At some point, most of us do it. We start to get cramped, or “edgy” and bored with our space. At other times, our needs simply change. If you can’t go on with your space is laid out, building a temporary wall might be just your answer.
Renters have been leaning on temporary walls to meet their apartment or home space needs for decades. If you’re living in less than ideal conditions, need a private space, or want to create separate bedrooms for kids, a temp wall construction project is worth pursuing.
Since the temporary wall doesn’t tie into the home framing, it can be easily removed with minimum trouble or mess.
You don’t have to wait for a large savings account or a remortgage to add some office space, an extra nook, or an entire room to your home. Check out our simple tutorial and steps to build a temporary wall.
Disclaimer: Check local building codes before you start any building project at home. Pay particular attention to relevant stipulations. If you have any questions, contact the office in charge of your town’s building and municipal codes.
Tools and Materials Needed to Build a Temporary Wall
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- Sill Seal
- 2 × 4 lumber
- Wooden Shims
- Nails and/or screws
- Circular Saw
- Laser Level
- Measuring tape
Step 1: Put Sill Seal on All Surfaces the Temporary Wall Will Touch
If you’re new to DIY projects, or even if you’re seasoned craftsmen, you may not be familiar with sill seal.
It is a 1/4 inch thick foam that performs two vital functions for us, here:
First, it protects the floors, walls, and ceiling that already exists from getting damaged.
Secondly, (and more importantly) the sill seal will provide the pressure that is required to secure the temp wall where you position it.
Step 2: Cut two 2x4s to the Desired Length of the Temporary Wall
These are known as the “plates” and they will make up the top and bottom margins of your wall.
Step 3: Cut two MORE 2x4s so that they are 3 inches Shorter than Ceiling Height
Now, laser line measure from the floor to ceiling, making sure to measure twice (once for the left edge and again for the right edge of the wall) and in more than one area as heights can vary.
Subtract three inches for each measurement and cut a 2×4 to match each measured length. These are your end studs.
Step 4: Fit Vertical Studs Between the Top and Bottom Plates
Put the bottom plate over the sill seal that you’ve already on the floor. Get help from a friend, partner, or spouse to hold up the top plate against the ceiling and sill seal there.
Having an extra set of hands will allow you to wedge the studs into place.
(Don’t forget that you should have sill seal against any touching walls where you are placing the vertical beams.)
If either stud needs some tapping into place, then don’t hesitate to give it some taps with a hammer.
If the studs are too tall, just trim some length off with your circular saw. It’s better to go easy here and try and trim little by little.
Step 5: Nail/Screw the Outside Studs to the Top and Bottom Plates
So, you’ve got the wall perimeter down, now you just have to secure the end studs to the plates with nails or screws. It doesn’t matter which you’ve decided on but keep in mind that screws are easier to remove.
For more stability, for say a door or if you have kids or big dogs, it’s better and safer to secure the top plate to the closest ceiling joist.
Step 6: Place Additional Studs for Support and Attach Drywall
Install the remaining studs at normal intervals of between 16 and 24 inches. Also, if you’re trying for noise reduction in the wall, now is the time to add your insulation.
Lastly, hang the drywall panels on to the frame and studs with screws for later convenience.
Step 7: Finish the Wall You Want!
If you want or need just a basic, drywall finish then you’re done. Here’s where you can add primer, surface paint, baseboards, moldings, and of course, decorations.
You can easily make a temporary wall blend seamlessly in with your permanent walls. It just matters how much you want to add and, eventually, may need to take down.