DIY Network

Basic Steps to Build a Multi-Level Frame

DIY Network offers this seven-step process for building a two-story frame for your home.

More in Remodeling

building a two story frame home
  • Time

    Several Weekends

  • Price Range

    $10,000 - $15,000

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Install a Sill Plate

Install a sill plate on top of the foundation.

Note: There are codes that say you have to use pressure-treated wood for sill plates in a home.

install a sill plate on top of the foundation

Step 2: Build the Walls and Create a Ceiling

Once the sill plate is complete, build and then raise the first-story walls. The walls are composed of a sill plate, a vertical stud and a then a single or double top plate.

Create a ceiling for the first floor, and remember that the ceiling joists of the first story serve as the floor joists for the second floor. This means that joists are working double duty. After all the walls have been stood on end on the first floor, the layout of the second floor will follow by putting all the joists out and nailing them on. Once the floor joists are in, glue and nail the sub-floors down, which is normally 3/4" tongue-and-groove plywood.

Build and raise the second-floor walls. Do this by using the same technique required to build and raise the first-floor walls.

Note: For those of you building homes with multiple stories, repeat steps 3 and 4 as much as needed.

build and then raise the first story walls

Step 3: Add Stairs, Roof Frame and Plywood

Add stairs to join the first and second floors.

Add on the roof frame — making sure to keep the pitch of the roof in mind so that you have enough room in the attic. In the ceiling there will be either open-wall roof trusses or a conventional stick frame, using 2 x 6's or 2 x 8's as rafters.

Cover the roof and wall with plywood or OSB to finish the framing.

building a two story frame home