How To Build A Frame For A Wall

Framing a wall with a door opening is slightly more complicated than framing an interior wall, but the process is still straightforward. As long as you understand how to measure the studs for your frame and make notches for your door frame, you’ll be able to build the perfect frame for any space.

Determine the width.

The next step is determining the width of your wall. This can be done by measuring from one end to the other and then multiplying by two, but it’s more accurate if you use a tape measure to measure from each side.

Now that you’ve determined how wide your wall is, it’s time to find out how tall it will be. If you’re building a bar or shelf behind a door, this step might seem unnecessary—after all, why would you want anything taller than the door itself? But if you plan on hanging paintings or other decorative items on the bare wall behind them (which many people do), then they’ll need some extra room above their frames or else they’ll look weirdly squashed together like an old family photo gone wrong:

Cut the top and bottom plates.

Cut the top and bottom plates to make a frame.

  • For example, if your wall is 100 inches long, cut each plate 8 feet long. (100 inches / 12 inches per foot = 8 feet.)
  • For example, if your window is 36 inches above the floor and you want it centered in the wall (so your window opening will be 36 inches wide), then cut each side of the top and bottom plates for 45-inch openings. (36 + 36 + 2 × 4 [width of window frame] = 86″ total width of wall = 60″ on either side of centerline)

Mark your studs.

For the best results, you’ll need to mark your studs first. This is a job for a tape measure and pencil. Measure from the edge of the wall to each side of each stud—that’s how many inches apart they will be on both sides of your frame. Then use a framing square (or speed square) to check that every row is level in relation to the floor, then measure from left to right with chalk lines at even intervals where your frame will sit on top of them.

Mark the location of the door.

  • Measure the width of the door.
  • Measure the height of the door.
  • Measure the thickness of the door (including any trim).
  • Measure from where you’re going to put your frame’s top edge to where you want your door handle to be placed, in relation to its distance from both sides and bottom of your frame’s top edge by adding on 1 inch for clearance (easing), then mark this measurement on each side with a piece of tape that’s been labeled “TOP EDGE” and keep it handy for later steps when measuring in between boards next time we start attaching them together with nails.
  • Measure from where you’re going to put your frame’s bottom edge up until directly above where your first board will go at its top left corner using a leveler tool with one end pointing outwards towards one direction while holding another end pointing downwards towards another direction until it hits against something solid like floorboards which would look down upon them all together making sure everything looks straight before beginning work again tomorrow morning after breakfast when everyone has slept off their hangover symptoms tonight—and don’t forget about those extras who are still feeling sick from last night too.

Notch a space for the door frame.

  • Cut a notch in each stud for the door frame. The center of the notch should be about 1 inch from each edge of the door frame.
  • Cut a notch in each top plate to fit around your door. The center of this notch should be about 2 inches from each edge of your door.
  • Cut a notch in each bottom plate that matches up with where you cut it notches on your top plate and also mates with your side studs as well as being able to fit around any obstacles such as electrical outlets or switches nearby.

Cut and attach the studs to one another and to the plates.

  • Use a speed square (a triangular framing tool) to mark the studs.
  • Drive 3-inch deck screws into the studs, spacing them every 16 inches on center. If you are using a cordless drill/driver with an impact driver bit and a screw-tip attachment, use this tool for driving in the screws; otherwise, use a hammer and nail set to drive them in by hand.
  • Use your level to make sure that the studs are straight and plumb after they are attached together and to each plate (the side facing out).

Anchor the wall plates to the floor with shims.

The next step is to anchor the wall plates to the floor with shims. Shims are made of wood, plastic or metal and are used to level the wall plates on the floor.

You’ll want to use a level to check your shims: if your floor isn’t level, you may need to add or remove shims in order for everything else in your frame structure (like studs) not be off-level too. You should install them on each stud at the bottom of the wall, along with any other fasteners that are necessary for anchoring it securely into place—these will come later when you’re putting together all of these pieces into one solid frame structure.

A properly framed wall will be stable and easy to attach drywall to.

A properly framed wall will be stable and easy to attach drywall to, which is why framing a wall is so important. A framed wall is a strong wall that you can use for many different things. You can attach drywall directly to the studs, or you can add other materials such as insulation or plywood.


Congratulations! You’ve framed your wall and soon you’ll be ready to start hanging drywall. To recap, the most important steps in framing a wall are determining its location on the floor and measuring its width, height and depth. The next step is marking where your studs will go and cutting them out of wood planks, then attaching them together on an angle so they form an open-ended box with a space for a door frame. Once that box has been connected by nails or screws at each corner (and along both sides of each stud), it can be anchored onto something stationary like concrete using shims.

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