Just looking for some general framing advice and if my plans moving forward make sense.

I have cut an opening into an existing wall, non-load bearing. Originally there was a doorway, which I have opened up much further and left a knee-wall remaining. When I originally cut the opening, I did not realize that this through-wall continued past the door opening behind my pantry. This combined with the fact the top plate of that wall is not solid (see first photo), makes me think I need to do something to better solidify the remaining top plate.

My plan is to just run a 12' 2x6 across the very top, unifying the top plate on the left, the segmented top plates, the x2 vertical 2x4's I've added, and the 2 remaining original studs. On the bottom, I plan to trim the hanging studs down so I can get a 2x4 running horizontally across the opening. Finally, I was planning on running another 12' 2x4 across the bottom, similar to the 2x6, to unify the x2 2x4's that were running above the original doorway and the 2x4 I'm adding to the bottom.

Notes on existing framing Framing as-is My idea

Plan B:

Enough people (online and people I know) have uttered the phrase "Get rid of it all" that I'm reconsidering leaving the hanging partition. It has aesthetic benefits as well as greatly simplifies the drywall finishing, so if it can be done correctly I will do that instead.

If I do that, I understand I need to finish the remaining wall with some vertical 2x4's. This a little tricky for a few different reasons:

  1. It immediately intersects another wall I wish to leave intact (only juts out <2")
  2. It's currently finished with drywall
  3. The sill plate stops for the opening, so any studs I add will go from the top plate (or header) to the flooring below, not the base plate.

My new idea is to add x3 pieces of wood. 1 jack stud to go beneath the header to the floor, 1 cripple stud to support the top plate from the header, and then a 3rd which would be a jackstud to the floor to the top plate. I would sandwich all 3 together with some construction adhesive and #9 construction screws.

Overlayed on image


Further progress:

To take some mystery out of it I cut away some more drywall to reveal the header does stop right there. So I could either run a brand new header as suggested, or just cut everything out completely, right? I realize now if I run a new header I won't have a jack stud under it, unless I add 3rd 2x4 in there. Not the end of the world


  • So you want the wall to hang down about a foot for some separation? You don't want to remove it as much as possible? Also, this puts the vent fan question into context a little more - you're doing so much - just tear it out and get a new fan.
    – JPhi1618
    Jul 3, 2019 at 15:48
  • Given that the is a through wall to the next room, I didn't think I could cut it off clean to the ceiling and leave the end of the wall unsupported. The look, however, is consistent with the rest of the doorways and openings in the house and looks pretty natural. Initially I didn't intend to even do this much but was convinced to remove the bulkheads that were originally there.
    – DrTarr
    Jul 3, 2019 at 16:07

1 Answer 1


I think you need to trim the 2x4 studs in the opening and build a header over the whole new opening, like the header that was over the original doorway, which will extend across your new opening.

Something like this: Your opening with poorly photoshopped header example in place... (hopefully you're better at it than I am with Photoshop...)

Taking care to attach to existing studs on the right side and adding a jack stud (doubling the stud) at the end.

Like this: Jack Studs/Trimmers

I also think that you'll have to do some work on the "knee wall" (half-wall) to make sure it's sturdy enough, too. I assume it's just 2x4s toenailed into the bottom plate and maybe a double stud on the end (left over from the door frame)? It's hard to know for sure since we can't see what's left.

  • Thank you for your feedback. Actually, I planned on the header, but wasn't necessarily going to use double stacked 2x4s. I will make that change.
    – DrTarr
    Jul 4, 2019 at 16:35
  • Its hard to tell in the photo, but I did already add a jack stud to the new stud I put in where the opening is cut. My question to you is do you think I need to tie all of the top plate together? That was my plan with a 2x6 at the top in addition to the new header. Also, for the knee wall, I was going to cut out most the existing cabinets and use drywall and construction adhesive as sheathing to stiffen it. I will also run a 2x4 along the top, then cabinets secured to it should further stiffen the wall
    – DrTarr
    Jul 4, 2019 at 16:37
  • I can't really see the top plate in the pictures. I would remove the miscellaneous boards nailed to the sides of the studs (unless they're used as some kind of spacers for the drywall to line up and pull out all that other unnecessary stuff and build a header all the way across. If you want to use 2x6s it won't hurt but put them vertically under the short studs--not nailed onto the side of them. The important thing is the header is continuous across the entire opening and not cobbled together out of pieces of wood. (See the second image I posted.)
    – gnicko
    Jul 4, 2019 at 16:48
  • Then cut cripple studs from the old ones (or trim them in place) to go in where they are now across the top. (Again see the second picture. You want something like the yellow structure in the pic.) Unless you know that you need to, don't put anything onto the sides of the studs. That will make the walk too thick and possibly make trouble for the drywall.
    – gnicko
    Jul 4, 2019 at 16:51
  • I get the header should be continuous, however, if you look at the photo the remaining header from the old opening continues through the wall that remains making up the wall of another room. So, I was going to start another header to the right of the pair of 2x4's and run it to the new jack stud. That's pretty much what you photoshopped in your image, so I would have two sections of headers. My concern was where those headers meet, there's just about nothing keeping them from moving around, that's why I wanted to runs a 2x6 on the side.
    – DrTarr
    Jul 4, 2019 at 17:34

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