How to Straighten Framing Studs When Remodeling


Straightening wall studs is necessary to have the look of quality and proper construction when remodeling a single wall or a complete house. Whether the walls are painted, papered, paneled or covered with some other finish, they need to be straight. To properly straighten crooked studs access to at least one side of the wall is necessary. Having access to both sides makes the job easier. You will need some additional straight studs to add to the framing or to replace crooked studs.

Things You'll Need

  • Carpenter's level
  • Hammer
  • 16-penny nails
  • String
  • Eye protection
  • Work gloves
  • Place the level vertically at the corners and at several studs along the wall to determine whether the top and bottom plates are aligned. Use a hammer to knock the top or bottom plate in or out until it is aligned. Add new nails in the top or bottom plates to secure the wall in position.

  • Place the level horizontally on the wall to determine which studs are crooked. Using the level as a straight edge will identify which studs are curved in or out. Studs that need to be straightened can be removed and replaced or have a new straight stud placed against them. The crooked studs must be nailed tightly to the straight studs. Push or pull the crooked studs to make them flush with the new straight studs before nailing. Drive several 16-penny nails along the stud to hold it in place.

  • Use the level to recheck the wall vertically and horizontally for proper alignment. Sometimes the hammering and nailing of new studs will move the wall out of level. For long frame runs, use a string placed from one end to the other, at the top, bottom and middle to check for the overall straightness of the structure.

Tips & Warnings

  • Framing does not require the accuracy of trim or cabinet carpentry. Tolerances of 1/4-inch will not show in the finished wall. Small defects will be covered by the wallboard or wall finish.
  • Always take safety precautions and wear proper safety equipment while using hand tools.

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