How to Build Stud Walls

A stud wall is the basic building unit of most homes. Once you have mastered building a stud wall, you can make many adjustments around the house. You can add free-standing walls, closets, knee walls, dividers and even add rooms. Consider well before adding a wall and take into account the depth of the wall when planning your new addition. It's often useful to try hanging a sheet to see if the area is too small before adding the wall.

Measure the distance from the ceiling to the floor and determine how wide you want the wall to be.

Locate a ceiling beam over the area where you'll put the stud wall using the stud finder.

Account for the 1 1/2-inch thickness of the studs. Since you'll be putting a horizontal stud at the top and bottom of the wall, the vertical studs should be 3 inches shorter than the distance from ceiling to floor.

Cut enough studs to put one on either side of the wall every 16 inches. For a 4-foot wall, for example, cut two vertical studs for the ends and two for the interior of the wall, making a total of four vertical studs. Cut two, 4-foot horizontal studs for the header and footer.

Place the header and footer on the ground on their 1 1/2-inch edges parallel to each other. Arrange the vertical studs between the header and footer. Aside from positioning the two end studs, place the interior studs 16 inches apart. If necessary, put the studs closer together. It's better to add another stud than to spread them too far apart.

Nail the studs to the header and footer using two nails per end.

Raise the wall into position. If you're remodelling, and erecting a wall where there's already a ceiling, tap the wall into position with a hammer.

Align the wall vertically using the level. Place the stud wall into position and secure it with nails through the ceiling and floor, plus any adjoining wall.


If possible, align your new wall near studs in an existing side wall.


Don't use power tools while wearing loose clothes or near hair that can catch in the mechanism.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Stud finder
  • 2-by-4-inch studs
  • Saw
  • 3-inch nails
  • Hammer
  • Level
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About the Author

Writing fanzine-based articles since 1985, Kasandra Rose writes and edits articles for political and health blogs and and has an extensive technical writing background. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Arts in biology from Wayne State University.