How to build a stud wall
Learn how to build a stud wall properly with our in-depth guide. Maximise your home’s potential with clear steps, plus tips for garages, basements and more.
Stud walls can help you change the layout of your home, create new rooms and completely customise your living space. These nifty dividers are constructed using timber beams covered with plasterboard and plaster. Curious how to build a stud wall in the UK? Then read on.
Below, we’ve covered garage, basement and partition walls. Plus, step by step guides and tips on how to build a load bearing stud wall and how to build a soundproof stud wall.
Tools and materials
Before we cover how to build a stud partition wall, let’s look at the essential tools and materials. You will need to gather these first, so you have everything to hand. Collect:
- Tape measure
- Spirit level
- Plumb line
- Timber beams
- Metal brace plates for extra stability (optional)
- Insulation (optional)
For more information on prices for materials, or using a professional to fit the wall, view our partition wall cost guide.
How to build a stud wall
Once you have everything you need, make sure you spend a little time planning out your project. Check that you have the right length timber pieces and enough other materials to fill the space. Next, ensure there are no pipes or wires that will interfere with building your stud wall.
Now you’re ready to start:
- Measure and mark out where the studs are in your current walls.
- Fit your floor plate by nailing a long piece of timber to your floor that’s the length of your new wall.
- Do the same on your ceiling, checking that both lengths of timber line up with each other. You can do this using a plumb line.
- Start installing your vertical studs. These should be spaced 40cm from each other and secured in place.
- Trim your noggings to size and nail between your vertical studs.
- Next, if you are using insulation, fit this before continuing.
- You can then install your sheets of plasterboard, nailing to the studs as you go.
- Skim your new walls with plaster to create an even surface for decorating.
How to build a stud wall with door frame
If your new stud wall will connect two different spaces, you will need to install a door, or at least a door frame. To build a stud wall with a door frame, follow the above steps with the following changes:
- Ensure you leave a wide enough gap for your door between the vertical studs you install in step four.
- For stability, a good idea is to install one of your studs next to your door.
- You will need to cut a gap in your floor and ceiling timber beams to fit your door frame. Make sure the gap is the correct width and that both top and bottom spaces line up using a plumb line.
- Next, add a timber beam that will run along the top of your door frame and fix in position.
- You are now ready to install your door. Just follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
If you need to find a door, view our internal door cost guide.
How to build a stud wall in a garage
Garages are a great source of untapped potential, especially those on the large size. If your garage is empty, adding a stud wall can help you to create two rooms with separate purposes. Why not add a home gym and a second bathroom, an office and a storage space, or even a living room and a craft room?
Intrigued? You can quickly learn how to build a stud wall in a garage by using our above guide ‘how to build a stud wall’ as the steps are the same.
How to build a stud wall in a basement
Similar to garages, basements are often neglected and unused. With a little investment and some free time, you can create a functional, beautiful space. If your basement is on the large size, you could even add an extra bedroom and ensuite, a brilliant idea for guests or teenagers to have their own space.
Wondering how to build a stud wall in a basement? Our easy-to-follow instructions in our ‘how to build a stud wall’ sections will guide you through the process.
How to build a load bearing stud wall
Load bearing walls are vital to making your home safe and secure. They are designed to take the weight of the upper floors in a house and need to be properly fitted for stability. As such, it may be necessary to figure out how to build a load bearing stud wall.
One option is to build a metal stud wall instead of the usual timber option. This can make your wall stronger and allow it to support greater loads. Follow the steps in our ‘how to build a metal stud partition wall’ below.
We should note that this is one area where it’s highly recommended you hire a professional to avoid the risk of structural damage down the line.
How to build a metal stud partition wall
While many people use timber when constructing stud walls, metal beams can not only be quicker to install but simpler too. They are built using metal tracks that are attached to your floor and ceiling with metal studs spaced out to join them together.
You will need to carefully measure the space as metal is not as simple as timber to cut if you make any mistakes. Then, do the following:
- Install the metal tracks along the floor and ceiling of the space.
- Add C studs to the abutments at the two ends of the stud wall.
- Fit the metal studs at regular intervals along the tracks using screws.
- Seal the outside of the new metal stud wall using a sealant.
- You can then follow the remaining steps in our ‘how to build a stud wall’ section after step six.
How to build a soundproof stud wall
Most people want their homes to be a place of tranquillity for relaxation, however, noise from the outside and neighbours can infringe on this. A great option to counteract this is to learn how to build a soundproof stud wall. Below are the best ways to effectively soundproof your stud wall:
- Use acoustic mineral wool: Install this before you add plasterboard to your stud wall.
- Use an isolation strip: This prevents your stud wall frame from coming into contact with your current surfaces, stopping sound vibrations from passing through the wall.
- Use acoustic plasterboard: It’s heavier and better at blocking sound than traditional plasterboard.
- Use a timber frame: Metal reflects sound waves, while timber absorbs them, reducing noise.
If you want to know more about creating a soundproof room, then take a look at our soundproof room cost guide.
This seems a little too complicated
This guide is designed to be used by confident DIYers but may be too tricky for beginners. Rather than feel defeated, why not choose to hire an expert to do the job for you and explain the parts that seem too complicated?
Our wide range of trusted professionals would be happy to help with any stud wall projects and finding the right tradesperson in your area is as simple as using our search engine. If you feel confident you can tackle the first part of this project but need help with drywall or plastering, please see our handy cost to put up drywall guide and cost to plaster a room guide.
How much does professional drywalling and plastering cost?
If you are planning to build a stud wall yourself but aren’t sure about plastering and drywalling, it may be useful to know the average costs for these services. These jobs can be difficult to master, but by hiring an expert you know that your wall will be finished to a high standard.
The average cost to plaster a wall is £175 a day so the amount you pay will depend on the size of your wall and the time it takes. The average cost to drywall a room is £755 but will be much lower for a single wall, although again will vary depending on the time taken.