I have 2 children that are here for only the summer and Thanksgiving or Christmas. We are wanting to build temporary walls for a temporary room for them in a finished basement with 9' ceilings. I have thought of cutting 12' sheets of sheetrock down and connecting 3 of them with hinges and putting them on a closet rail. The only thing that I can't figure out is what I could use for a frame around sheet rock to connect the hinges to and to make it look somewhat nice. Does anyone here have any good idea for what I could use for a frame? Or has anyone done something like this any other way? FYI, the wall will be about 12'long (3 panels) on one side and 8' long (2 panels) on the other. Thanks.

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    For temporary, I'd just put up a set of screens -- ot bookcases -- tp divide the space rather than walls and doors. If you must do walls, plywood will be more expensive than sheetrock, but can be recycled into other projects a lot more easily. Heck, depending on age, letting them put up a tent might amuse them. What are the real requirements you're trying to address? – keshlam Dec 20 '15 at 4:33
  • +1 to screens, but if you're determined to make something that seems more substantial (and still easy to build), consider framing each sheet with double 2x4s around the perimeter. (2x4 on each side of sheetrock, lots of 3-1/2" screws run through, 12" square plywood gussets on each corner. Drive the screws closer to the middle of the sheet, or the tapered edge will make the 2x4s cant in an unseemly fashion.) Make them at least 1-1/2" shorter than your ceiling height, or you'll never tilt them up. Fasten securely or risk unhappy family members. – Aloysius Defenestrate Dec 20 '15 at 15:43
  • Also, "loose pin hinges" will help with repeated (dis)/assembly. – Aloysius Defenestrate Dec 20 '15 at 15:46
  • A couple of tarps anchored with screws eyes would be cheap, fast, and easy (both to put up and take down). Could be anchored to (or near) the ground by a 2x4 from floor to ceiling (held to floor by friction), or a 2x6 or 2x8 (for some weight) laying across the ground. – gregmac Dec 21 '15 at 23:02

I wouldn't try to use drywall for this, plywood would be better, but it isn't readily available in 9' lengths. You could build panels out of 1x4s like fence panels. You could beef up and use barn door slides instead of closet slides.

Another idea, a different way to go - if you made five 9'x4' panels, 2x4 framing with 1/4" plywood on one side, you could use lag shields and screws to attach to the floor and the walls where they abut, and use carriage bolts and nuts and washers to attach them to each other. Then maybe angle brackets at the top to keep them plumb and keep them from getting pushed over. This would easily disassemble and reassemble with just a ratchet. When it's put away between visits, you'd just have the small holes where the panels attach to the walls and floor to look at - no major blemish.

I think I'd build the walls, assemble them, THEN add the plywood the first time. That will be easier to adjust if things are not perfectly square and plumb, which they almost certainly are not.

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  • Plenty of sources for 4' x 10' plywood. Even HD, though you may have to order it in. – Aloysius Defenestrate Dec 20 '15 at 23:34

If you are determined to use drywall and the wall will eventually be removed you will still need to frame so that the drywall can be fastened securely. Framing is straight forward. You may want to consider metal studs (vertical) and plates (horizontal) because of their lightweight. The one issue that I can foresee (and it is only an aesthetic one) is spackling and taping (or not) the joints. Obviously taping the drywall will add to the difficulty of removing the walls. Conversely, not taping will leave the walls looking un-finished. But that's subjective. Have you considered "partition" walls? They are usually constructed so as not to be fastened to the floor or ceiling. Also they sometimes aren't a full wall but have enough height for privacy. For a second suggestion how about drapes hung from closet poles?

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