Wall Framing Tips for New Construction

Avoid common framing errors with these pro tips

Learn the simple framing techniques that ensure accurately built, tightly framed walls. This article explains the basics of marking up and laying out a wall, along with tips about headers, trimmers and studs.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine


One day






Wall framing always looks simple and straightforward, but a mistake here—a wall that's too short or a window opening slightly too small—wastes lots of time and effort later. In this article, we'll show you simple techniques designed to ensure accurate results. Keep in mind, though, that carpentry practices and jargon vary from region to region and even from one carpenter to the next. So don't be surprised if some of the labels and marks we show aren't exactly what you'd encounter on a local building project. The basic concepts are the same, and with this information your next framing project should go smoothly and error free.

Snap lines and set the plates in place

Mark windows and doors first, then lay out the studs

Transfer the layout marks to the bottom plate

Nail full-height headers to the top plate

Add cripples above headers and under sills

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Hammer
  • Miter saw
  • Tape measure
  • Circular saw
  • Chalk line
  • Speed square

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • 2 x 4 or 2 x 6 studs
  • 8d framing nails
  • 16d framing nails
  • 2 x 8, 2 x 10 for headers
  • 1/2-in. plywood for headers

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