How to Build a Stud Wall - The Comprehensive Step by Step Guide
Take a look around your house, and you’ll see how walls help make it feel like home. Thanks to walls, a home can be divided into the right series of rooms to make life easy. They also help us feel secure and allow us privacy. So, when it comes to renovate or update, learning how to build a stud wall is of the utmost importance.
That way when you want to change the layout of your home you’re all set with the skills you need to install a wall. You can even add a door to make an entirely new room! Adding a stud wall can turn a large room into something usable. You can add a partial wall to a large, open concept space like an attic to designate smaller areas.
Or it can transform your basement and make it the perfect place to spend your time. No matter what your vision looks like, you can build a stud wall to make it happen.
Don’t have time to build a stud wall yourself? Hire a home renovator and get your wall put up in no time!
What is a Stud Wall?
Essentially a stud wall is a standard wall. Stud walls are built with studs, which are pieces of wood or timber that support the wall’s structure. These are then attached together with either drywall, plasterboard, or in some instances, a combination of lath and plaster.
How Far Apart Are The Studs in a Wall?
When you’re putting up a stud wall, it needs to be built properly in order to stand the tests of time! This means it needs to be structurally sound. Follow any code requirements or regulations to ensure your wall is safe.
Your studs will need to be equally spaced throughout your wall. Typically, studs are set 16″ apart (or 400mm). Not only will this make your wall sturdy and solid, but it will make it easier to install plasterboard. Your studs will line up with the edges of a sheet of plasterboard. So when you reach that step, it will be simple to fasten your new plasterboard securely.
Take the time to measure the length of your new stud wall before you start to determine how many studs you will need. Just remember that if you have a spot that is a bit wider than the rest of your spacing, include an extra stud in a smaller space to make your wall built to last.
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How Thick is a Standard Stud Wall?
As you start building, you’ll want to make sure you have the right materials. It would be a shame to put in all the effort of building and installing your new wall, only to find it doesn’t hold up! This means you need to use the standard, the recommended type of wood timbers and plasterboard for a solid end product.
Your vertical timbers should be 50mm by 100mm. This gives you the durability and sturdiness your wall needs. But your wall won’t be 100mm thick because you’ll most likely be installing plasterboard to finish it. Plasterboard will add approximately 12.5mm to the width of your wall plus a coat of skim plaster.
By the time you’re at the final stage, your wall will be around 130mm thick. This way, you’ll know it’s been built properly. Keep in mind that unfinished stud walls, such as those in some basements, will be around 100mm thick until they are finished.
Why is it Important to Build a Stud Wall?
Walls are an essential part of your home. So if you’re planning to add a new wall to change your space, you need to be sure it’s well-made. It would be terrible to put up your new wall, only to have it collapse! So a stud wall is key.
The strength of timbers and a proper fastening to the ceiling and floor will guarantee your new wall is going to last. Using studs will also keep your wall straight and even. It’s the only way you’ll be able to support your plasterboard.
So if a new wall is your desire, take the time to set up a stud wall first. You can’t just put up plasterboard and hope for the best. It simply doesn’t have the strength to be a long-term option to define your rooms. Just like you must have a door to enter a room, you’ll need studs to create your wall.
How to Build a Stud Wall Step by Step:
So, now that you know you need a stud wall for your home, you’ll want to get started. Whether it’s to create a new room or help separate a room to help define its use, it’s necessary to construct a stud wall. It can be a bit daunting to think of tackling this project but read on for information on how to get started. Or even if you plan to hire a pro for the hard work, you’ll know what each step takes to be confident you’re getting exactly what you need.
Gather Your Materials
To build a stud wall, you’ll need to purchase the right materials before getting started. You’ll need timbers to frame in your stud wall, or metal pieces if you’re going that route. You’ll need enough for the ceiling and floor plates as well as for your vertical studs. Horizontal braces are placed about halfway up the wall to improve the strength and durability of the wall, called nogging. Measure your wall to calculate the distance you’ll need as well as the height.
Don’t forget to pick up nails to fasten your timber together to form the wall. You can also use metal brace plates to improve the strength of your fastenings, but may not be required. Inquire with a pro if you aren’t sure if you need these for your stud wall. If your wall will include a door, make sure to purchase the door and frame so it will be at the ready for installation. You’ll also need to purchase the plasterboard and skim plaster for finishing.
Key Tips For Preparation
Get ready to build your stud wall with careful measurements. You’ll need to know the length of the wall to ensure it has a perfect fit for yourspace. You’ll also use your measurements for determining how much of the material outlined above you’ll need to buy.
As you measure, check on different points along your new wall to find out if your floor and ceiling are level. This way, your stud wall will be built properly and won’t leave you with gaps you’ll need to fix.
Make sure to check for any existing lighting, windows, or electrical outlets that may interfere with your new wall. You’ll also want to determine where the studs are in your fastening walls. Use a stud finder to locate these points so you’ll ensure your new wall can connect to a solid foundation.
Remember too that you’ll need to fasten your stud wall to the bare floor for the best results. Going over carpet, hardwood, or other existing flooring could make your wall shift and become unsafe.
How to Build a Stud Wall Frame in 6 Simple Steps
Step 1: Check For Wires and Set up Support Joists
Determine where your wall will be. Check inside the wall to be sure you won’t run into any wires or pipes. Mark the position of your existing studs to be sure your wall can be securely fastened. You’ll also need to determine whether you’ll be running parallel to your floor joists and make sure your wall is supported by a joist directly below. If your joists run perpendicular to the new wall, you don’t need to worry about this.
Step 2: Install a Floor Plate
Once you know where your wall will be, you can install your floor plate. This is where one of your timbers will be cut to the length of your floor and nailed down. Make sure it is nailed to the joist or joists for a secure starting point. If you are including a door, just put one nail in this portion, since you’ll be removing it later for your door.
Step 3: Install the Ceiling Portion
Next, install the ceiling portion. Use a plumb line to make sure you are directly above the floor plate and nail it securely to your ceiling.
Step 4: Get Your Vertical Studs Set up
Now you’ll be ready to move onto your vertical studs. Measure each stud individually, to be sure it fits the space even when it’s not level. Remember to keep them spaced about 400mm apart, measuring on the inside of your wood pieces. If you’re including a doorway, leave a space that is wide enough for both your door and the doorjamb. Repeat along the length of your wall.
Step 5: Install Noggins Between The Studs
Measure, cut, and install the noggins between each stud. You can offset these slightly to allow you room to nail, but keep them approximately centre.
Step 6: Cut Out The Doorway Section
If you are installing a door, remember to cut out the unneeded section from the doorway. You can use this as the header piece that sits above the door frame and offers your stud wall strength.
Insulating The Stud Wall
Don’t forget to insulate your stud wall before you close it in with plasterboard. Insulation will help muffle sound from inside or outside the room. It also helps retain heat or coolness to keep the room temperate throughout the year.
It’s best to close in one side of the wall with plasterboard before installing insulation. This way, you have a solid surface to work against.
The Finishing Touches
Now that your stud wall is up, you’ll be able to move on to the final steps. Since bare studs don’t make a very nice looking wall, you’ll need to add plasterboard or drywall to call it done. This will give your new room shape and help you visualize what it will be like when you’re enjoying it!
Once you’ve hung the plasterboard, you’ll need to give it a coat of plaster to make your walls ready for the final decorative touches. Then, you can paint or wallpaper to complete your new space. It’ll be ready to enjoy, thanks to your new stud walls!
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