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Building Homes or Extensions/Removed wall - Single Top Plate


I have removed a wall separating the kitchen from my dining room. It was not load-bearing and the process went smoothly. When I removed the studs, I found there was only a single top plate, which I have learned is common in older homes. Now I want to remove the single top plate, which hangs down below the ceiling level and has nails sticking out of it, so I can drywall the ceiling, but being only single, once removed there is nothing to attach the drywall to. Do I just lay a 2x4 over the existing single top plate and secure this new board at the ends and then remove the old single top plate so I have something to attach my drywall to?

Please advise. Thank you.

Hi Steven, if the top plate is running parallel to the ceiling joist then yes you can add backing above the wall top plate and then remove it or remove the top plate and then move the top plate up so it is flush to the bottom of ceiling joist.  If your top plate runs across the ceiling joists or perpendicular to them you won't need to add any backing for the drywall except maybe at the ends if there isn't anything to attach to.  This can be as simple as adding a small block of wood over the hole in the drywall, screwing the ends of it to the existing ceiling drywall and then screwing the end of the new drywall to it. The block acts as a little bridge over the gap and uses the existing drywall for support.  Sincerely, Bruce Johnson  

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Bruce E. Johnson


I can answer any construction related question in regards to carpentry, concrete, drywall, masonry, structural elements of any type of building, residential or commercial. Interior or exterior.


Custom Commercial and residential buildings. Churches, theaters, schools and auditoriums. Most recently I am working with the Catholic Church on several design build committees. I have a website related to scheduling and project supervision. Although my expertise is more related to multimillion dollar commercial, educational and theatrical projects my generous credentials in residential and remodelling construction make me a viable source of information regarding all forms of building questions.

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