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How to Build a Non-Bearing Stud Wall (page 1 of 2)

Learn how to build a non-loadbearing stud wall to separate two rooms.

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Wall Ready to be Covered Once Studs are in Place

Here's What You'll Do:

The technique uses guide lines to mark where the centers of studs will sit. If you want them to mark the edges, draw them to one side of the joists or studs into which you will drive nails or screws.

If your stud wall is to have a doorway, lay a full sole plate as shown, and later cut away a section of it to make the doorway. You may need somebody to hold the ceiling plate in position while you fasten it in place.

View photo gallery instructions for this project

Create a Layout

Snap a chalk line across the ceiling to mark either the center or one edge of the ceiling plate’s position (image 1).

At one end of the ceiling line, use a long level and a pencil to draw a line on the wall, all the way up from the floor (image 2). Repeat on the other wall. Drive a nail into the floor at the base of each wall guide line (image 3). Attach and snap a chalk line across the floor to draw a guide line. Where the wall guide lines meet the floor, mark a section of baseboard on each wall equal to the width of the sole plate (image 4).

Install Floor Plate

Cut away the marked sections of baseboard on both walls, taking care to saw accurate vertical lines (image 1). Pry the waste sections away from the wall with a pry bar if they stick. Cut the sole plate to fit across the room where the baseboard has been removed. Position it along its guide line, and secure it to the floor (image 2).

Install Other Plates and Trimmer Studs

Cut the ceiling plate to length. Position it along the guide line, centered along it and secure it to the ceiling. This will be easier if two people work together. Cut the wall plates to length and secure them to the walls (image 1). Mark the door position on the sole plate, allowing for the door plus its jamb. Mark positions for other studs, usually 16 or 24 inches on center (image 2).

Cut and position a stud on one side of the doorway, using a level to keep it vertical and securing it (image 3). Keeping the stud vertical, secure it to the ceiling and sole plates with 3-inch nails inserted diagonally (image 4). Nail two or three nails this way at the top and bottom of every stud.

Install Door Header

Cut blocking to the width of the doorway plus 1/2 inch. Secure to the door studs at height required for top of door jamb, using a level to make sure it is precisely horizontal. Cut a stud to fit between the top of the doorway and the ceiling plate. Secure it at the center of the doorway's width.

Secure Stud in Center of Doorway Width

Courtesy of DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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