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With a rather large living room in my 1bd appartment, I'm building a semi-permanent partition to split off a second smaller bedroom. The partition will be a standard framed wall and put in place without modifying existing structures (just nailed to the floor, sides, and ceiling) in order to avoid losing my deposit. Basically a more solid version of a privacy curtain.

I understand that the small studs at the top of the door opening are to take over some of the loadbearing that is lost when you cut out a stud to make the opening. Is it acceptable to do away with this for the "decorative" structure I'm building? E.g. just a Master/jack stud with a head plate?

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Are you planning on hanging a door? – Tester101 Nov 11 '11 at 22:48
What kind of floor are you nailing into that you will be able to install/remove this without damage? – BMitch Nov 12 '11 at 0:12
@BMitch Its a hardwood floor, but I'm using finishing nails, I tested on a small patch and the holes are barely noticeable, not any bigger than the nails setting the hardwood floor in place (its not interlocking pergo, old style hardwood boards). The wall is actually made and set in place now. I made the height about 1/16th too tall so I could jam it into place (strips of carpet to protect the ceiling), the nails are just to keep it from sliding around. – crasic Nov 14 '11 at 10:00
up vote 5 down vote accepted

The cripples are typically a continuation of the 16" stud intervals. They make hanging drywall easier since an 8' or 4' length will fall in the middle of a stud on each end (with the exception of the cut end when your room isn't a perfect 4' increment). Like Shirlock says, they aren't required for non-load bearing walls (hardly anything is since the wall isn't load bearing), but as you remove parts like this, other details like the drywall and installing trim will become more difficult.

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Agree, the only reason for a cripple over that door would be for ease of sheetrocking. I actually like to cover the R/O of the door with the width of drywall so there are no seams above the door to crack from the force and vibration of opening and closing and the top casing lays flatter as well. Doesn't always work that way, but prefer it when possible. – shirlock homes Nov 12 '11 at 12:27
Yeah, since I'm hanging drywall I ended up leaving the cripples. It was more of a question of standard practice and curiosity, my first time doing framing. – crasic Nov 14 '11 at 10:01

Simple answer is no, you do not need cripples for an interior door in a non load bearing wall.

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