I am working on replacing a separating wall between my garage and basement. It is separating only, not load bearing.

There are three main sections:

  1. plain wall floor to ceiling.
  2. plain wall floor to lower than ceiling (keeping 2" away from HVAC ducts and furnace intake/exhaust on all sides).
  3. Plain wall floor to ceiling with a door.

I plan to build the wall in those three sections, nailing them together when done. For the sake of discussion, let's just stick to wall 1.

The distance between the floor and the ceiling varies by about an inch between the two ends of this wall.

The angle between the floor and wall, and wall and ceiling is not 90 degrees - 89, 91, etc.

I am planning to secure the baseboard to the cement floor using concrete nail drive anchors (e.g. drilling a pilot hole first), then putting sill wrap down carefully between the board and floor before nailing in.

I would like to do the same thing for the side of the wall that touches the CMU block, possibly with tapcons instead but same basic deal.

In other words, I want to cheat - instead of building the frame on the ground and trying to slide it into place.. while keeping the pilot holes for the floor and wall lined up, and somehow managing to get the sill wrap between the boards, wall, and floor.

This is all an extremely long winded way to ask: Would a separating wall where the studs are connected to the top boards and bottom board via tie plates only be reasonably secure? (Picture of what I am thinking about using below.)

Alternately, is there a better way to do what I want to do? Or is this a bad idea altogether and I should I just suck it up and build the frames on the ground?

enter image description here

  • 1
    I believe a wall between a garage and living space needs/has special conditions in the building code, fire blocking and air tightness as a couple. Are you sure it is not load bearing, most are, so it would be rare.
    – crip659
    Commented Jul 3, 2023 at 17:49
  • Positive it's not load bearing - it runs parallel to multiple 2x6's that rest on the CMU walls and the steel I beam at the center of the house. It wasn't even connected to the ceiling on one edge (it didn't line up with the joists above it). Further, it was so rotted out that if it supported anything, that thing would have fallen down by now. ;) Large sections of 2x4 were pulled out in crumbles with bare hands.
    – negacao
    Commented Jul 3, 2023 at 18:10
  • 2
    Tie plates might work, but they’re probably unconventional for a reason. Why not toenail studs into place? Or build the wall 1.5” short and have an additional PT bottom plate that you pop the (built on the floor) wall onto? Commented Jul 3, 2023 at 18:19
  • @AloysiusDefenestrate thank you, that is exactly what I was looking for - I was experimenting with toenailing without realizing it - but I was doing it wrong. Your comment lead to a google search which shows me what to do. If you make your comment an answer, I believe it answers my question. :)
    – negacao
    Commented Jul 3, 2023 at 18:24
  • 1
    @AloysiusDefenestrate might be easier to have an additional top plate if the concern is fitting the diagonal length of the wall section in the space. Fitting in an extra bottom plate would require lifting the entire wall. But I agree—I'm just not seeing the problem here...what's wrong with regular framing (toe plate on slab, top plate under joists, toe nail studs in place)?
    – Huesmann
    Commented Jul 4, 2023 at 13:03

2 Answers 2


You could choose to go two ways: build the wall on the floor (assuming you have the space to lift it, which it sounds like you do), or build it in place (around here, we call that stick built).

To build on the floor, set the bottom plate in pressure treated material first. Build a complete wall (plate-studs-plate) with the wall height based on the bottom plate of the wall sitting on the pt plate. (In other words, subtract 1.5” from the total wall height.)

If you choose to stick build because the stud heights vary a lot across the length of the wall, practice toenailing. It helps to use a scrap of 2x4 that’s 14-1/2” long to keep your studs on 16”oc spacing. (Toenailing tends to push studs sideways as you hammer.)

As mentioned in the comments, tie plates are unconventional and certainly not designed to connect studs to plates.

  • 1
    Thank you for all the tips. Practicing was quite a good idea - screwed it up a bunch of times, but I think I've got it worked out now. :)
    – negacao
    Commented Jul 3, 2023 at 21:08

You only build walls on the ground when you are building a new house. Otherwise, you always build in place, like you are planning to do. Toe nail the studs to the top and bottom plates.

  • Thanks! I did not know this.
    – negacao
    Commented Jul 3, 2023 at 21:08

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