Attaching New Walls to Existing Joists
Redefine every room in your home. Mark the location of the new wall on the ceiling. Make wall plates by cutting two 2x4s to the wall length, and then outline stud locations. Make sure lines are parallel to the wall. Determine the soleplate position by hanging a plumb bob from the edge of the top plate. Then anchor the soleplate to the floor. Position the stud against the wall, align it with the soleplate, and nail it in place. Fasten the other stud and then attach studs to the soleplate.
- MARK LOCATION OF NEW WALL ON CEILING
- CUT 2x4s TO THE WALL LENGTH
- MAKE SURE LINES ARE PARALLEL
- USE PLUMB BOB TO POSITION SOLEPLATE
- ANCHOR SOLEPLATE INTO FLOOR JOISTS
- PREPARE TO INSTALL FIRST STUD
- ATTACH STUD TO SOLEPLATE
- FASTEN STUD TO OTHER END OF WALL
- ATTACH REMAINING STUDS TO SOLEPLATE
MARK LOCATION OF NEW WALL ON CEILING
Mark the location of the new wall on the ceiling, and then snap two chalk lines to outline the position of the new top plate. Locate the first ceiling joist by drilling into the ceiling between the lines, then measure to find and mark the remaining joists.
CUT 2x4s TO THE WALL LENGTH
Make the top and bottom wall plates by cutting two 2x4s to the wall length. Lay the plates side by side and use a combination square to outline the stud locations at 16-inch intervals on center.
MAKE SURE LINES ARE PARALLEL
Double-check to make sure the lines you snapped are parallel to the wall. Make any necessary corrections, and nail the top plate in place with 16d nails.
USE PLUMB BOB TO POSITION SOLEPLATE
Determine the position of the soleplate by hanging a plumb bob from the edge of the top plate so that the plumb bob tip nearly touches the floor. Mark the position on the floor. Repeat at the opposite end of the top plate, then snap a chalk line between the marks to indicate the location of the soleplate.
ANCHOR SOLEPLATE INTO FLOOR JOISTS
On wood floors, anchor the soleplate with 16d nails driven into the floor joists. On concrete floors, attach the soleplate with a stud driver (inset), available at rental centers. A stud driver fires a small gunpowder charge to drive a masonry nail through the framing member and into the concrete. Wear hearing and eye protection when using a stud driver.
PREPARE TO INSTALL FIRST STUD
The first stud will be installed tight against the wall. Measure the distance between the soleplate and the top plate at this point. Add 1/8 inch to ensure a snug fit and cut the stud to length.
ATTACH STUD TO SOLEPLATE
Position the stud against the wall, align it with the soleplate, and nail it in place with 16d nails. Double-check to make sure the stud is aligned with the top plate, and then nail the top of the stud in place. Nail the rest of the stud to the wall with 16d nails every 2 feet. If there is no stud to nail to, attach the new wall to the old with construction adhesive.
FASTEN STUD TO OTHER END OF WALL
Fasten the stud at the other end of the wall in place. Once it's attached, measure and cut the stud next to it. Position the stud between the top plate and soleplate so the stud markings are covered.
ATTACH REMAINING STUDS TO SOLEPLATE
Attach the studs to the soleplate and top plate with metal connectors and 4d nails.
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Skill Level: Beginner
Time: 1 hour
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