How to Frame a Basement for Drywall

Lead Image
What You'll Need
2x4-inch studs
2x4-inch top plate
2x4-inch water-resistant bottom plate
Combination square
3-inch and 3.5-inch nails
Hammer or framing nailer
Plumb bob
Masonry screws

Whether you are planning to add rooms to a basement or just to remodel the space, you will need to frame new walls for your basement drywall. You can do this project by yourself or with the help of one other person. Follow these steps to complete framing your wall in a few hours.

Step 1 - Measure and Mark Plate Lines

In your unfinished basement, mark the ceiling joist where the near end of your top wall plate will be attached. Make another mark where the far end will be attached. Snap a chalk line between the two marks. At one end of this line, hold the end of a plumb bob string. Have your helper mark the place on the floor where the plumb bob touches. Do the same at the far end of the top plate, then snap a chalk line between these two points.

Step 2 - Mark Points for Your Studs

Lay your bottom and top plates side by side on the floor, so that the ends of both plates are even with each other. Use a pencil to mark both plates .75-inches from the end. That will be the center of your first wall stud. From the first stud mark, measure 16-inches and make another mark to be the center of your next stud. Continue this process until you've reached the end of your plates, which is where you will place another mark on each plate.

Step 3 - Measure and Cut your Studs

Measure the distance between the floor and the bottom surface of the ceiling joist where your wall will be installed. Subtract 3-inches for the thickness of each plate. For example, if the distance between floor and ceiling joist is exactly 8-feet, after subtracting 3-inches for the bottom and top stud, your stud should be cut exactly 7-feet and 9-inches.

Don't assume that the distance from floor to ceiling will be 8-feet for each stud, as not all construction is perfect. There may be variations in your ceiling joists. Measure this distance at both ends of your bottom and top plates then cut your studs to the length you have measured.

Step 4 - Attach Your Top and Bottom Plates

Using a framing nailer, attach the top plate to the ceiling joist where you made the chalk line. Using a stud gun with concrete nails or a high speed drill with concrete screws, attach he bottom plate to the floor. Be sure you drive a nail or stud near the end of the plates. Do so no closer to the end than 2-inches to avoid splitting the plates.