How to Build a Wall in Your House
It’s nice having a large open room in your house, but you can also turn that room into a pair of private rooms, if you know how to build a wall in your house. Large open dens are nice for entertaining, but sometimes impractical, especially for people who work at home and want to have a private work area or computer room.
Adding an extra wall lets you set aside some of that space and make it yours. You’ll still be able to entertain, but you’ll have space for other pursuits. In this economy, though, most people don’t have the excess cash to be hiring a contractor.
Choose a Location
Choose the location for your new wall by assessing where the wall studs and ceiling rafter studs are in the room, because you’re going to need to follow the line of these studs when building your wall. Also, keep in mind light fixtures and windows. If your can’t draw a straight line while following the studs, without splitting the window or light fixture, consider building an L-shaped wall in the room.
Also consider where you’re doing is going to go, if you want to add a doorway to your new room.
Strip the carpet where you are going to build the wall, all the way down to wood. If you have a floating wood floor, strip it off. A hard wood floor needs no preparation.
Constructing the Wall Frame
Once you are down to solid flooring, build the bottom of your wall frame along the line you’ve chosen. Do this by adding 2×4 beams as a base for your dividing wall. Screw the beams in to make them secure, with 2 long nails or screws every 12″ along the line of the wall.
Adding Vertical Support Beams
Once this is done, place slots along the base of your frame large enough to insert vertical support beams, which are also 2×4’s. Remember to screw these vertical beams into studs in the ceiling, in order to make your wall secure.
The slots for your support beams add extra support where the beams most need it. You build these slots by stacking three short pieces of 2×4, three on either side of the beam, just wide enough to slide and fasten a vertical beam into it. Screw in the stacked short pieces of 2×4.
Repeat this process along the length of the wall, hammering nails diagonally to secure the beams. Place these beams every 16″ along the length of the wall.
Ceiling 2×4’s – Mirror Your Wall Frame
After this, you’ll want to nail sections of 2×4 to your ceiling directly above the bottom wall frame. Whereever you have wall frame along the floor, mirror that will 2×4’s on the ceiling. Make similar slots directly above the floor slots. Use long screws, to make sure you hit the ceiling studs.
Make sure you don’t hit any wiring in the ceiling as you insert your screws. Once these are finished, secure your vertical beams into the slots on top and bottom.
Test for Stability
Once you reach this point, test your construct to see if it’s stable. If not, add more beams, or add extra nails, wood glue and screws, to secure what you have already built. Find the weak spots and address those concerns first.
Add Drywall Boards
Nail drywall to your vertical stud beams and the frames at the top and bottom of your construction. This is why you want studs at 16″ intervals, because your standard 48″ drywall sheets should fit conveniantly along your construction.
When you have the panels up, cover the seams between panels with either sheetrock tape or duct tape, to make sure there are gaping cracks in your wall for water or small animals to creep. Continue along the length of the wall on one side, cutting drywall panels to fit your wall, if needed.
After you have one side of the drywall completed, add insulation to the interior of the wall structure. This helps with heating and cooling concerns, but also reduces noice from one room to the next.
Add Panels to the Other Side of the Wall
Once you’ve filled the wall with insulation, add drywall panels to the other wall, doing just as you did on the other side of the wall. Remember that plywood works instead of drywall panels for many rooms, but don’t choose plywood for water-intensive rooms like kitchens, utility rooms and bathrooms.
Painting Your New Walls
When painting your newly constructed walls, add a coat of primer, then paint with interior paint. If you prefer, add wallpaper. Add trim to the base of your wall in both rooms, while repairing any sections of the floor you had to tear out.
The painting, trimming and repairing part of wall construction lets you create the illusion that the wall was there all along, so don’t knock off work before you do a convincing job incorporating your new wall into the old house.
Building House Walls
Building house walls seems like a daunting task, but once you learn how to build a wall in your house by breaking it down into its component parts, there’s no step in the process that’s too difficult for someone with a few handyman skills.