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New partition walls going in home with 1/2" drywall ceilings. The drywall is screwed to strapping, nailed on the underside of roof trusses bottom chords. What is the preferred way to contruct new 2x4 wood walls under this ceiling. The idea is to not destroy the ceiling. Many thanks!
 

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sootybuttercup said:
New partition walls going in home with 1/2" drywall ceilings. The drywall is screwed to strapping, nailed on the underside of roof trusses bottom chords. What is the preferred way to contruct new 2x4 wood walls under this ceiling. The idea is to not destroy the ceiling. Many thanks!
There are 5 ways to skin a cat and this is a good example. I've visualized your situation the best I can but I'm not 100% certain so my suggestions may not be best. If it were me, I would cut a trough the width of the plates through the ceiling plaster to the ceiling strapping where the walls run perpendicular to the chords. Screw the plates through the strapping to the chords. If the strapping isn't firm, you may want to attach shims around it to give the plate a firm base. Where the walls run parallel to the chords, if there is an attic, I'd install blocking between the chords 24" OC and screw the plates to those (with shims the thickness of the strapping). I would screw it verses nailing it for fear of fracturing the plaster from vibration. A pneumatic framing nailer is less shocking than a hammer but it's best to play it safe.

Build the wall on the floor with two top plates about 1/4" below the plate you screwed to the ceiling (this gives you fudge and swing distance when raising the wall). Take a series of measurements from the floor to the ceiling plate and it's likely there will be some deformation. use the lowest measurement. Add headers to any doors If you are not sure how structural loads will impact this wall even though it is considered non load bearing. Raise the wall to the plate you attached to the ceiling. Add shims between the plates wherever or close to where the chords and blocking fall and screw the plates together. You can counterbore the bottom plate with a drill bit larger than the screwheads so the screws imbed the ceiling plate properly. Use an extended length screw bit. You'll end up with three top plates but because there is a gap at the ceiling plate, you are derating the structural integrity. Play it safe to prevent fracturing the drywall.

Another method is to lay the top and bottom plates first and toe nail or screw the studs which are custom cut to meet the variations. This method is more time consuming and a pain though. Toe nailing can split the lumber and make for weaker joints. Sometimes you have no choice.
 
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