How to build a fast temporary wall

Written by mitzi saltsman
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How to build a fast temporary wall
A temporary wall can increase the usefulness of your space. (kid"s room set image by patrimonio designs from

Every now and then a temporary wall or partition is needed. Maybe you have two children in a bedroom who each need their own space for a few years. A garage may need to be sectioned off for a temporary storage area. Even a space sectioned off for company or to hide a mess might be in order. The wall does not need to be insulated or even beautiful, but it does need to be safe.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 2-by-4 inch boards
  • Nails
  • Hammer or Nail gun
  • Drywall or wall covering
  • Rubber mallet

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  1. 1

    Measure the height, length and depth of the wall area.

  2. 2

    Lay a 2-by-4-inch board on a flat, level surface with its 2-inch side touching the floor as the bottom plate. The board should be the length of the wall you are building or a 10- to 12-foot section of a longer wall. Use 2 X 6 boards for walls that require insulation.

  3. 3

    Cut 2x4 boards that are the height of the wall minus 3 inches, since the 2x4 is actually 1 and ½ inches deep and not 2 inches. The top and bottom plates will add 3 inches to the wall frame's height.

  4. 4

    Nail 2x4 boards as "upright" studs every 16 inches, to cover the wall with dry wall, plywood or other flat material. The covering material will need to meet at the 2 inch centre of the stud.

  5. 5

    Nail a top board to the upright studs to complete the frame. Use at least 2 nails per stud, top and bottom.

  6. 6

    Lift the frame to fit into the space.

  7. 7

    Pound the wall in place with a rubber mallet instead of nailing the wall to the floor or ceiling permanently. Make sure the fit is tight.

  8. 8

    Fasten the wall in place with thin, 3-inch drywall screws, when safety around children is an issue. The existing wall will need to be Spackled and painted when the temporary wall is removed.

  9. 9

    Nail a 2x4 to each side of the wall frame's bottom plate to steady the wall if a tight fit is not possible.

  10. 10

    Cover the frame with drywall, panelling, or even sturdy material, if it will meet your need.

Tips and warnings

  • If the wall is very temporary, old sheets or blankets can be use to cover a frame and less 2x4s will be needed.
  • Use extra care if the wall will be used around children. Do not leave a heavy wall simply wedged in place.
  • Do not try to to install cabinets or electricity in a temporary wall.

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