How to Add a New Wall in a Room in Your Home How to Add a New Wall in a Room in Your Home
Most serious home improvement projects you will require the need to add a wall. It doesn't matter whether you build one wall or four, the process you need to use is the same. Once you have learned this process it will be a snap to build the next one. If your wall will be a load bearing wall or will include something more elaborate, such as windows or recessed shelves, you will have tread carefully and follow building codes and other requirements. If you have yet to build your first wall, you may need a few pointers such as the 4 steps below.
Step 1 – Mark Proposed Wall Location
Use a large carpenter square to mark on your floor the outline of your proposed wall. This is where your floor plate will be installed. Be sure any 90 degree angles are accurate. Measure at least three times to ensure accuracy.
Hold a plumb bob above one end of this line, with the top of the plumb bob line against the bottom of the ceiling joist, and the bottom tip touching the line you drew on the floor. Mark this place on your ceiling joist. Do this also at the opposite end of your floor line.
Step 2 – Attach your Bottom Plate
Lay a 2" x 4" board (bottom plate) on the floor so that the outer edge is even with the line you drew, and the end of the plate is even with the end of the line. This will be one end of your wall. Use a stud gun and concrete nails—if your floor is concrete—to attach the plate to the floor.
First attach one end. When you are sure the plate lines up with the line you drew on the floor, attach the other end, then drive an additional nail through the plate and into the floor every 15 to 20 inches. Place additional 2" x 4" boards along this line until you last board ends at the end of the line you drew. If necessary, cut the last board to fit. Secure all these boards to the floor, using the same procedure as with the first board.
Step 3 – Attach the Top Plate
Measure the distance from the top surface of the bottom plate to the bottom surface of the floor joist. This distance should be 8' 1 ¾", if you plan to use 8' wall studs. If this distance is shorter, you will need to cut your studs to match. Attach the top plate, using the same procedure as with the bottom plate. Be sure this plate is attached to the ceiling joist directly above the bottom plate. If it is not, your vertical studs will not likely be plumb.
Step 4 – Attach your Vertical Wall Studs
Beginning at the end of the floor plate nail your first wall stud to the top plate and to the bottom plate, with the stud's narrow side facing the outside of the wall. At 16" intervals, attach another stud. At the end of each wall you will need to have 2 of these studs attached, back to back.