How To Add A Stud Wall Within an Existing Structure

Check Out The Wall Building Directions Below!

1. How to frame a new 2 x 4 stud wall within an existing building:  Determine the location and dimensions  of the new wall ensuring the wall will be straight and true to the existing walls.  It would be advisable to run the wall perpendicular to the ceiling rafters or immediately along one rafter for the length of the new wall; to locate the rafters, use a stud finder. Mark each end of what will be one edge of your new wall on the ceiling for the length of the new wall. 

2. Using the two markings on the ceiling where the new wall will run, use a straight edge to scribe a line on the ceiling or snap a line connecting the two points to represent one edge of a new top plate.

3. Cut the top plate to size and screw it in place into the rafters with 3" screws; for the new wall, cut/chisel away material or remove the crown molding and base molding, as shown above.

4. Use a plumb line to scribe a pencil mark on the floor straight down from the top plate; place a mark on the floor at each end of where the new base plate will be installed and snap a line between the two points.

5. Measure and cut a base plate and a second top plate.


6. Place the base plate and 2nd top plate together as shown on a flat surface or sawhorses with the edges perfectly even and clamp them together and begin to layout the studs.  Begin at the end that will touch the existing wall and measure 1 1/2" (the thickness of a 2x4). Using a speed square, scribe a line and mark an "X" on both boards in the 1 1/2" space (this will represent the placement of the first stud).

7. Hook your tape measure on the edge of the base/top plates and measure over 16" to the center of the next stud; using your speed square, scribe a line; measure 1 1/2" (3/4" on each side of the 16" center mark) and scribe another line; mark an "X" in each box on the top and base plate (this will represent the placement of the 2nd stud).

8. Continue this same process measuring every 16" "on center" and marking the stud placement for the entire length of the wall.

9. At the end of the new wall, place three studs together for added strength and/or corner building; do this even though the end measurement may not measure 16".  Your layout stud markings are now complete, remove the clamps.

10. Measure and cut your studs.  Measure the distance from the bottom of the first top plate, that is secured to the ceiling, to the floor; minus 3" allowing for the thickness of the 2nd top plate, 1 1/2", and the base plate, 1 1/2", which together equals 3".

11. Place on the floor the 2nd top plate and the base plate on edge with the stud markings facing each other, separated by the distance of the studs cut to length. Place the base plate along the line drawn on the floor, so that it will be easy to lift the completed wall into position. Place all the studs in position.

12. Place the first stud in position, lining up the markings on both ends, as shown above; using 16 penny spikes, nail two spikes through the base into the stud; continue this process until all the studs are nailed to the base.  Repeat this nailing process for the 2nd top plate.

13. Stand the new wall upright using the 1st top plate and the line on the floor as guide lines, slide the new wall frame into place; nail or screw the two top plates together.  Stop and check for level and plumb; continue to screw or nail the base plate to the floor; secure new stud to existing wall. At the opposite end of the wall run, nail the three studs to each other for strength.

14. With the wall in place, drill the necessary 1" holes for electirc wire (12" up from Base Plate) or water pipes (16" up from Base Plate); add the wire and pipes; be sure to nail any necessary metal pipe guard plates onto the studs.

15. Add the stud covering material of choice and have a fun day.  Access the following tips:

How to Frame a Corner

How to Frame a Door Rough Opening

How to Frame a Window Rough Opening

  How To Hang and Finish Drywall

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