How To Repair, Replace Rotted Stud Wall Bottom Plate, Non Load Bearing Walls

– [Jeff] Okay, today
we’re going to show you how to replace the bottom plate of a wall. You may run into this a
lot where you get some wood at the bottom plate of your stud wall, that’s either rotted out
from water or from termites. Now, we know we had termites
in here but this down here, we suspect may have been from water so you could see, if we push
on it with a foot there, you could see how it’s all mush. So probably, between the
water and the termites, this bottom plate has just
been totally disintegrated so we’re going to have to
pull this out and replace it but you probably are wondering,
“Well how do you that “after it’s all been put up “and is there a load on it or anything?” Well, as you could tell,
we look up at the top, this is not a load bearing wall because the load bearing comes
this way off of this wall. This wall is the load bearing
wall. This wall is not. There’s nothing above the
top plate on those there. So what we have to do here is just start to remove the disintegrated
material but also, we have to use the Sawzall to get underneath these studs here and remember, there’s nails
pointing up into these studs from when they laid this down
on the ground and built this. We also got lucky here that
the builder never secured this bottom plate to the floor. There’s no anchor, there’s
no nail or anything whereas if you look at
this wall over here, you can see we shot them in with a one of the nail guns there, see? The Ramset. What we have to do over here then is we’re gonna slice underneath, there’s probably two nails
in each stud with the Sawzall so we’re gonna show you
that process right now. (saw revving) So there’s the first one and you can see, it goes really quick. If you have the right
blade in your Sawzall for metal for nails (saw revving) and you just do all of
the rest of the studs in that same fashion. (saw revving) – [Assistant] You want me to
cut this last stud on the wall? – [Jeff] Here on the
back side of that plate, you could see just how
badly it was disintegrated. This was most likely from termites. We saw a termite bud in their tubes going up the inside of the
drywall on the other side but it’s like this the whole way down and in here you can see
more of the termite activity on the base board that we pulled off. – [Assistant] It’s gonna be perfect. – [Jeff] So as we pull
out the bottom plate, you can see what we’ve done is we’ve put these blocks under them. Now this is not a load bearing wall so we don’t have to
build up ceiling braces or anything first. So we’ve just stuffed these under here and if we need to add more shims to get these up a little
higher, we will do that but right now, these are fairly loose so I think we’ll be okay once
we get the new bono plate. It should be able to slide
in underneath it pretty good. (machine revving) Here you could see, we finally
removed the bottom plate. All the studs are now
resting on their spacers here and we’re now going to
cut the new bottom plate and slide it into place. Okay, so here we are on
the other side of the wall and we’re starting to insert
this new bottom plate here and you could see what we’re gonna do is as soon as we push it in
against these blocks here, they’ll push them out from under the studs and the bottom plate
will take their place. So that’s what we’re doing here. – [Assistant] We need to knock
it down towards the wall. – [Jeff] So I will have to hammer it down into the wall there. Alright, so here is the base
plate already installed. Now, we’re just going to
have to toe nail in place. That means we’re gonna
take our frame nailer and we’re gonna come in
at an angle like this with the nails and run
them straight in here and shoot them in and
they’ll go at a diagonal through the stud and through
the base plate like that. (drill revving)

Bernard Jenkins


  1. Thanks for sharing your method. You are master craftsman and a great instructor.

  2. would love to hear what has to change for a load bearing wall, how do you support the upper timbers so that you can get the job done ?

  3. Do you have to replace the entire bottom plate or can you just replace a section?

  4. you should put 2 in. x 4 in. x 8 ft. #1 Redwood-Tone Ground Contact Pressure-Treated Lumber to avoid same picture

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