Interior Framing and Preparation for Drywall

Whether you’re building a new house from scratch or reforming an old one, the interior framing and preparation for your drywall is a step that takes considerable time and planning. Professional house-builders will have diagrams that tell you exactly where framing needs to be, but many reforming and DIY style projects rely solely on the carpenter’s “inspiration”, if you will.

This is not to say that one will necessarily turn out better than the other, although advance preparation and planning is often a good idea. But in either case, this phase of construction will determine the shape and Sub-Wall Framingquality of the home interior. The first step is to determine which walls and ceilings will have a wallpaper finish and which ones won’t.

It’s generally a good idea to leave the actual wallpapering till the end, as that will minimize the risk of damage to the wallpaper. This means that any walls or ceilings that will have some other kind of finish and that will border a wallpaper finish should be done first. In any case, you must have a comprehensive layout of how all your walls and ceilings will come together before you begin drywalling.

As much as possible, you don’t want to have to add framing somewhere while drywalling, especially if you hadn’t even planned its framing beforehand. If you’re lucky you’ll just need to add framing and then simply continue drywalling. But there will be situations where because you didn’t plan the framing, you end up having to remove drywall and reframe portions of any connected walls.

In other words, drywalling should generally not be commenced until all framing is completely done. This means that the framing establishes a clear base of the entire surface area of your house! All internal corners need to have framing so as to provide a base for drywall coming in from both directions. This includes wall-to-wall corners, wall-to-ceiling corners, and wall-to-floor corners.

Obviously, it’s fairly easy to frame a room in the shape of a cube, where there are no irregular shapes, plumbing, ducts, foundation and structural column protrusions, etc. But most houses will have these irregularities, and it is during this phase of construction that you will have to plan how your finished surface will look in the end.

There are 2 general ways to frame around protrusions:

Frame around it. This option saves space but is time-consuming to frame as well as install flooring and trimming around it, etc.
Bring the entire wall out past the obstruction so as to produce a flat wall. You lose that space to the wall but have a cleaner look and save time in construction.

Last but by no means least, DO NOT forget to add additional framing where you’ll be tapping into the wall for support for cabinetry, hand-rails, light fixtures, racks, etc. This includes any walls where the client might Ceiling Framing for Light Fixtureadd something in the future. Remember, once the drywall and wallpapering is up, it’ll be too late to add framing! Another reason to plan ahead and have things mapped out beforehand.

When needing to add large amounts of sub-wall framing, it’s best to add framing inset the thickness of your plywood so the plywood comes level with the surrounding framing. This way you can cover a large area and not have to calculate and pinpoint exact locations and risk “missing the mark”. Areas like closets, bathrooms, and some parts of your dining room are common places to add additional framing for future improvements. The option of simply using plywood instead of sheetrock is discouraged due to it being flammable and for those on a budget, more expensive. Also, when compared to sheetrock, plywood is harder, and creates an acoustically reverberant room — even when wallpapered.

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