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How to Frame New Basement Walls

02/13/10 | by admin [mail] | Categories: Welcome, Basement Wall Framing, Wall Framing

How to Frame New Basement Walls

Finishing a basement costs less than wall construction above grade. With a basic understanding of home building practices and the correct tools, you can perform the basic framing of new walls in your basement.

Items You Will Need:
Safety Glasses
4 Mill Plastic
2 by 4 x 12' or 16' SPF Plate Lumber
2 by 4 SPF Stud Lumber (Often 92 5/8" or 96" studs)
2 by 4 x 12' or 16' SPF Treated Bottom Plate Lumber

Tools You Will Need:

Hand Tools
Tool Belt
Caulk Gun
Carpenter pencils
Tape Measure
Speed Square
2' Square
Chalk Box
4' or 6' Level
Saw Horses / Plywood
Hammer Tacker Stapler & staples

Power Tools and Accessories
Air compressor
Air hoses
Framing gun & Nails ( Hammer and nails)
Saw - Circular Saw (Milwaukee?) or Miter Box (12" DeWalt Miter boxes work well)
Hammer Drill (Bosch SDS shank works great) with bits and anchors

How to Frame New Basement Walls

#1 Correct all moisture problems BEFORE finishing your basement. Attaching 4 mill plastic behind where your exterior walls will be placed is recommended although you may desire to check this practice with your local building department.

#2 Layout the studs so the joists in the ceiling line up as closely as possible with your new wall framing.

# 3 Measure and snap chalk lines on the floor where the new walls will be constructed. Cut and install 2 by 4 treated lumber for the bottom lying floor plates. Where wood comes into direct contact with concrete the use of treated lumber reduces the risk of moisture damage. Fasten the treated bottom 2x4 plates with your hammer drill and concrete anchors. Measuring approximately 1" away from exterior walls will leave the required minimum distance of 1/2" away from the concrete and leave plenty of room for concrete variations.

#4 Install doubled 2x4 ceiling plates directly above the floor plates. With your 48" level and a straight 2x4 stud determine where to install your ceiling plates. An alternative to this method is using a simple plumb bob tool.

#5 Frame wall studs 16 inches O.C. (On-center) centers, using the floor joists as a guide where possible. Why do I line up the studs with the joists you ask? A main reason is providing easy passage of plumbing, venting and wiring.

#6 Toe nail studs to plates. Measure each stud before it is cut. This is different than framing first or second floor walls. Since the concrete floor will have variations in level measuring and cutting each stud individually is needed. If you have a framing gun use this to attach the top and bottom of the studs to the 2x4 ceiling plates and the floor plates.

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Comment from: wallace@LifeHammer [Visitor]
wallace@LifeHammerGreat read and very well presented and explained
03/07/10 @ 21:17
Comment from: Jason [Visitor]
JasonIt?s funny you mention a plumb bob just last week one of my apprentices found a plumb bob in our tool trailer and didn?t know what it was he couldn?t believe that?s how we used to plumb our walls up and not so long ago either.
03/08/10 @ 04:49
Comment from: Single airbed [Visitor]
Single airbedfor a comfy bedroom you just need
single airbed that helps a good home building
08/19/10 @ 08:55
Comment from: Roofer [Visitor]
RooferThanks a lot, now i have an idea to upgrade my basement without using any expensive materials.
08/22/10 @ 14:38
Seattle Bathroom RemodelThank you for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbour were preparing to do some research about that. We got a good book on that matter from our local library and most books where not as influensive as your information.
10/01/10 @ 06:49
Comment from: Henry B. Nathan [Visitor] Email
Henry B. NathanThis is great information. I had been searching for some clues about basement walls for some time now. Neat explanations step by step will surely help me. I will surely recommend this blog to some of my clients. Thanks from - Aventura Realtors.
01/17/11 @ 06:48
Comment from: Zack Fuelling [Visitor] Email
Zack FuellingI had a family member do a basement remodel during the summer months. They simply put up 2x2's on the concrete walls with dryall over them. When the winter rains came so did the moisture issues in their basement. Always check to make sure your basement is water tight. Zack Fuelling
01/28/11 @ 10:40
Comment from: Bobby Jones [Visitor]
Bobby JonesPlease, can you PM me and tell me few more things about this, I am upgrading my basement walls.
01/28/11 @ 21:16
Scuba Diving in Kota KinabaluSuperb blog you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any message boards that cover the same topics talked about here? I'd really like to be a part of community where I can get feed-back from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Appreciate it!


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02/14/11 @ 04:33
Toronto Home RenovationsWell securing the top and bottom plates to the floor and ceiling and adding the wall studs afterwards is the tried and true method to basement wall framing.
10/18/11 @ 03:59
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