Considering home improvement plans? One of the trickier jobs in hanging new drywall on a renovated room or expansion is coping with severely bent or bowed studs. The gap between the drywall and the stud can create curves, or worse, cracks and warps in the wall.
If it's a slight bulge, you might get away with creating a smooth surface. But if it's a severe warp or curve, you want to attend to it right from the start. If the stud shows a concave section in your inspection, it's important to determine if the stud is in a load-bearing wall. It's easier to cut a non-bearing wall stud slightly at the bow in a triangular slice right at the center of the bowed place. Put a shim tightly into the cut, straighten it, and remove the excess with a razor knife. Firm up the stud with a cut 2x4 "sister," screwed tightly into place to give you a flat surface for the drywall.
But if it's a load-bearing wall, it might be more prudent to replace the stud.
More About Stud Finders
If you've been doing handiwork for a while, you might be surprised at how technology has evolved in stud finders. Popular Mechanics celebrated the emergence of stud sensors, scanners, and tracers a few years ago. You can find self-marking sensors, wood-framing tracers, conduit and re-bar-trackers.
There are level and finder combos that set lines and handle much of the work you had to do with a straight-edge, plumb-line, and pencil. Cool stuff. By the way, do you know the right questions to ask your home inspector?