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I have a loft area to which I want to add a pony wall for safety. My plan is to drywall its inside and outside faces, all the way down across the beam. Can I built it on the surface of the platform safely? I would prefer to avoid attaching the posts to the front of the beam because it would make drywalling more difficult, and I want to use the posts located at the corner as an anchor for some storage that should all appear flush. The beam is 5 1/8" wide so putting it inside the beam, against a joist, leaves too large a distance on the outside edge.

Here are some researched suggestions:

  • Built pony wall and lag-bolt the corner post through an angle bracket, down through the pony wall's bottom plate and into the beam.
  • Can I lag-bolt 4x4 posts to a 2x4 bottom plate from the bottom, which is then lag bolted through the subfloor and into the beam?
  • Extend plywood down the pony-wall onto the beam to provide strength across the entire face without adding too much thickness.
  • Use a thicker wall - perhaps cabinets - so there is more depth to anchor down.

Any other ideas?

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  • The paranoid guy in me would say to add a diagonal brace (or tension wire) to the corner post. – ratchet freak Feb 3 '16 at 11:39
  • What's the actual configuration of your wall? Does it have a right angle as shown in the diagram? Does it connect to other walls? – isherwood Feb 17 '16 at 21:14
  • @isherwood yes - it's a right angle but there is an opening on the short side for the loft-ladder – Steven Feb 18 '16 at 6:57
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I'd build the wall in such a way that the entire thing acts as a post:

  • Use 3-1/2" or 4" construction screws instead of nails at all joints
  • Use construction adhesive at all joints
  • Use screws and adhesive to mount the bottom plate to the floor framing

This configuration will be as stiff and strong as it would be if you used occasional steel bracing. Any right angles or other wall connections will enhance strength.

  • This worked great but I didn't use adhesive on all the joints only the attachment of the bottom plate to the decking. The screws made all the difference as did screwing it together before putting the wall in place. This avoided toenailing which was weak when I initially tried it. Once the sheetrock was up it was stiff – Steven Apr 11 '16 at 16:53
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I'm not a pro

It has a right angle in it so the resistance to it being torqued is low. The other end is attached to the wall. I would suggest that you attach it the same way that the 2nd floor is attached to the first floor in a standard platform built house.

I think these are just nailed to the skin of the subfloor, with 2-4 nails per stud cavity. If you are feeling paranoid, use 3.5" screws and align them with the joists below.

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We do pony walls all the time. You have a rather easy one because you have a wall to attach to and it is relatively short. Just some things I would do here.

  • first is I would use 2x6 material. There is a HUGE difference between 2x4s and 2x6s for pony walls. Night and day. I only do 2x4 if I have something to attach to on each side.

  • second I would make sure the short wall goes to the corner. Meaning the lateral force of the longer wall would be stabilized better on the non-wall side.

  • third I would stagger bolts every foot or less. The bolts would be set one inch from outside and then the next one inch from the inside. Having the bolts in this pattern basically makes it impossible to tip.

  • and obviously you are anchoring into the wall 4-5 times.

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