Removing a Non-Loadbearing Stud Wall

| April 8, 2015

Removing an internal, non-loadbearing Stud wall can be great for opening up a living space and allowing more light into dark, underused rooms. As long as you work carefully and safely, you shouldn’t even need to erect temporary supports whilst you are working.

Whilst removing a non-loadbearing wall within your home can be done without seeking planning consent, you need to be sure that the wall is not supporting anything above as even non-loadbearing walls can be used as partial support for other structural elements. If in any doubt, speak to your local authority planning officer for advice.

Removing a Stud Partition Wall

This is going to be a messy and dusty job, so move any furniture out of the way and cover with dust sheets. Start by removing the skirting boards on both sides of the wall, along with any coving, picture rails or dado rails that are fixed the wall. If you can get these off in good condition, save some lengths to use for repairs later.

If there are any electrical sockets or light switches on the wall, these need to be disconnected, made safe and re-routed before you do anything else. As with any electrics, it is best to seek advice if you are not 100% sure what you are doing.

With the electrics made safe, you can start to remove the plasterboard (or plaster and laths) using a claw hammer or a wrecking bar. There is no clean way to do this, so just open a window, wear a dust mask and goggles and close any internal doors to stop the dust spreading through the whole house. Break a hole in the plasterboard and pull it away from the wooden studs. Take care at the ends of the wall so you do as little damage to the adjoining walls as possible. Collect the debris in bags and remove it.

You can now start knocking out the noggins and upright timber studs. Remove all the noggins first (the horizontal lengths of wood between the upright studs) and then have a look to see how the studs are attached to the head and sole plate. If they are nailed in, just knock them out. If they are mortised in place, saw through them near the top and bottom to remove them. If you keep you cuts close to the head and sole plate, you will be left with useful lengths of timber to reuse. The last two studs to remove are the end studs. These will probably be nailed or screwed into the wall, so you will need to prise them off with a wrecking bar.

Finally, prise the head and sole plate away from the ceiling and floor. The structure of the wall should now all be gone, and it is just a case of making good. You will need to replaster where the head was attached to the ceiling and where the ends of the stud wall adjoined the outer walls. You might also need to fill a gap in the floorboards if they aren’t continuous. If you are lucky, the wall will have followed the direction of the floorboards and you will hopefully be able to fill the gap with a single new board. If the wall ran at right angles to the run of the floorboards, you will need to cut numerous lengths of board to fill the gap. In this case you will also probably need to fix battens to the floor joists to hold up the new lengths of floorboard.

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Category: Building Guides, Stud Walls

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