Learn How to Build a Non-Bearing Stud Wall

Learn how to build a non-loadbearing stud wall and install a doorway.
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Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Layout

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

Mark Wall Guides

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. Repeat on the other wall.

Mark Floor Guides

Drive a nail into the floor at the base of each wall guide line. Attach and snap a chalk line across the floor to draw a guide line.

Mark Baseboards

Where the wall guide lines meet the floor, mark a section of baseboard on each wall equal to the width of the sole plate.

Cut Baseboards

Cut away the marked sections of baseboard on both walls, taking care to saw accurate vertical lines. Pry the waste sections away from the wall with a pry bar if they stick.

Cut and Place Sole Plates

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.

Cut and Place the Ceiling Plate

Cut the ceiling plate to length. Position it along the guide line, centered along it if necessary, 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.

Allow for a Door

Mark the door position on the sole plate, allowing for the door plus its jamb. Mark positions for other studs, usually 16 or 24 in (405 or 610 mm) on center.

Install Studs for Doorway

Cut and position a stud on one side of the doorway, using a level to keep it vertical and securing it as shown in the next step.

Install the Door Stud

Keeping the stud vertical, secure it to the ceiling and sole plates with 3-in (70-mm) nails inserted diagonally. Nail two or three nails this way at the top and bottom of every stud.

Installing the Door Head

Cut blocking to the width of the doorway plus 1/2 inch (12 mm). 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.

Finishing the Frame

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.