Building Interior Walls: How to Frame & Build a Wall

man and woman framing a wall

Sometimes a remodeling project involves removing a wall to open up a larger area. Other times it may mean adding a wall to redefine a space or create new living areas. Some projects combine partial demolition and new construction.

Projects in Building Walls

Before you Begin
Before you start swinging a sledgehammer, understand that demolition does not mean destruction. Demolition is carefully planned removal that can involve special techniques to salvage moldings and other components for reuse. In addition, demolition involves planning to protect adjoining surfaces from damage. In short, smart demolition prevents unintentional destruction.

Despite the mess and heavy work that go with demolition, many people enjoy it. Progress is immediately evident and smashing things has a genuine therapeutic value.

Build walls from wood or metal
Framing new walls can also be a relatively speedy process. When you choose traditional wood studs, you'll generally find that it's easiest to build the wall flat and then raise it into position. Selecting metal studs means you'll probably install the top and bottom plates first, adding the studs between them to frame the wall into place.

As you build, check often that your work is plumb and flat. Investing a few minutes in inspection will make drywalling easier.

After you've added utilities to the wall, you'll be ready to insulate. On exterior walls, you'll need the thermal and vapor barrier properties of insulation. In interior walls, insulation can deaden noise from gurgling drains or a cranked-up sound system.

Drywall covers the structure
Drywalling is another step that shows initial progress rapidly. When you work methodically, you'll hang sheets of drywall efficiently, covering large areas with surprising speed. After that, joint taping and sanding can consume several days, but much of that is simply waiting for each coat of joint compound to dry. After you sand the final coat, your new wall is ready for primer and paint.

One Hour or Less

Three simple projects to cross off of your to-do list -- just print these instructions and begin!