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Person installing stud wall top plate.

Overview

The stud wall is a basic part of a lot of houses. We'll show you how to put one together inside a pre-existing building. You will see how to install top and bottom plates, and then install the studs and noggins. We also explain how to build in room for a doorframe.

Steps

1Install the stud wall bottom plate

Measure the gap the wall will cover along the floor and cut a piece of timber to length. If the wall continues the line of an existing wall, use a straight edge to mark that line across the floor. Now nail the timber into place. For added strength, hammer your nails in on an angle. This is called skew nailing. If you are installing a doorframe in the wall, only put one nail in this section of your timber. You will be removing this piece of the bottom plate at the end.
Person hammering nail into stud wall frame.

2Install the stud wall top plate

Position your top plate on the ceiling, directly over your bottom plate. To do this, use your spirit level to draw a straight vertical line up from the edge of your base plate. Measure and cut a piece of timber to length and nail it into place. If you are working alone, it is worth building a small ledge to support one end of the timber while you are nailing. You can do this by nailing an offcut onto the frame 45mm under where the top plate will sit.
Person installing stud wall top plate.

3Install the vertical studs between the plates

Vertical studs are normally spaced 450mm apart, measuring centre to centre. If you are putting a doorway in the wall, leave a space that includes enough room for the door and the doorjamb. The distance between the top and bottom plates may vary slightly, so measure the length for each individual stud. Nail the stud into place with your nail gun. To keep the studs steady while you are installing them, brace them by nailing a small offcut into the top and bottom plates. If you are leaving room for a doorway, always nail away from the door cavity.
Person installing vertical wall studs between plates.

4Install the noggins between the studs

Noggins act as horizontal bracing between vertical studs. Normally they are spaced 1200mm apart. For a bit more strength add another noggin to each gap and space them closer together. Measure the gap for each noggin, cut to size and nail it into place.
Person drilling timber in between two frame pieces.

5Create the frame for the doorway

If you are putting a doorway in the frame, you'll need to install a header. The header is like a wider noggin that sits above the doorway. To work out how high the header should sit, take into account the door height, the doorjamb width and the thickness of your floor and any floor covering. Cut your timber to size and nail into place. Finish off by using a handsaw to cut out the bottom plate in the doorway.
Person sawing stud wall frame.

6Ready to line your wall?

Check out our video on how to plasterboard a stud wall.

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Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.