With every home project, we’re learning that having the right tools makes things a lot easier. Ashley jokingly claims that I married her for her power tools because she owned more than me. (I guess that’s what you get when you end up with an Interior Architect — bonus!) And we basically have the best neighbors ever — who not only lent us a ton of framing tools, but spent an entire day helping us in the basement. So with the compilation of our tools and their tools, we really had no excuse to not tackle the basement framing plans. And since half of any project is prep time, hopefully the following will save you some time with your framing project. Here are some lists of tools and building materials needed to frame a wall:

1. Nail Gun
We borrowed this from neighbor Matt and he did most of the nailing for us.

2. Construction Pencil
It seems silly to include this in the “tool” list, but they really are handy to have for these projects.

3. Tapcons (w/ drill bit)
We chose screws over nails for attaching the baseplate to the concrete floor, so these were a no-brainer.

4. Hammer Drill (or concrete nailer)
I borrowed this one from work. It makes quick work for drilling concrete, just don’t forget the ear plugs.

5. Air Compressor
Ours is a Craftsman 12 gallon and has been great — small enough to carry to the basement for this project, but powerful enough for nail guns and air wrenches.

6. Chalk Line
For easier cleanup, replace the chalk with baby powder.

7. Miter Saw
After my reintroduction to woodworking, Ashley’s Grandpa got this for me last Christmas and we couldn’t have done the project without it! This is the one we have. I’m sure we’ll be finding some more projects to put this to use again soon.

8. Square
The project would have trudged on without, but definitely nice to quickly ensure accurate cuts.

9. Drill (w/ wood drill bit)
Since the nail gun was leading the charge, our handy little Craftsman drill was plenty for the job. We’re big fans of this drill – we even included it in our Fathers’ Day Gift Guide last year.

10. Ear Protection + Safety Glasses
Safety first, of course.

11. Level
I don’t think Ashley would be too excited about crooked walls – we’re not trying to build a funhouse here.

12. Hammer
Kind of a necessity, despite the nail gun.

Once we had all of the tools, it was a late night run to Home Depot for some lumber.

Prius-ps1. Lumber
Thanks to our SketchUp plan, we were spot on with (24) 2×4 studs (including a couple extras just in case). Yep, that’s a Prius that brought them all home.

2. Sill Gasket
Since moisture and wood don’t always play nice, take the safe route and get a roll of sill plate gasket to create a moisture barrier anywhere the studs come in contact with concrete.

3. Fasteners
In addition to the Tapcons mentioned above, be sure to have plenty of framing nails and a few wood screws to make it all snap together.


Speed up the process by building individual wall segments on the ground.


For easier use, you can staple the moisture barrier to the bottom side of the sill plate.


Full on construction zone – things are moving along nicely.


We had to extend the wall and add a soffit to clear some drain pipes.


This creates a nice little inset on this wall where we envision an entertainment center.

From cleanup to framed in three-and-a-half minutes– not bad if you ask us. Psht! We have the drywall up too, but it’s not mudded and finished quite yet. We’ll share when it’s done. I wouldn’t consider us pros, but if you’re considering some framing work in your house and are looking for more pointers, let us know and we’ll try to answer any questions!

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