How to Build an Internal Stud Wall

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Building an interior stud wall takes a little strength, but if you're looking to divide a room or section something off, this is a project you can do yourself. If you have room to work in, you can build the wall on the floor and tilt it up into place, but if not it can be built right where it's going. You may need a little help from a friend with this project so plan ahead.

Things You'll Need

  • 2-by-4 inch studs
  • 2 1/2-, 3- and 3 1/2-inch stud nails
  • Framing nailer
  • Hammer
  • Plumb bob
  • Locate your ceiling joists. Your top plate must be nailed into the joists or you will have to do some demolition to install nailing blocks. The joists normally run the shortest distance on the room and if you can find them you may have to remove a piece of the ceiling. If you have an unfinished basement, you may be able to see which way they run.

  • Run a center line with chalk on the ceiling where you want the wall. From that line measure out half the width of the top plate on both ends and snap another chalk line.

  • Put your top plate and bottom plate (both 2-by-4s) on the floor next to each other. Mark each one where the studs are going. Draw out the measurements of one stud at the ends of your plates and find the center. Then measure 16 inches from that center to mark the center of the next stud. Use a square to mark both plates at the same time and in the same places so your studs will line up evenly when installed.

  • Secure the top plate along your chalk line by hammering 3 1/2 inch nails into each joist. If you're running the wall parallel to the joist you will need to run nailing block between the joists and nail to that.

  • Mark the floor for your bottom plate. Hang a plumb bob from one side of the top plate at the end. It should hang down until it just about reaches the floor. Mark the spot on the floor and repeat for the other side. Snap a chalk line between the two marks and you will have the line for your bottom plate. Nail in the bottom plate, spacing your nails every 16 inches and staggering them.

  • Place your first stud and toenail the top and bottom into place. Check to make sure they are straight with a level. For the first stud, add another stud to it. You only do this where one wall is up against another. This doesn't change where you put your second stud, it just gives strength to the intersection and helps when nailing on the drywall.

  • Go across and nail in the rest of your studs, checking each time to make sure they are straight. When you are finished you are ready for drywall.

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  • Photo Credit phil landowski
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