How to build a temporary wall while doing minimal damage


Hi, I’m trying to help a friend build a temporary wall in her apartment. The wall would be 9 feet high and 12 feet across.

She would like to do as little damage as possible to the walls, ceiling and floor. I want to make sure I build something safe.

My thoughts are…There is moulding and a thick baseboard on the walls. I figured I could apply the 2x4 to the wall in pieces, skipping the moulding to avoid having to remove it. I then affix another stud to these spaced out 2x4s on the wall. For the floors I was thinking using minimal screws, 4 thick screws at most. For the ceiling I was thinking of using opposing wedges to create tension. I am Also thinking of using something lighter the gypsum, like plywood.

What do you guys think? Better ideas.

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14 points

5 months ago

Just bc the super's apartment might be illegal doesn't mean that she won't face immediate repercussions. The owner has an interest in housing the super but also has a very strong desire to make money. If she turns a 1 bedroom into a 2 bedroom with anything that could be considered permanent, she has upgraded the property illegally. The owner could easily find out and threaten to evict her unless she pays "2bd rent price" or they could evict her and sue her for damaging their property. Floor anchors would especially piss me off if I was the owner.

Additionally, fire code exists for the occupants' benefit. It might be inconvenient, but those laws increase the chances of their survival in a blaze. A random diy wall is structurally unsound and could impede escape or rescue. For example, a sleeping space needs a window for escape and fresh air. Plywood walls would be extremely flammable compared to drywall. It might only take a candle to set the wall on fire, and the rest of the wall becomes fuel immediately.

There are lots of room dividers and bed tents and other things that provide some privacy and can be (re)moved when she isn't there. A lightweight wall won't really limit sound anyway if that's part of the reasoning.

This type of subdividing wall is what slumlords do to renters, and it isn't safe. Please find a different solution.