Building a Garage Partition Wall 

Welcome to week 3 of the One Room Challenge! This week we dive into building a garage partition wall. 

Our complete framing process included building the:

  • Garage partition wall, 
  • Partition wall in the family room (that will be the new closets)
  • Exterior wall (to close off where the garage door used to be)

In addition to building the partition walls, we have four windows we need to frame in the bedroom. I’ll get that post up within the next few weeks.  And I’ll link to it once it’s done.

Back to the partition walls…

The garage partition wall did not line up with the current ceiling joist end wall studs.  

We had the same issue with the divider wall in between the two closets.

To work around this, we simply screwed in fitted 2×4’s in between the ceiling joists and wall studs. 

Building a Partition Wall in between Ceiling Joists

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Steps to Building a Garage Partition Wall 

Before I dive into the steps of building a garage partition wall, note that sometimes the easiest way to build a wall is to build it on the floor.

Then, you would lift the entire wall into place.

There are times when this option is not available, like our scenario. 

We did not have enough floor or ceiling space to build the wall frame on the floor and lift it up, so we had to build the wall piece by piece.

Step 1: Measure & Cut the Bottom and Top Plate

Typically, partition walls are non load bearing. They are usually designed to divide spaces and don’t support anything but itself. 

Usually, at minimum, a double top plate is required if the wall is load-bearing.  Often, a larger top plate is required. 

However, sometimes builders prefer a double top plate on partition walls, as it can be easier to hang drywall.

All the interior walls we built were non load bearing but we did decide to go with the double top plate in the family room.

The lowest point of our sloped garage ceiling is a little over 7 ft. 

For that wall, we built a single top plate wall to allow for the most headroom possible.

Remember to always measure twice and cut once!

Garage Partition Wall

Step 2:  Nail in the Top and Bottom Plate

Make sure you are nailing the new wall into existing studs for the most secure fit. 

Top Plate in between Ceiling Joists

Step 3: Mark the Plates 

Using a pencil, mark where each side will go on the footer and the header. Studs should be measured 16 inches apart, on center.

Make your markings abundantly clear as to which side the 2×4 should be nailed in. 

For example, Cully draws a line where the 2×4 should be nailed, then marks an “X” to know what side of the line it should be nailed.

When you get to any door or window opening, be sure to clearly mark where the king stud and jack studs will go.

Draw out all your measurements for both the top and bottom plates, ensuring they line up throughout the entire wall.

Step 4: Cut the Studs 

I recommend cutting one by one, rather than all at once, when you’re having to build a wall piece by piece.

This way, an exact measurement can be taken stud by stud and that will help minimize  gaps in between the stud and the top and/or bottom plate.

Building a Stud Partition Wall

Step 5: Nail in the Studs 

There are a couple of key things to keep in mind as you are nailing in each stud:

  1. Make sure you are double-checking your measurements as each stud is placed. 
  2. Check to make sure everything is square end level after each stud is put in.

Double checking your work as you go along with help minimize unnecessary corrections and mitigate wasted material.

For your entertainment, here is a time-lapse of Cully building one of the garage partition walls:

Garage Partition Wall Q&A 

After posting our partition wall project on Instagram, there were several questions.  I’ll address those below for quick reference 🙂 

Can I put a stud wall in my garage?

More than likely, yes! Adding a stud wall in your garage is a great way to create separate spaces.  

For example, building a partition wall in the garage is helpful when you want  to create a separate space for a workshop.

Doing this project yourself is fairly straightforward and can be inexpensive, assuming the price of lumber does not continue to increase (don’t get me started on that topic :o)) 

Simply follow the steps above and you will have your basic stud partition wall built in less than a day!

How do I build a wall in my garage?

To keep consistent with building regulations,  it’s important that you build a bottom plate, a top plate, and nail the studs 16 inches apart, on center. 

Be sure to mark out where each stud will be placed,  prior to nailing them in. This also includes the jack and king studs, if you will have any door or window openings.

Always remember to measure twice and cut once.  Measure as you go along to ensure everything is straight and level.

Do partition walls need a double top plate?

Typically load bearing walls require, at minimum,  a double top plate and non-load bearing walls (ie: partition walls) only need a single top plate. 

However, many builders prefer a double plate on non-loading walls.  It can sometimes make the drywall installation easier. This is a matter of personal preference.

How do you screw a 2×4 into concrete?

When building a partition wall that is attached to a concrete floor, use a Ramset gun. 

We chose the model that has a silencer. There is another model without a silencer.  You would need to wear ear protection if you go with that model.

Watch the demonstration below to see how the tool works.

(note: use the Ramset primarily when building interior walls. if you are building an exterior wall, anchor bolts are required per building code.  We will be adding the bolts since this is an exterior wall.)

How much does it cost to put up a partition wall?

Going the DIY route will save you hundreds of dollars.  An 11 foot wall, that included framing for a door, cost us about $150.

This includes the cost of nails (does not include the framing nail gun that we’ve had for years) and the cost of the 2×4’s.  With lumber costs being at an all time high right now, we paid around $8 per 2×4.  We used somewhere between 15 and 17 2×4’s.

As the cost of lumber decreases (fingers crossed sooner than later!), the cost of this project will obviously decrease.

If you were to hire out this project, you can assume several hundred dollars will be added on to the cost of labor. 

Out the door cost with materials and labor is estimated at $7 – $16 per square foot.  For an 11 foot wall like ours, that would mean $616 – $1,408.

Cost for insulation, drywall and other finishing touches would be additional. 

Have any questions or comments? Let us know by dropping a note in the comment box below.

Building a Partition Wall

Check out the other posts related to our DIY garage conversion:

Planning a Garage Conversion

Garage Demolition: The Step by Step Process 

Building a Garage Partition Wall (you are here!)

Wiring the New Garage Bedroom (coming soon)

Insulation Installation (coming soon)

Installing & Finishing the Drywall (coming soon)

Painting and Finishing Touches (coming soon)

Final Reveal! (coming soon)

Until next time,


Update 5/24: All framing passed inspection! Woohoo! Next up is wiring the new electric. 


Garage Partition wall Using Studs

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  1. Great information. Great info on the Ramsey gun with silencer. Also such a clear explanation for reason for double plate and cost estimates. Thank you.
    My question is… how do you decide between nails or screws? I don’t have a nail gun but I have considered investing in the whole set up. Is it easier?
    I have knowledge but my main experience is in building sculptures not walls.
    I want to divide my garage. No added electricity. One interior door. Only one side sheet rocked so I can use the studs to hang shelves. Where the wall will go there is a load bearing beam that I can attach to on top.
    Is it easier to build and lift? Or ?
    I figured I would have to build in place because the floor is uneven and I wouldn’t be able to lift the finished frame. I would love to do it myself but I am nervous.

    1. Hey Heather! Thanks so much for your comment. From what it sounds like, the wall you will be building will be more cosmetic than structural (ie: load bearing). Assuming that is the case, my opinion is that nails are easier, if you have a nail gun handy. If you only have a drill, then screws may be easier. We’ve always heard that building the wall on the ground fist then lifting it up is easier….BUT we’ve haven’t been able to experience this in any house we’ve lived in because all the houses we’ve lived in are older and the walls/floor are not even. Since you mentioned an uneven floor, you may save yourself some headache by building piece by piece like we did in this post. Just remember to keep the studs 16″ on center + build an appropriate door frame and it will be fairly simple! Best of luck – you can do this!

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