One Room Challenge Fall 2021: Week 3

It’s week 3 of the One Room Challenge, and things are taking shape!

We have framed out walls and a fireplace surround!

Fireplace framed out
One of the wall extensions framed out

Building the Walls with Metal Studs

To get to this point, I had to learn how to frame using metal studs.

Why metal studs? Because even though it’s a zero-clearance wood-burning fireplace, the front of it needs to be metal to meet code and prevent fire.

And with wood prices the way they are now, I decided to just go with metal for the whole thing.

Now I’d never framed anything out before with metal (or wood for that matter) so my first stop was YouTube.

I watched this cheery-seeming video:

And then made a list of supplies:

  • 13mm wafer head screws to hold the metal studs together
  • 25mm self-tapping screws for attaching the tracks to the floor & ceiling
  • Interior galvanized steel wall framing studs
  • Interior galvanized steel tracks to put the studs in
  • Drill & bits
  • Clamps
  • Level

I already had some of the tools on hand, but got everything else I needed.

A pit stop for permits

Also, I forgot to mention it last week, but before starting the project I checked to see what permits were needed.

Obviously adding a wood-burning fireplace required one, but what about the walls?

The consensus was that in our particular case extending the existing interior wall stubs did not need a permit. The reasoning was that we weren’t changing how the rooms were used, the extensions would not be load bearing, they would not need power, and the rooms would still be open to each other like before.

(Just wanted to throw that out there in case anyone was wondering.)

Now back to construction. Week two talked about cutting the floors, so that part was already done.

That meant it was time to start framing!

Attaching the metal studs

Here are the steps I followed to frame using metal studs:

  1. Mark the floor where the wall would go
  2. Measure the lengths of track needed
  3. Cut the tracks with the tin snips
  4. Screw the track to the floor with the self-tapping screws
  5. Measure the studs (just a hair shorter than the ceiling)
  6. Cut the studs to length using tin snips
  7. Slide the studs into the track where I wanted them & twist into place
  8. One by one:
    • Make sure the stud is level
    • Clamp the stud in place
    • Drill pilot holes in the tracks & stud
    • Screw the stud to the tracks with the wafer-head screws
  9. Repeat that last bit until everything is in place

I put the studs the standard distance apart on the fireplace surround, but some of them ended up really close together on the wall extensions. (Just because the wall extensions were an odd width.)


For the most part, the framing was fairly easy to do. There were a couple hard parts though:

Until I clamped things down and drilled pilot holes, I had a hard time attaching the studs to the track. The drill kept bouncing everywhere!

And our ceiling curves against the fireplace wall. That meant making a bunch of wedge-shaped cuts in a couple small sections of studs. Then I could bend them to follow the curve.

Once the framing was done, there was a pause. I had to wait for the fireplace store to come out and check that it was correct before they would deliver the fireplace unit. So that’s it for week 3!

Be sure to check out the other One Room Challenge participants!

Categorized as DIY


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