When you've opened up a non load-bearing wall to remodel or make repairs, you may encounter a bad wall stud. Don't panic; surprises happen in remodeling. Unless necessary, don't rip out the entire stud. Doing so may cause more problems with surrounding structural elements. Instead, sister it.
What Is Sistering?
Sistering is the process of repairing a deteriorated stud by nailing, screwing, or bolting a similar piece of material next to it.
In essence, you're doubling-up the stud.
Per building code in most localities, the sistering method is not allowed for load-bearing walls.
- The new piece of material does not have to be as long as the deteriorated section. But of course--the longer, the better. Make sure it extends well beyond the deteriorated area--in both directions.
- You only need to sister one side of the stud. It's not necessary to sister both sides.
- Be sure the deteriorated stud has enough solid material to which you can attach the new material.
- Also, make certain that this sistering job is not symptomatic of some larger problem--termites, water incursion, pervasive rotting wood, etc. You don't want to be putting a Band-Aid on the problem.