The addition of an interior non-load bearing wall is a simple, affordable project that allows for the creation or division of rooms anywhere in the home. This can add style and wall storage to the home while providing additional control over heat and air conditioning.
The process for the building of the wall depends on whether the home is older or under construction. In new construction, walls are built on the ground before being erected into place because the ceiling has yet to be installed. In a renovation project, it is recommended that new walls be built in place. This is the topic of this guide.
The location of the new wall depends in part on the alignment of the ceiling joists. If the joists are perpendicular to the line of the new wall, you can install it almost anywhere, preferably against a stud in the existing wall (the wall into which the new wall will be anchored).
However, if the ceiling joists are parallel to the line of the new wall, it will be fastened to a single joist only. In this case, the location of the new wall will be determined by the joist nearest to the intended location.
As most floors are typically solid enough to serve as anchors, the floor joists are not as important, but if you are able to fasten the wall into the floor joists using screws or nails, it would be even better.
To attach the sole (bottom) plate to a concrete floor use construction adhesive before nailing it with a concrete nailer. Another popular method is to pre-drill the concrete (prior to applying the adhesive) to a depth of 1" before fastening the sole plate in place using masonry screws.
The distance between the studs at the end of the wall will probably be much less than 16". It is recommended that they be separated by a minimum of 8" and a maximum of 16", centre to centre.
Nail or screw all the cross-studs horizontally in order to produce a straight line and not a staggered line (one cross-stud placed high, the next low, the next high, etc.). A straight line of cross-studs will facilitate drywall installation. Screws or nails will have to be fastened at an angle.
1.1. Find the alignment of the ceiling joists along the intended line of the new wall using an electronic stud finder.
1.2. If the joists are perpendicular, determine the location of the stud in the existing wall upon which the new wall will be anchored, and mark the location of the centre line along its entire length. This mark will serve to identify the starting point of the new wall line.
1.3. If the joists run parallel to the new wall, go to the next step.
1.4. Place a framing square flat on the ceiling with one of its edges touching the existing wall. Position the square so that the right-angle is lined up with the centre line of the stud previously marked.
1.5. If the new wall is being fastened to a single joist, lined up with the centre line of the ceiling joist.
1.6. Trace a line on the ceiling along the edge of the square, of at least 18" in length and on a right-angle with the existing wall.
1.7. Snap a chalk line over the existing line and mark the rest of the wall line. If the new wall is to be anchored to a single ceiling joist (parallel), fasten a second small nail to the center of the joist where the new wall will end. Wrap the chalk line around the nail and mark the line. In this way, the line will span the length of the joist along its centre and along the entire length of the new wall.
2.1. Trace another line along the floor surface directly underneath the wall line on the ceiling.
2.2. Fasten a small nail at either end of the ceiling line.
2.3. Hang a plumb bob from each of the nails, one after the other. The plumb bob pointer will indicate the exact location of both extremities of the previously traced ceiling line on the floor below.
2.4. Mark these two points on the floor and snap a chalk line between them.
2.5. Find the exact location of each of the ceiling joists if they are perpendicular as well as the floor joists (optional) along the lines you just made.
2.6. Mark both sides of each of the joists with 6" lines using your carpenter’s pencil. It is important to locate these marks once the plate is in place because you will nail or screw between these marks (into the joists).
2.7. If the joists are parallel, you must find and mark the location of the cross-stud or the single stud in the existing wall along the lines of the new wall in order to identify the areas where screws or nails may be inserted.
2.8. If the ceiling joists are perpendicular to the new wall, proceed to the next step.
2.9. Mark the edges of the cross-stud using the same technique as for the joists 6" lines.
3.1. Cut the floor (sole) plate to the required length.
3.2. Align its centre along the trace line on the floor and fasten it with screws according to the marks traced previously.
3.3. Repeat the same process for the top plate. Some assistance may be required to complete this step.
4.1. Measure the distance between the two plates along the existing wall and cut the first vertical stud to length.
4.2. Place the stud between the two plates. Make sure that the stud is vertically level, and the fasten stud with screws to the stud or cross stud of the existing wall as well as to the plates.
4.3. Measure the distance between the upright stud and the wall every 16" and mark these on the upper and lower plates as the centers for the upright studs.
4.4. Measure the distance between the plates on the first mark and cut the second stud.
4.5. Fasten this stud using nails or screws placing the center of the stud on the marks on both the floor and accompanying ceiling plate.
4.6. Fasten the remaining studs on 16" marks.
4.7. Attach a second stud to the last stud by screwing another length against it from the inside of the wall (and not the outside).
5.1. Snap a chalk line along the upright studs equidistant from the floor to the ceiling. The chalk line will leave little marks on each of the studs. If your ceiling is higher than 8 repeat this step every 48" from the preceding line. This will make applying drywall easier.
5.2. Measure the distance between the faces of the first two studs and cut a cross-stud to this length.
5.3. Align its centre along the previously traced chalk line and nail or screw it into the studs.
5.4. Repeat for all the cross-studs.
6.1. Complete all electrical, cable/satellite and telephone wiring.
6.2. Install the sheets of drywall. Make sure you nail into studs and/or cross-studs. For enhance soundproofing qualities, consider a soundproof liner. For an enclosed, cold room add wool insulation.
6.3. Finish the drywall joints
6.4. Install the baseboards
6.5. Apply the paint.
The addition of an interior non-load bearing wall is a simple, affordable projecLearn more
The new generation of asphalt shingles will not only improve the look of any rooLearn more
Installing drywall on the ceiling or the wall can be done by most do-it-yourselfLearn more
A hole in a home’s wall is a blemish in the decor in much the same way thaLearn more