I can't find a rule book on properly framing a wall. Seems like there are no rules for studs placement except those for doors or windows and the 2 studs on the ends. But the inspector does check for something. So is there a one true way of placing the studs?

Edit: this is not a question about 16" or 24" oc.

  • 4
    I think you'll find that all building materials (such as insulation) are designed for studs on either 16" or 24" centers. Even if it's not an explicit rule, it's the defacto standard, and deviating from this will make your life more difficult. It will also raise red flags for the inspector who will immediately pull out his fine tooth comb to figure out what other things you may have chosen to be creative about. However, I get the feeling that this isn't really what you're asking - please edit to clarify exactly what you're after.
    – FreeMan
    Sep 20, 2021 at 12:08
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    There are infinitely many ways to frame a wall. Some are acceptable, others are not, but what builders generally want is a wall design that meets the code and uses minimal materials and labor. In other words, OPTIMAL.
    – jwh20
    Sep 20, 2021 at 13:27
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    see diy.stackexchange.com/a/55152/18078 - and required spacing depends on stud size and wall loading (what's it holding up?)
    – Ecnerwal
    Sep 20, 2021 at 13:57
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    This question needs more information as is. 1) Are you talking about load bearing walls or non load bearing walls? 2) Where do you live 3) Is this an exterior wall or an interior wall 4) do you want to meet code or exceed it (or violate it)?
    – TylerH
    Sep 20, 2021 at 20:47

1 Answer 1


Yes, there are several ways to frame your wall and it starts with your roof and goes down to the footing. We design from the top down and build from the bottom up.

The building inspector is there to help insure you house does not collapse killing family, guests or visitors.

Framing your wall is the process of transferring all the loads through the wall and onto the footing, including wind and earthquake loads. Do you live in a high wind area or seismic active area?

The Building Code has established minimum installation instructions and these are generally adequate unless you are in a high wind area or seismic active area.

Bigger loads from your roof onto your walls will require larger and stronger walls. Likewise, larger door and window headers plus larger garage door header and support posts. Also there are minimum standards for connecting the walls to the foundation. (Remember, you’re building from the bottom up so all bolts, anchors, etc. will already be installed when you start the wall framing.)

Now to answer your question: no, there is not one true way to frame a house, but you need an architect or structural engineer to design your idea if you don’t follow the standard path of construction as outlined in the Building Code.

We designed a house for a guy who owned a sawmill and wanted all the walls to have the studs laying flat on top of each other. He had plenty of gorgeous lumber, but we did it with a structural engineer.

If you haven’t built before, I’d hire a local general contractor and build a 10’ x 12’ shed (a Building Permit is not required for such a small structure but check with Building Codes first), then decide about your house.

  • Thank you. I guess what I'm looking for is a book or a reference with a comprehensive list of "if-then" rules for framing. If such a thing even exists. Sep 21, 2021 at 19:23
  • 1
    @MichaelKelso then that's what you should have been asking in the original question. I think you'll find that "resource location" type questions are off-topic, though. However, if you run into a situation that you're unsure how to handle, come back and ask a very specific question about the situation. Treat the site like a master carpenter who you, as a trainee, would go ask questions of.
    – FreeMan
    Sep 22, 2021 at 17:33

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