Trouble building a half wall


Old 02-12-06, 12:53 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
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Trouble building a half wall

I am building a hal wall. One end is attached to a wall and secure. THe opposite end is not attached to anything and is free standing. I screwed the bottom 2x4 plate to the floor and placed additional screws around the free standing end. The end that is not attached to the wall has some "play". I would like to make this end wiggle free. How do I secrue this end? Do I have to attache the free standing end to a floor joist? Or can I reenforce it without digging up the floor?
THanks for any help.
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Old 02-12-06, 07:50 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 655
The basic answer is that you have to "dig up the floor" to some degree for a proper solution to get what you want. You need to extend the vertical framing of the free end into the floor.

The "free-standing" arrangement is what is giving you the wiggle. You have 3 choices to reduce the excess play in the joint - down, up or sideways in that order.
Consider a stairway handrail that ends in open space at the top or bottom of a set of stairs. It's the same arrangement as your half-wall. The ending post (called a newel post) typically extends into the floor below. It is secured as follows:
- If the post can be fastened to a floor joist (or ceiling joist if on the second floor) adjacent to it, then all is well.
- If it projects into space between the joists, then blocking which spans between the joists must be added to secure the lowest point on the post.

The next easiest method is to extent a post of some kind into the half-wall up into the ceiling and secure it there. Could be a metal pipe or a wood post.

The least desirable is to add bracing to the side, which usually makes the wall wider at the end.

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