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How To Build a Wall

Whether you need an extra bedroom, a bookcase, or a shelf or cabinet unit in your house, in order to partition or frame an area by building a wall, you need to follow these steps.


  • Step 1: Attach the stud-framing clips to the studs and lift each stud into position, lining them up with your marks, flush with the edges of the top and bottom plates. Screw the studs into place.
  • TIP: Use a carpenter's level to make sure the studs are plumb.
  • Step 2: Attach three additional studs together at the end of the wall for added strength or for corner building, even though the end measurement won't be 16 inches.
  • FACT: The Great Wall of China is 4,160 miles long and is visible from space.
  • Step 3: Screw the bottom plate into place with 3-inch screws -- or lag bolts if you're building on concrete -- staggered and spaced every 16 inches.
  • TIP: Use a stud finder to locate the ceiling joists.
  • Step 4: Mark the center line of your new wall on the ceiling with a pencil, making sure it is aligned with the existing walls. Then measure and mark each end of what will be the new wall's top plate on the ceiling. Snap a chalk line to represent one edge of the top plate.
  • Step 5: Lay the top and bottom plates next to each other on the floor and use a combination square to mark where the studs will go. Mark for the first stud at the ends; then mark at 16-inch intervals for successive studs.
  • Step 6: Screw the top plate into the ceiling joists with 3-inch screws. Then hang a plumb bob from either end of the top plate and mark the floor where each end of the bottom plate will go, snapping a chalk line between the marks.
  • Step 7: Strip away surface materials from the ceiling, floor, and existing walls, such as drop-ceiling materials, moldings, and wallpaper; this will expose materials that you can secure your new wall to.

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