How to build a stud wall

Frank
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Project 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.
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This D.I.Y. Advice is part of a series How To Build and Plasterboard a Stud Wall
How to strengthen timber frames
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00:09
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Strengthen timber frames

Here is a trick that carpenters use to make timber frames stronger. Hammer your nails in at opposite angles along a piece of timber. The two different angles work with each other to lock the timber in place.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Install the stud wall bottom plate
2 Install the stud wall top plate
3 Install the vertical studs between the plates
4 Install the noggins between the studs
5 Create the frame for the doorway
  • Step 1. Install 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.
  • Step 2. Install 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.
  • Step 3. Install 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.
  • Step 4. Install 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.
  • Step 5. Create 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.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Circular saw
  • Combination square
  • Ear muffs
  • Gloves
  • Hand saw
  • Nail gun
  • Pencil
  • Safety glasses
  • Spirit level
  • Tape measure

Materials

  • 90 x 45mm structural pine
  • Nails
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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. 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. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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