Framing walls with 8-ft. studs
I usually use precut studs to frame 8-ft.- and 9-ft.-tall walls. Precut studs are shorter than the finished height of the wall to allow for the thickness of the bottom and top plates (the precut stud for an 8-ft. wall is actually 92-5/8 in.).
A couple of years ago, precut studs were scarce locally, so I ordered a unit of ordinary 8-ft. studs. While pondering cutting 3-3/8 in. off each one, it occurred to me just to use full uncut 8-footers. The main drawback would be for the drywall installers. The walls would be 8 ft. 4-1/2 in. tall, requiring a 4-in.-wide strip to fill the resulting gap. But after thinking about it a while, I figured the strip could be inserted at the bottom of the wall rather than in the middle, as is usually the case when boarding. The more I thought about it, I realized there would be no need to tape the joint; the 5-1/4-in. baseboard I ordinarily install would cover the seam. In fact, when we boarded the walls, we just used scraps of drywall from door and window openings to fill the gap — and discovered an unforeseen benefit of the taller walls: Less drywall ends up in the trash container. Plus, the client gets a taller ceiling with no appreciable extra cost.
Mike Guertin, East Greenwich, RI