How to Build a Metal Stud Wall
A metal stud wall is a great option because it isn’t susceptible to rotting or termite damage. Follow these simple steps to build one in your home.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
Saw through the sole plate just inside the doorway studs and remove the offcut, so that the doorway is clear. Be careful not to saw into the finished floor. The frame is now ready to be covered.
Mark a notch (area to be cut away) on the wall plate so that it will sit over the baseboard and lie flush on the wall. With the wall-facing side upward, saw along the guide line to the depth marked by the pencil lines on the edges. Use a bevel-edged chisel and a hammer to remove chunks of wood, working down to the depth required. Position the plate against the wall and secure as normal.
Use a masonry drill bit to drill through the sole plate and into the concrete floor (image 1). This will guide your fasteners into place. Use hammer-in fasteners through the drilled holes to fasten the sole plate securely into place (image 2).
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