Attic Wall Construction Tips
If you are constructing additional rooms in your attic, you will most likely have to build a wall to separate them. Here's how to install a new wall in your attic the right way.
Take accurate measurements of the attic and draw up plans that suit the structure of the area. If the ceiling is vaulted, you will need to arrange the new attic walls so they lose the least amount of space from an angled ceiling. Your attic wall must be studded to a frame, which you will construct yourself. You cannot just put up a wall anywhere.
An attic wall needs to be located near the joists and studs so it can be held in place properly. Your attic wall will not be a supporting wall; it will not bear any loads.
Carefully measure where each of the new wall studs will go and mark the locations with perpendicular lines across the plates. A square edge is necessary at this point to make sure your edges and studs are all aligned correctly. Remember your level, too. Making sure your studs are at complete right angles to the horizontal studs is vital.
Don’t forget to use plumb bobs from the top studs to the floor. This will ensure than your vertical lines remain perpendicular. Hang the plumb line from one of the top ceiling studs and either nail it or tie it in place. Next, drop it down gently until it hangs just above the floor joist. Mark where the plumb line stops. That's where your stud joint will go.
Always use stud frame clips to secure your joists and studs. It will offer extra security and prevent movement. Place them accurately and check the level line before nailing them in place. As an alternative, you can also ‘toe’ the studs, but using clips offers a firmer joint.
If you have a point where your wall intersects with another, always double up on the studs you require. This will allow the wall to turn a corner if needed and still offer secure fitting.
You might need permission to alter your attic or make structural changes to your home. If you do choose to take that route, you should talk to someone at your local planning office. Some buildings will have a load limit and you may be endangering the entire roof of your home if you overload it with an attic conversion or an attic wall that is structurally unsound.