You've just taken some
plywood, 2x4 studs, 2x12 header material and some house
wrap and transformed them into a wall. Its time to take the
fruits of your labor and raise that wall off the deck.
Having the right steps in place and making the right moves
will make this task go smoothly and safely.
There are a couple of procedures that are done during the
framing of the wall that play an important part in raising
it. Before an exterior wall is framed, a chalk line is
snapped on the deck. If it is a 2x4 wall with 1/2"
sheathing, this line will be 4 inches off the edge of the
deck. After the wall is framed and before any wall
sheathing is nailed to it, the edge of the bottom plate is
brought to the line. The end of the wall is brought to the
edge of the deck. Once the frame is put in place, it is toe
nailed with 8d nails on the inside of the bottom plate. Not
only do these hold the wall in place when squaring up the
wall, but also keep the wall on the line when raising
Once the wall is sheathed with plywood, insulation board,
foam board and covered with house wrap you are ready to
raise it. In preperation to lift the wall one must be able
to get their hands under the top plate. Using a straight
claw hammer or a prybar under the top plate, lift the wall
high enough to slip a 2x4 flat under it. This inch and a
half space gives you enough room for your hands.
If your raising a second story wall it is a good idea to
nail stopping blocks to the rim joists. One of the last
things you want is the wall being pushed off the edge of
the deck. These are scrap pieces of lumber nailed the rim
joist with 16d nails. Ideally these should be 16 to 18
inches long and nailed the full width of the joist with 4
16d nails. The balance of the board will stick up above the
deck. Put these blocks at each end of the wall. On longer
walls you may want to add one to the middle.
Before raising the wall, have all of your bracing material
on hand. On a windy day you will want to brace the wall in
place as soon as possible. Have enough braces (2x4's) to
have them nailed on about every 10 feet. You will need
blocks to nail to the deck to anchor the braces. These need
to be about 20" long and get nailed to the deck through the
plywood and into the floor joists with 16d nails. The nails
need to go into the joists or ther is the risk of the
bracing failing in the case of high winds.
Bracing on the ends of the walls can be nailed on before it
is raised. Nail one end of a 2x4 (wall stud) about one
third of the way down from the top plate, again using 16d
nails. Start a nail at the other end of the 2x4 so when the
wall is stood up, all one has to do is drive the nail into
the rim joist to brace the end of the wall.
With all materials and safeguards in place you can now
raise the wall. A good rule of thumb for raising a wall is
a set of hands every 8 to 10 feet. This gives everyone a
comfortable weight to lift. To save your back, use your
legs in the lifting process as much as possible.
Once the wall is raised, nail off the end braces to the rim
joists. Next, nail the braces to a stud or window opening
about a third of the way down from the top plate, about
every 8 to 10 feet apart. Next, nail the blocks to the deck
alongside the braces that were just nailed the the wall,
being sure to catch the floor joists with the nails. With
the wall as close to plumb as possible, nail off the anchor
end of the brace to the block on the deck. It is important
to use 16d nails for all of these steps.
After the wall is raised and braced, the final step is to
nail the bottom plate of the wall to the deck. Push or pull
the wall to the chalk line that was snapped on the deck.
The 8d toe nails and the stopping blocks should have kept
the wall very close to this line. Once the plate is brought
to the line, nail it off with 16d nails, being sure to hit
either the rim joist or a floor joist. You can now walk
away and start another wall.
Remember, homebuilding can be a dangerous and risky
occupation or activity. Always execise caution and saftey
in all aspects of the construction process.
Mike Merisko (C) 2006