Since I was doing this project solo, I used a chop saw to cut all my boards in 4-foot pieces so they would be more manageable.
Mark your studs. A good stud finder is needed to make sure your planks are secure. Use your level and pencil to mark your studs from floor to ceiling.
I started at the ceiling. I did this because I knew that our ceiling or floor wouldn’t be perfectly straight and if we had any type of gap at the end the baseboards would hide it. If you are installing crown molding you can start at the floor and work up.
Using my level, I held up my first board and nailed it with my nail gun. I did one row all the way across one wall. The final board had to be cut to fit. Save the leftover from that cut to use as your first board on the second row. This staggers the boards. When doing the next row I used nickels as spacers.
I recommend measuring and verifying that you will not end up having to cut the last board less than ½ of the board’s width. If it measures out that you would, I would rip the first board to make it end right.
A cordless Ryobi jigsaw is great for cutting around light switches and plugs.
If you are doing this solo, sterilize the nickles because you will probably need to use your mouth to hold them lol.