We are adding a new closet by cannibalizing space from our rather large lower-level storage room / utility space. I am trying to understand if there are any stipulations around drywalling both sides of the new framing we'll build for the closet. Can we leave the "back" side that will be in the storage room "open" with exposed framing? The reason is both to have less drywalling work and also to be able to add additional support pieces or noggins when we build out the inside of the closet with shelves, etc.

There will not be any electrical wiring in this wall and it will not be next to our furnace or water heater, both of which reside on the other end of this 20'x20' room.

  • 1
    What’s a noggin in this context? Jan 18, 2022 at 20:43
  • 2
    AIUI a noggin is a horizontal piece of wood between two studs, either to reinforce the wall or to provide support for something attached to the wall. Jan 19, 2022 at 12:53
  • That means that "noggin" would translate to "blocking" in En-US.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 19, 2022 at 16:27
  • @FreeMan, I'm in NY and I have heard more than one tradesman use the word "noggin" around me...
    – 0pt1m1z3
    Jan 20, 2022 at 13:16
  • Allow me a correction: That means that "noggin" would translate to "blocking" in En-US(Midwest). ;) 'round here, noggin is what you smack on a rafter when you stand up in the attic without checking where you are.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 20, 2022 at 18:01

2 Answers 2


Unless you're required to create a firewall, and unless it's a stressed load-bearing wall that requires doubled sheathing for shear, it doesn't matter at all. Zillions of basements have walls that are either not drywalled on one side or not on either side.

  • Or on neither side.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 18, 2022 at 19:33
  • 2
    +1 for the fire wall, but don’t forget that the code requires a non-absorbent surface in bathrooms, showers, etc. too.
    – Lee Sam
    Jan 18, 2022 at 20:41

That should not be a problem at all. Even with electrical, there would not be a problem.

The main place this is an issue is with garages or other places where a firewall is needed. That typically means either masonry walls or drywall on both sides, fire-rated doors, all breaks (electrical, plumbing, etc.) properly sealed.

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