Figure 1-47.Squaring a wall.
been raised. The topmost plates are nailed so that they
overlap the plates below at all corners. This helps to tie
the walls together. All ends are fastened with two 16d
nails. Between the ends, 16d nails are staggered 16
inches OC. The butt joints between the topmost plates
should be at least 4 feet from any butt joint between the
plates below them.
Squaring Walls and Placing Braces
A completely framed wall is often squared while it
is still lying on the subfloor. In this way, bracing,
plywood, or other exterior wall covering can be nailed
before the wall is raised. When diagonal measurements
are equal, the wall is square. Figure 1-47 shows
examples of unsquared and squared walls.
A let-in diagonal brace maybe placed while the wall
is still on the subfloor. Lay out and snap a line on the
studs to show the location of the brace (fig. 1-48). The
studs are then notched for the brace. Tack the brace to
the studs while the wall is still lying on the subfloor.
Tacking instead of nailing allows for some adjustment
after the wall is raised. After any necessary adjustment
is made, the nails can be securely driven in.
Most walls can be raised by hand if enough help is
available. It is advisable to have one person for every 10
feet of wall for the lifting operation.
The order in which walls are framed and raised may
vary from job to job. Generally, the longer exterior walls
are raised first. The shorter exterior walls are then raised,
and the comers are nailed together. The order of framing
interior partitions depends on the floor layout.
Figure 1-48.Let-in diagional brace.
After a wall has been raised, its bottom plates must
be nailed securely to the floor. Where the wall rests on
a wood subfloor and joists, 16d nails should be driven
through the bottom plate and into the floor joists below
Plumbing and Aligning
Accurate plumbing of the comers is possible only
after all the walls are up. Most framing materials are not
perfectly straight; walls should never be plumbed by
applying a hand level directly to an end stud. Always
use a straightedge along with the level, as shown in
figure 1-49, view A. The straightedge can be a piece
ripped out of plywood or a straight piece of 2 by 4
lumber. Blocks 3/4 inch thick are nailed to each end. The
blocks make it possible to accurately plumb the wall
from the bottom plate to the top plate.
Plumbing corners requires two persons working
together-one working the bottom area of the brace and
the other watching the level. The bottom end of the brace
is renailed when the level shows a plumb wall.
The tops of the walls (fig. 1-49, view B) are
straightened (aligned or lined up) after all the corners
have been plumbed. Prior to nailing the floor or ceiling
joists to the tops of the walls, make sure the walls are
aligned. Heres how: Fasten a string from the top plate
atone corner of the wall to the top plate at another corner
of the wall. You then cut three small blocks from 1 by 2
lumber, Place one block under each end of the string so
that the line is clear of the wall.
The third block is used as a gauge to check the wall
at 6- or 8-foot intervals. At each checkpoint, a temporary
brace is fastened to a wall stud.
When fastening the temporary brace to the wall
stud, adjust the wall so that the string is barely touching
the gauge block. Nail the other end of the brace to a short
2 by 4 block fastened to the subfloor. These temporary