When building a wall you will need a bottom plate and two top plates to attach the wall studs to. The double top plate is needed to comply with building code, code requires a double top plate for load bearing walls.

Layout the bottom plate and one of the top plate at 16" on center. That means you will place wall studs every 16 inches. This is a typical spacing for most residential construction. Place your door openings where you want them and layout the correct rough opening size.

When building new construction or remodeling, it is best to stack your wall studs directly over the floor joist.. Guess what?...most floor joist are also placed on 16" centers. There are many reason do this, let's start with the obvious:
  •  Strength of the building is increased as every stud bears directly over the floor joist, which in turn is bearing directly on the foundation
  • Mechanicals such as heating and plumbing are much easier to run from floor to floor
  • Studs stack over each other in stairwells
  • Future renovations or after thought wiring will be less difficult
  • Wall sheathing and drywall panels install with less cutting

You will need to pick a corner of the house to start all layouts from. Including floor and wall systems. The best spot to start from is where the two longest walls of the house or addition meet, or come together in a corner. Using this one reference point to complete all layouts from will produce the best result. While this will take a little extra time, and some thought to complete, the benefits will far out weigh the minimal time investment.

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