These calculations are a little easier to figure out. Use the method below to figure our plate order: Let’s start with your “Treated” 16′-0″ bottom plates. All bottom plates will be treated 16′-0″ lumber to avoid rotting-out over time. Concrete contains “Lyme” which will eat-away your regular lumber! The wall top plates and the soffit plates will both be Regular 16′-0″ x 2″ x 4″ not treated.


  1. First measure all of your individual wall lengths to be built (interior & exterior) write all these measurments down
  2. Now add the individual wall lengths together and write that number down
  3. Take this number and divide it by 16. You now the number of 16′-0″ treated 2″ x 4″ bottom plates to order! (Always round-up the number of plates needed to order, never round-down)


  1.  First measure all of your individual wall lengths to be built (interior & exterior) write them down
  2. Now add the individual wall lengths together and write that number down
  3. Take this number and divide it by 16. You now the number of 16′ treated 2″ x 4″ wall plates to order.
  4. Measure the length of the soffits you will need to build overhead from one end of the soffit to the other. Do this for all of the soffits if you have more than one that needs built. Write the measurements down.
  5. Add up all the individual soffits lengths and write that number down
  6. Take that number and multiply it by 4 and write that number down
  7. Take that number and divide it by 16. You now have the number of Regular 16′-0″ 2″ x 4″ plates toorder for your soffits.


There are two main types of framing lumber you can purchase at most lumber yards for use in residential wall framing, and they are:

  1. Fur
  2. Yellow pine

I like the yellow pine personally because it does not split as easily as the Fur when nailing. But I have to say that the Fur is usually much straighter than the Yellow Pine. But I would rather pick through a few twisted Yellow pine studs than use the splitting Fur Studs any day of the week! Personal preference…but both will work for your basement wall studs.

How To Order Basement Framing LumberOK! Well I hope this helps you with all of your framing lumber ordering, You should be able to calculate the right order numbers now and schedule that first material delivery truck to begin the Framing! I always prepay for the order and schedule the deliver for a “first morning delivery” on the day I plan to start the framing party, “the early bird catches the worm baby”.

A few other items you may want to prepay for and throw on the delivery truck are:

  1. a box of 3 1/4″ long air framing nails
  2. a box of (100) 2 1/2″ Ramset Pins
  3. a box of (100) yellow Ramset load

Of course you will need a Ramset Gun and an Air Framer Gun to use these supplies, but more on these tools in another post! Good luck with your framing project. Home Depot bringing me my Lumber order and other goodies with their “Curb-side” delivery! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1isxxFeRlMU Good luck with your basement ordering!  I’m always here if you have any questions about your basement project! Just leave me a comment below and respond the same day!

How To Order Basement Framing Lumber

How To Order Basement Framing Lumber

Posted in: Basement Finishing Articles, Basement Framing

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