Building an Indoor Wall to Divide a Room

Written by carson barrett
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Building an Indoor Wall to Divide a Room
The wall studs act as the wall's skeleton. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

One thing that some homeowners do when remodelling is building walls to divide larger rooms. The installation of interior walls allows you to create an extra room in your home, such as an office or bedroom, without having to construct an addition. Building an indoor wall is a task that most do-it-yourself homeowners can complete with a little help, while saving yourself some money on labour costs.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Chalk line
  • Tape measure
  • Saw
  • Safety goggles
  • Pressure-treated 2-by-4 boards
  • Nails
  • Drill
  • Masonry screws
  • Standard 2-by-4 boards
  • Assistant
  • Level
  • Drywall
  • Drywall screws
  • Joint compound
  • 6-inch putty knife
  • Drywall tape
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes

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Instructions

    Wall Frame

  1. 1

    Remove the floor of the room to be able to connect the base of the wall directly to the subfloor. Use a hammer and chisel to remove tile or hardwood, or tear up carpet if that's what is on the floor.

  2. 2

    Remove any moulding that runs along the base of the walls that the new wall will connect to.

  3. 3

    Mark the location of the wall by snapping a chalk line on the subfloor or cement.

  4. 4

    Measure and cut sill plates to the proper length. These are pressure-treated 2-by-4 boards that connect the wooden frame of the wall to the floor.

  5. 5

    Lay the first sill plate on the floor against the wall, using the chalk line as a guide, and attach it to the floor. If it's a wooden subfloor, drive nails into the sill plate every 12 inches; for concrete floors, drill masonry screws through the sill plate and into the concrete every 12 inches. Install the rest of the sill plates until you reach the other wall.

  6. 6

    Lay a standard 2-by-4 on top of the sill plate and have an assistant hold one against the ceiling directly over the sill plates. Measure the space between the two boards to determine how long the wall studs have to be cut.

  7. 7

    Measure and cut 2-by-4s for the wall studs. Generally you need one wall stud every 16 inches, but follow your local building codes as it can vary by municipality.

  8. 8

    Nail the wall studs to the bottom plate every 16 inches (or whatever you building codes require). The bottom plate is a 2-by-4 that is nailed to the sill plates. After the studs have been installed, nail a 2-by-4 across the top of the studs. This is the top plate.

  9. 9

    Lift the frame on top of the sill plate with the help of an assistant. Make sure that the frame is level (horizontally straight) and plumb (vertically straight), and nail it into the sill plate and the ceiling.

    Drywall

  1. 1

    Measure and cut sheets of drywall for the frame. Leave a gap of about 1/4-inch between the bottom sheets and the floor, and cut the sheets so that the edge of the sheet ends in the middle of a stud and not in the space between the studs.

  2. 2

    Lift the drywall against the ceiling and wall on the side with the help of an assistant. Drive drywall screws into the studs in the middle of the sheet, then install screws into the studs every 16 inches.

  3. 3

    Continue installing drywall until the entire wall has been covered.

  4. 4

    Apply joint compound to the gaps between the drywall sheets with a 6-inch putty knife.

  5. 5

    Place drywall tape over the seams and press it into the joint compound with the putty knife. Allow it to dry overnight.

  6. 6

    Add a second coat of joint compound and tape and allow it to dry overnight, then add a third coat.

  7. 7

    Sand any rough spots on the wall.

  8. 8

    Paint the wall with primer and top coat.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear safety goggles when using the saw.
  • Contact your local zoning board to acquire any needed permits and to learn your local building codes before beginning construction.

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