Honestly, I had no freaking idea what the word "blocking" meant when talking about framing a wall.
When I started my basement project my friend Tom was like, "how did the blocking go?"
I played it off real cool, like "yeah, not bad, totally blocked it". But when I walked off I was thinking "what in the hell is he talking about… blocking?
I had just started framing the first room of my basement, the man office / sports room ( aka the gift wrapping room ).
The first wall was up and I as I rounded the corner to start on framing the second wall it hit me. Blocking! I needed some blocking or this wall was not going up.
Blocking for wall framing are short pieces of 2 by 4 that you install between two joists of the basement ceiling. It's not a "building code" thing and it's not optional, you'll more than likely have to install some blocking to complete your wall framing.
Let's say your ceiling joists (or floor joists, depending on how you look at it) run north and south. When you go to frame a wall going parallel to those joists then you won't have anything to nail the top plate of the wall in to.
If your brain is about to explode now, please stay calm, I do have a picture. Be sure that you've read the basic how to build a wall post first, so you know some of the terminology. Once you see what framing blocking is you're going to be like "oh, that. Yea, I get that."
Install your blocking before you start building your wall. You want them at 16" or 24" on center because the drywall guys will expect them to be the same distance apart as your joists. (they can work around it, but you don't really want them to have to, so keep it consistent)
To install blocking, take your framing gun and "toenail" (nail at an angle) a nail on each side of each end of the 2x4. The main thing is the be sure that the blocking is flush with the bottom of the joist and straight and flat. I measured the length of each piece cause I'm a bit of a perfectionist and didn't want a gap.
If you don't have a framing nail gun and are doing this by hand or with screws… I feel bad for you. Like, really bad. Unless your Mike Holmes and you can swing a hammer like Thor, you aren't going to have fun doing this part. Check out this framing gun from Bostitch from Amazon, it's got fantastic reviews, great price, free shipping, perfect for finishing your basement.
They are not that badly priced and you can always sell it to someone else when you're done. Although I wouldn't, cause have a framing gun is like the pinnacle of being bad ass.
Relax, it's not that bad either, but it totally freaked me out 'cause I thought I had missed my chance to install fire blocking and that I would have to tear down all of my walls.
Cheers - Jason
Hey, dudes and dudettes, do you still have a question? Even after my redonkulous written explanation? I thought you might. Go ahead and ask it in the comments below. I'm just sitting here doing nothing... waiting... for you.