How to Straighten Drywall Studs How to Straighten Drywall Studs

What You'll Need
Hand saw
Level
Wood shims
Utility knife
2x4 board

When you're hanging new drywall over existing studs, one of the most important things that you can do is to be sure that the studs themselves are properly aligned and set up. Checking on this before you begin to hang the drywall can help to ensure that you will not end up with a crooked or unprofessional looking install. Fortunately, straightening out a crooked or bent stud is something that can be accomplished with a basic set of tools. Read on, for a brief how-to guide on straightening drywall studs.

Step 1 -- Investigate the Stud and Gather Materials

The first thing that you should do is investigate the stud that is crooked. If the bent stud is a load bearing part of the wall, you'll likely need to remove it entirely and then replace it. Such a project is much more involved than simply straightening a non-load bearing stud, and may require the help of a professional construction contractor.

If the stud is not a load bearing part of the wall, proceed with the next steps.

    Step 2 -- Locate and Cut the Bow

    Find the area in the stud where the bow or curve is located. You can find it by holding up a level along the side of the stud and looking for areas in which the stud doesn't come into contact with the level.

    When you've located the site of the bow or curve in the stud, use your hand saw to carefully cut about an inch or an inch and a half into the curve. Cut the stud at the apex of the curve, or the portion that most juts outward from the center of the stud.

    Step 3 -- Straighten and Shim the Stud

    Next, adjust the stud so that it's fully straight. You may need an assistant in order to do this properly. This will typically require that you pull the stud toward you, which will increase the size of the gap in the cut that you've made. While holding the stud in a straight position, fit in as many wood shims into the cut as is necessary to keep the stud in place.

    Step 4 -- Brace the Stud

    Once you have the shims in place, ensure that they are secure.  Cut off a piece of the 2x4 board, measuring approximately 2 feet in length, and attach it to the opposite side of the stud from the cut. This will help to brace the stud and ensure that it remains straight, during your drywall install, and beyond.

    Finally, trim off the edges of the shims that jut out from the stud with a utility knife, to smooth out the stud so that your drywall will fit over it properly.

    All of the different tools and materials for this project are available at your local hardware store.

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