enter image description hereIn the bathroom, I discovered the double sole plate of a short wall are rotted out. The wall length is 2 feet long and its the wall the door closes on. The entire wall including the door is just over 5'. The rotted plate is about 18" of the 2' section.

The studs on the plate are either rotted or starting so I plan to cut 6" past the affected area and add new studs and sisters.

The studs are perpendicular to the above ceiling joists. Naturally, I'm assuming they're load bearing, though I'm not positive. An adjacent double sole plate (parallel to the ceiling joists) is not load bearing. My question is regardless if the wall is load bearing or not, do I need to support the wall/ceiling? It's only 18" of a 5' wall. I'd rather "ask now" than "should've asked".

The house is 67 years old, cape cod style with crawl space eaves sitting above the wall in question.

  • There was evidence that this may have been from a nail that went through the wood and deep into the cement slab. However, the otherside of the wall is the hot water tank. There seems to be a open pipe to flush the baseboard water and the drywall shows where it was wet and dried. That could've been when water was introduced to the wood soleplate. May 15, 2017 at 2:07

2 Answers 2


It's always better to be safe than sorry. Is that section of wall supporting the roof? If it is only supporting a single joist a 2x4 under that joist should be enough to keep everything in place while you cut and replace everything.

  • That section of wall is not supporting the roof. Rather, its supporting two floor joist above. May 15, 2017 at 12:46

In my experience you can cut out a single stud on a temporary basis and expect no issues. The wall is a system. The (presumably doubled) top plates, along with the drywall, create a shear plane that is unlikely to move at all.

Worst case scenario you get a bit of drywall cracking, which wouldn't add much to your existing work. If you want peace of mind, jamb a doubled stud (in a T configuration) under the relevant ceiling joists with two short plates (top and bottom) and a towel to pad against the ceiling.

  • The double stud sounds easier (and cheaper) than a jack post. I'm actually going to replace two studs. Would that behoove to do the double stud temporary support? May 15, 2017 at 12:48
  • I'd remove one and get a sense of how much things move. It's probably fine to do two, but hard to say from here.
    – isherwood
    May 15, 2017 at 13:08

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