DIY: How to Install a Room Separation Wall in Your Home
If you have a saw, hammer, and square for framing; and can measure correctly, you are well on your way to being able to build a separation wall. Constructing a separation wall is much easier than imagined; and the added benefit is, you have another room and privacy. We had a large room downstairs that had my washer, dryer, and a folding table up against the far wall. The entire rest of the room was just wasted space.
The first thing that we did was decide exactly where we wanted the wall. Believe me, it was a bit difficult, because my husband thought that I needed a space big enough for the washer, dryer, and me; and I didn’t think that he and the boys needed a party room just to watch football.
We decided to put the doorway at the far end of the wall so that the machines would not show. I wanted the doorway finished in such a way that it would not have or need a door; it would be an archway.
That done, which was the hardest and longest part of the job; we drew it to scale on graph paper, and set about making our list for the materials needed as we look for affordable options there. Are you looking to buy an impact driver? If you are also interested in starting a DIY project then you should definitely take a look at these amazing and powerful impact drivers.
We set our materials and saw-horses up at the far end of the room, away from the laundry area. I didn’t want to be cleaning sawdust out of the machines for the next month, or risk getting any in the motors. Besides, when we got the wall done, my husband and boys would be doing most of the clean-up, because their ‘Man’ room would have to be just perfect. Plus they would be doing all the decorating and set up.
My husband got his stud locator and found the stud closest to where we wanted the wall, and tapped a nail in the wall to mark it. He then marked the joint at the ceiling where the wall and ceiling meet. He measured from the far wall to that point, and then went to the other side of the room and marked that wall. I held the holder for the chalk line, while he took the line to the same point on the opposite wall; held it up to the marker, and snapped it. We now had our straight line on the ceiling.
The next step was, while he was setting up the tools he needed, I hung the plumb from the markers that had been put between the wall and ceiling joints earlier. A plumb will only hang in a straight line, so I took my pencil and went down the plumb line marking about every foot or so, on both walls. We then snapped a chalk line on the floor between my markings. All the tedious work was done, and we were now ready to start the actual construction.
We measured the ceiling and floor lines and cut 2×4’s accordingly. My husband then took a pencil and marked the top and floor. I asked him “why;” and he told me that the ceiling and floor didn’t have the same measurement. I then took then made marks every 18 inches for studs and took the framing square to make a straight line across the 2x4s on the top and bottom 2×4’s.
My husband then took the floor 2×4 and where we had marked for the doorway, he cut halfway through and then turned that side toward the floor. And, of course, when I asked him why he told me that it was because, when we had the framing done for the wall, he could finish sawing through the wood for the doorway, and it would not scratch the floor.
My husband did the actual construction when putting the studs together. He can drive a 16d nail with three smacks of the hammer, and that is maximum hits. It takes me 12-13 smacks. The big difference is, not only are his arms stronger, but he can wield a heavier hammer. I would hold the 2×4 in place while he hammered.
One thing we did was use metal connectors to nail the 2×4’s to the floor and ceiling plates. It made the job of nailing easier, and we felt made the wall more secure. Some people ‘toenail’ when putting up studs. That is when the nails are driven in at an angle. For this wall, we wanted ease and security so we spent a few dollars more. It was worth it.
I sawed all the way through the floor 2×4, while my husband cut the 2×4’s to frame the doorway. With this done, all that was left was to put the sheet-rock up. I like putting sheetrock up, so that was always my job; and for just a wall the job was quite easy.
I always measured both sides of the sheetrock because, if both walls were not even; one side would be just a little bit more or less than the other side. One of the boys would hold the sheetrock up for me while I nailed it into place. I made sure I used sheetrock nails because the nail-head was slightly depressed and when the seams were taped up, it would be smooth.
When I had the sheetrock up, I took my trowel and some sheetrock ‘mud,’ better known as joint compound; and went down the seam. I then took some sheetrock tape and placed it down the center of the seam, smoothing it as I went to make it even. When it was dry, I sanded it. Next came the painting.
I knew that it was necessary to put a coat of primer on fresh sheetrock, or I would be putting on two or three coats of paint. Sheetrock is very porous and simply soaks up anything you put on it.
I did both sides of the wall in the same manner. With a little planning ahead, we were able to do the whole wall in one weekend. We left the linoleum down in the laundry room (thanks to our new wall) and carpeted the ‘Man’ room. We were very proud of ourselves and it was really nice having a new room just for the men in my life.