All you need to know about installing stud walls including costs of materials, labour and time frames.
If you need an extra room but don't want to extend, then dividing an existing space by putting up a stud wall is a relatively cheap and easy option when compared to moving or building an extension. Building a partition wall is a great way of dividing existing space for multiple uses such as dividing a large bedroom into two smaller ones or using under stairs space to add a downstairs toilet. These partition walls are also called stud walls as they are made using a timber frame (studs) covered by plasterboard. A stud wall is comprised of timber studs secured to the floor, ceiling and walls, then covered with plasterboard and decorated so it looks like an integral part of your house. Additionally, if ever there is a need for the wall's removal this is still possible, even if there is a requirement for a load-bearing steel joist installation instead.
Building a stud wall one is a pretty straightforward job if you have decent DIY skills, but there are some things you'll need to consider before you take on this job yourself. First of all, if you are doing all the work yourself you need to check with your local authority to make sure the work conforms to all current building regulations in terms of fire safety, light and good ventilation. Then, even if going ahead as a DIY project, you'll still probably need to get professional help with wiring up lighting and perhaps installing heating and plumbing in the new room. Usually, you do not need to get planning permission for an internal stud wall, but failure to follow building regulations can affect your ability to sell the property at a later date and can be dangerous. Professionals have the experience to know which regulations will apply and how to ensure the new wall meets all the regulations. While for the average DIY enthusiast working out which of the building regulations will actually apply to your stud wall is difficult as they are not the easiest things to read and it depends a lot on the reasons for the stud wall.
If you are confident doing the job yourself, then you can make a stud wall frame using 75mm x 50mm or 100mm x 50mm timber. The frame is made up of a ceiling or head plate fixed to the ceiling joists. A matching plate nailed to the floor called the floor plate. Plus studs that stand vertically between the plates fixed with nails. There are also short horizontal braces to give extra support called noggings. For better sound and heat insulation results you can fit slab insulation in between the studs after you have fitted the plasterboard to one side. To stop any electric cables overheating you should run them inside a PVC conduit attached to the studs or noggins. Stud walls are not load-bearing so you can effectively place a doorway or opening wherever you want. Although it's better to put a door up against one end stud to brace the door frame.
If you go ahead and try installing the stud wall yourself then you need to consider that if you are dividing a large bedroom into two smaller bedrooms, you must ensure that there is at least one window in each of the two new bedrooms as a possible fire escape route. If the new stud wall faces onto the stairwell you may have to add fire protection to stop a fire spreading too quickly and preventing escape via the stairs. Sound insulation may be required if you are dividing a bedroom or bathroom from another room,. This can be achieved using special sound-resistant plasterboard or adding insulation material into the gaps between the studs. Stud walls are usually non-loadbearing so will not need additional structural support. In some cases, if the wall is running parallel to the floor joists you may need to add more support to safely cope with the weight of the stud wall. If in doubt speak to a structural engineer. When creating a new room you also need to make sure there is adequate ventilation via an opening a window and by a trickle vent in the window frame.
Most people will want to hire a tradesman to come in and take care of the stud wall for them. The typical cost for dividing a larger bedroom into two smaller bedrooms - assuming there are no new electrics required, no additional windows needed and no radiators to be moved - would be around £850 and would take 2-3 days to complete.
Below are some estimated costs of stud wall installation.
|Job Description||Avg. Cost||Duration|
|Divide a large bedroom just stud wall supply and fit||£800||2-3 Days|
|Same job but with a new radiator fitted||£1000||3-4 Days|
|Same job but with a new radiator and light fitting||£1125||3-4 Days|
Individual costs to build one average sized stud wall - Total Cost: £800