This article explains how to mend a 2×4 stud that was foolishly cut to install a shelf. The shelf is removed, the 2×4 load bearing stud and large opening in the drywall are repaired.
Cut Load Bearing 2×4 Stud
The prior owner of my home was a real jackleg when it came to home improvement. Everything he touched was characterized by sloppy work, improper techniques and in this case, complete stupidity. He got the idea for an improvised home theater by cutting a 2×4 stud in the load bearing basement wall to install a shelf for a home theater projector – see the above photo. Furthermore, the prior owner failed to install a header and jack studs to transfer the load to the adjacent 2×4 studs. Fortunately, the building codes are designed with a generous margin of safety so mistakes like this don’t result in a catastrophic failure.
Instead of cutting the 2×4 stud, I would’ve installed a shelf inside the room and mounted a multimedia wiring boxes and wall plates for the video, sound and Ethernet connections for professional result.
The finished side of the drywall is framed by trim boards fastened with finishing nails. Notice the utility room with the water heater on the other side of the wall. This large opening in the wall also messes with the HVAC air balance between the finished and unfinished sides of the basement.
The trim boards were not caulked and pulled off easily by hand. One or two finishing nails remained in the wall that were extracted with pliers.
The projector shelf was attached with wood screws and easily disassembled. Notice the 120VAC wire snaked over the top 2×4 framing header – sloppy!
The opening for the home theater projector was small enough that a 2ft x 2ft x 1/2in drywall repair panel would more than cover the hole. With a helper holding the panel in place on the other side of wall, I marked two sides with a pencil to saw it down to size.
I marked the repair panel measurements before framing in the wall opening – it’s easier when there’s no studs in the way.
View of the drywall repair panel with pencil lines for sawing. A 2ft x 2ft repair panel costs about $4 at the hardware store.
Closeup of my pencil marks on the drywall repair panel. The right and bottom sides will be cut to fit the hole in the wall. Notice how I’ve marked Left, Right, Top, Bottom and UP in the red squares so there’s no confusion about orientation. “Measure twice, cut once.”
Next, I cut the left and bottom sides along the pencil marks with a drywall saw.
This project is continued in Part 2.
Thanks for reading,
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