Introduction

Partition Wall Tout
Photo: David Carmack
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For every remodeling job that involves knocking down a wall, there's another that calls for putting one up. "If you're refinishing an attic or adding a closet or home office, you're going to need an extra wall or two," says This Old House general contractor Tom Silva. Building a simple partition wall - a stud wall that divides an interior space without bearing any load - is a perfect introduction to the basics of home construction. This project employs the same principles and components that are used in the construction of any frame house: 2x lumber spaced and nailed correctly, then set plumb. Think of it as Framing Carpentry 101. Even though all this work ends up buried behind drywall, shortcuts lead to trouble. Framing with good materials and smart techniques lay the groundwork for everything that follows: smooth walls, countertops that fit perfectly, and doors that swing without sticking.
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    Tools List

    • four-foot level
      Level,
      for checking whether studs are plumb
    • sledge hammer
      Sledgehammer,
      for nudging the sole plate into position
    • framing square
      Framing square,
      for marking cut and layout lines
    • 16-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • hammer
      20-oz. framing hammer
    • chalk line
      Chalk line,
      for marking location of wall on floor and ceiling
    • plumb bob
      Plumb bob,
      for aligning layout marks between ceiling and floor
    • speed square
      Speed Square,
      for marking plates, headers, and studs, and as a saw guide
    • circular saw
      Circular saw

    Shopping List

    1. 2x4s

    2. 10D AND 16D COMMON NAILS