Framing the Walls

Once your floor system has been completed, the next step is to frame the walls on the subfloor. After all, your home won’t be much good without high-quality walls!

All plates should be glued to the subfloor. This helps reduce squeaks and again adds strength. Stud spacing should never exceed 16” on center and should be 12” on center on all walls carrying two floors above or are more than 12’ in height. Your structural engineer will help you with this. Proper blocking of the walls will help reduce wrapping, increase strength and aid fire blocking. All exterior walls should be blocked at least once in the middle and twice if over 10’ in height.

The exterior sheathing you choose will depend on your priorities. The use of a foam sheathing, while giving you some additional insulation value, has no structural strength and will crush at window openings (when nailing in windows). You must have corner bracing and the foam will not suffice. You are forced to use another method or mix the materials you are suing.

The use of ½” plywood for sheathing is considered one of the best methods as it adds strength to the entire exterior walls and provides an excellent nailing surface for window installation and the application of the tyvek house wrap over it. Finally, the plywood also allows a good surface for nailing the brick ties. If foam sheathing is used, stud locations have to be established when nailing the brick ties, which means they miss a lot of the time.

Inside the home, the walls should all be 16” on center, as this will give you a smooth drywall surface. If you go to 24” on center then drywall may bow between studs. Be sure your framer uses 2 cripples at each window and door opening to give you a solid surface for your trim to nail to.

Window rough openings need to be made accurately per the window manufacturer recommendation. Too often frames will make the openings too large which will not allow the nailing fins to hit a solid surface. Once the windows are installed property, they will need to be properly flashed to prevent water intrusion as well as stopping air infiltration. The proper procedure for installing your windows of choice will come with the windows.

The proper way to flash a window can be found on the TYEK website. These procedures need to be followed closely as it will affect the life of the window and the comfort of the home. Some of the other wall framing areas you need to check for is proper blocking for your bath accessories, to ensure good nailing surfaces for the future backer board used with your tile.