How to … Divide a Room
With many of us spending time at home recently, it’s given us all ideas on how we can make simple changes to improve our home environment. Arnold Laver provides all the timber you’ll need to do just that and one simple project you can take on is to divide a room with a stud wall.
This surprisingly seems to give the effect of providing more space, and can give privacy, storage space, demarks room functions and can be permanent or a temporary.
Easy to forget in your enthusiasm to get things done but you need to ensure the room is clear – of precious ornaments, children, pets and other obstructions. If your stud wall will cross a room from side to side, then check too that you have measured and confirmed that a room division will work on both sides of the room. Ensure there’s no surprise fireplace, door jamb or window to scupper your plans of making two rooms. Also think about the flooring and how that’ll work in the future. It’s happened to the best of us!
Safety glasses will be needed when you’re cutting wood so make sure you have a pair handy at all times. Other tools include the basics such as a tape measure, spirit level, set square, a sharp and rust free hand saw (snip saw or jigsaw), drill, sufficient 2×4 timber and minimum length 70m screws. Keep a hammer handy for positioning the timber. Make sure you have something sturdy on which to cut your timber. Don’t have all these tools? Hire or buy!
You should be able to complete a simple stud wall within a day, but if not, and you’re leaving the work at the end, check everything is unplugged, that tools are out of reach of little hands, trip hazards are highlighted, and shut the door. It’ll be ready for you when you’re ready.
Measure and measure again
Carefully measure the distance between both walls – on the floor – and check your 4×2 fits as a base plate – mark with pencil and set square, and saw wood to the exact length required. Put your base plate on the floor exactly where you want the division to be, and from where you have measured, and screw down. Don’t forget you only want your screws to penetrate the timber and the floor boards – no further (screws and pipes or cables don’t go together well). Approximately 1 or 2 screws per metre will be sufficient to secure your base plate. You can always add more later if necessary.
If you’re adding a door, don’t forget to measure and pencil in the lines to remind you where the gap should be and don’t use screws on the base plate in this section as you may choose to remove this. Don’t forget to give the door the door-lining space at each measured edge.
Next, vertically measure your first upright at the junction with the wall from which you want the stud wall to protrude. Remember to give yourself a depth of timber to which you will attach the plasterboard. Perhaps even screw timber to the original wall, then add your first upright 4×2 to this, leaving you with the indent to add the plasterboard. It will make sense!
Stud Wall tips
Now add your first piece of timber horizontally across the top to give you a box shape. Screw to the two side timbers so they all secure. Make sure everything is level and measure your uprights along the two side edges – don’t let the tape measure buckle and wave in the air, it never works! Then start with the uprights that will go around the door line, or entrance space. Screw diagonally to secure at the bottom and top. Use a handsaw to remove the door base plate, if that’s what you choose to do. Add more uprights, approximately 440mm between each one. Now measure the top lintel for your door frame – and give yourself sufficient space if you’re adding flooring and door lining. We recommend you add at least 18mm to 20mm but check your own measurements to ensure its right.
Your entire frame should now be nice and tight. Lastly, ever wondered what a noggin is? It’s the horizontal pieces of wood that tie all your uprights. Measure these carefully, although they should be around 400mm each, and secure these across the top in a complete line. Then add the remainder as per the measurements of your plasterboard as they will be needed as screw supports. They should be snug and may need a hammer to knock in. Now you’re ready to fit your door-lining and plasterboard – Simple! You’ve created the space with clever use of timber. Where would we be without it?