Building a Garage 5 - Nailing and Positioning the Wall

It will be easy to nail the wall together if your layout marks are accurate and your pieces have been cut to the proper size.

Most Common Mistakes:

  1. Not nailing exactly flush where pieces come together.
  2. Not squaring the wall.
  3. Not having enough people to lift and hold the wall in position while bracing.
  4. Not nailing braces securely.


1. On the garage floor slab, separate the top and bottom plate slightly more than a stud's length apart with the bottom plate positioned nearest the wall's final location, place the different pieces in position.

2. It works best if two people can nail - one at the top plate and one at the bottom plate - to prevent the wall from jumping around. Drive two 16d CC sinkers into each stud through each plate and into all studs in the corner assembly as well.

3. Nail the headers in place with all adjoining pieces exactly flush with each other. The studs should not protrude from the plates nor should the header protrude from the sides of the king or trimmer studs.

4. After everything is nailed together, check the wall for squareness first by measuring across diagonally from one corner to the other, then measuring the opposite diagonal. Adjust until the two diagonals are equal and the wall is square.

5. Temporarily nail a 2" x 4" diagonally across the wall to keep it square and lend rigidity during moving.

NOTE: In some areas, permanent wood or metal diagonal bracing may be required if you are not using plywood sheathing or siding. Check local code*.

 The Garage Door Framing 6. Lift the wall into place and have one person hold a long 4-8' carpenter's level against the inside or outside of the wall until it is positioned plumb. A plumb bob can also be, used.

7. Then nail 2" x 4" braces from the top of the wall into stakes driven into the ground outside the wall. The braces should be placed every 10 to 12 feet.

8. Beginning at one end of the wall, bend the sill anchors over the bottom sill plate and nail them to the sill plate with the nails provide.

The Garage Door Framing

Ordering the header too short.
Not providing the required number of trimmers.
Most Common Mistakes:

  1. Ordering the header too short.
  2. Not providing the required number of trimmers.


1. Build the two short wall sections on either side of the large opening separately and in accordance with the blueprints. Be sure to build in any required three stud corner. The long, large header will sit on top of trimmer studs rather than be hung from the trimmer/king with fasteners.

2. To accommodate the massive header being used, you will have to add two or three trimmer studs next to the king stud for the header to rest upon. (Check your local code* for recommendation). Cut the trimmers to the proper height before proceeding.

3. Raise the short wall sections into place, plumb them as you have done previously, and secure the corners.

4. You can purchase a pre-manufactured laminated and pressure treated header or you can build one yourself from 2" stock. Check first to see if building it yourself is allowed by your local building code*. Order the header length in accordance with your blueprint and so that it rests on the trimmer (support) studs. Be sure you order or build the proper length.

5. The special header will eliminate the need for cripple studs above the garage door opening.

6. Carefully place the header on top of the trimmer studs. Three or four people may be needed to accomplish this without strain as the header is quite heavy. Usually the header is flush with the top (rather than the bottom) of the lower top plate. Determine this before cutting the trimmers. The cap plate will then overlap both top plate and header and helps secure it. Be very clear on this before building the supporting walls. Be very careful when handling this heavy header. A fall here could cause a serious injury. Be sure you have solid footing when lifting it into place.

The Cap Plate

Not overlapping at corner. Most Common Mistake:

Not overlapping at corner.


1. The cap plate is a 2"x 4" member that caps the top plate after all walls are up and in place.

2. Overlap all corners and joints with the cap for added stability. Nail this flush with the top plate using two nails directly on top of all studs.

3. Once the cap plate is in place you can remove the temporary braces.