Framing Walls In Your Basement

Framing a wall in your basement might not be as easy as some might think. When you want to do basement wall framing, you need to understand improvisation and stick building.

In order for your basement to be comfortable and warm, you should use 2”x4” studs for the perimeter basement walls. This will allow you to install insulation later.

You can make the internal walls on the ground, raising them in place later. The problem here is that you need to make the wall shorter, or it might get stuck and not reach its place when you raise it. Take into consideration the soil that the house has underneath, as it can determine a down or up movement, depending on how much water the ground has. If the soil is made out of clay, consider using steel framing clips shaped as L’s, to attach the floor joists and the walls. They will let the walls breathe while making sure they stay vertical.

In most cases, basements have duct work and pipes in them, so you need to build around them when you make new walls. Stick building around them can be the best solution in such a case.

The first thing you need to do when building walls is to nail a top plate, in a perpendicular position to the joists of the floor. The second thing would be to use Liquid Nails or concrete nails to put a bottom plate on your concrete floor. The bottom plate should have pressure treated lumber, so it can deal with moisture over the years. Make sure that the bottom and the top plates are parallel with the help of a plumb line. At the end, use the 2”x4” studs for every 16” of the plates. Before you cut, make the measurements for the studs, since the ceiling to floor distances may vary.

If you want to install some lighting in the interior or if you need to box the ductwork, you might need to build soffits. These are not part of the structure, so you can frame them with 2”x2” studs. Just like you would do with a wall framing, use two 2”x2” parallel plates, connecting them with the help of some vertical stud members. Secure to the floor joists a 2”x2” top plate and use stick nails on both ends.

Then, nail the two studs to the bottom plate, so the basic wall is created. At the end, use studs on 16” centers on the plates. Depending on your situation, you might want to do the same thing on the other part of the ductwork. When you make the second soffit wall, use lookouts (cross member studs) between the sections of the two walls. Keep the soffit walls straight with the help of a level and a chalk line.

A horizontal wall might need to be created if you’re installing drywall on the ceiling. It’s the same thing as for soffit walls, but you use 2”x4” instead of 2”x2”s.

Article written and provided by Joshua, webmaster of plumbing courses online and salary of plumber

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