How to Build a Temporary Load Bearing Wall


Load-bearing walls support the roof and floor of your home. When replacing a load-bearing wall, or removing a section of it, you need to support the roof trusses or rafters to avoid damaging the structural integrity of your home. To ensure the trusses or rafters do not shift during a renovation project, a temporary load-bearing wall must support them. Locating the temporary wall close to the load-bearing wall you are removing will keep the roof supports from shifting and prevent damage to your home's structure.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • 9 boards, 2 inches by 4 inches, 10 feet long each
  • Power miter saw or circular saw
  • 1 plank, 2 inches by 10 inches, 8 feet long
  • Claw hammer
  • 8d nails
  • Determine the length of the wall's studs. Measure the distance between the floor and ceiling with a tape measure. Subtract 3 inches from this measurement to determine the stud length. For example, if the measured height is 96 inches, subtract 3 inches for a stud length of 93 inches.

  • Mark eight of your two-by-four boards to the stud length you determined, using a measuring tape and pencil. Cut the boards on the marked length with your power saw. Measure the ninth board to 96 inches long and cut it with the saw.

  • Set the 96-inch-long board on the floor, 12 inches away from the load-bearing wall.

  • Hold the 8-foot long, 2- by 10-inch plank against the ceiling to make a top plate. Place the plank 12 inches away from the load-bearing wall and above the board you placed on the floor. Wedge one of your cut studs between the board resting on the floor and the top plate. Hit the wedged stud with a claw hammer until the stud sits 2 inches from the end of the 96-inch board on the floor. Repeat the process to set a second stud at the opposite end of the board.

  • Hammer one 8d nail through the top of each cut stud at an angle, and into the top plate. Repeat the procedure to secure the bottom of each stud to the 96-inch board on the floor. Do not hit the nail heads flush to the studs; this will make the nails difficult to remove.

  • Place one cut stud every 16 inches between the two end boards. Secure each stud in the same manner, hammering an 8d nail at an angle into the top and bottom plates, to complete the temporary load-bearing wall.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your load-bearing wall is longer than 8 feet, build additional temporary wall sections to support the length you need.
  • Wear safety glasses to avoid eye injuries.

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