Framing a basement wall is the first step to putting up drywall and creating a more attractive, comfortable, and useful space, whether you want to partition your basement into more functional areas or you’re just tired of looking at those concrete walls. The trick is to build and install frames that are plumb and strong. Here’s how you do it:
Check Basement Walls for Moisture
Begin by inspecting the basement walls for signs of excessive moisture.
Secure a 2-foot-square piece of polyethylene sheeting to the wall with duct tape.
Wait at least three weeks to see if condensation forms behind or on the surface of the plastic. You’re good to go if the plastic is dry.
Check for rust spots at the metal ties if the basement walls are made of poured concrete.
If you find any, use a hammer and center punch to drive a 14-inch metal tie into the wall.
Mist the metal-tie hole with water and plug each hole with hydraulic cement using a margin trowel.
Allow the cement to dry completely.
Beads of foam-board adhesive should be applied to the back of a 2-inch-thick polystyrene panel.
Hold the foam board against the foundation wall for a minute to allow it to dry.
Rep with additional foam boards until the foundation wall is completely covered.
thisoldhouse.com is the source.
Attach a Wooden Grid to the Foundation Wall
Snap five horizontal layout lines onto the foam board with a chalk reel.
Place the lines 3 inches from the wall at the top and bottom, at the wall’s center point, and in between the 3-inch lines and the centerline.
Install horizontal 1×3 spruce boards by drilling 5-inch-deep pilot holes through the wood, foam, and concrete with a hammer drill and 3/16-inch masonry bit.
Drill a hole every 16 to 20 inches, then drive 4-inch-long spring spikes through the pilot holes and into the wall with a hammer.
Using a drill and 1 5/8-inch drywall screws, attach vertical 1x3s 16 inches on center to horizontal 1x3s.
Mark out Interior Wall Locations
Determine where you want the other walls to stand if you’re partitioning your basement.
Transfer the position of the overhead beam to the basement floor using a floor-to-ceiling level (or two levels that add up to the length).
At each end of the beam, make a plumb mark on the floor. Draw plumb marks on the floor between the lally columns if there are any beneath the beam.
Draw a chalk line from one plumb mark to the next across the basement floor.
Cut a pressure-treated 2×4 bottom plate and a 2×4 spruce top plate to length with a power miter saw.
Mark the Wall Stud Locations
Place the top and bottom plates on edge and use a layout square to mark the locations of the wall studs; the studs should be spaced 16 inches apart.
To determine the height of the wall studs, place the top and bottom plates flat on the floor and measure up to the underside of the beam.
Measure the height of the wall studs in three or four places, then cut the studs to the shortest dimension with a portable circular saw.
Assemble the Wall Frame
Place the studs between the top and bottom plates to build the wall frame on the floor.
Align each stud with the previous 16-inch on-center marks.
Nail through the top and bottom plates and into the ends of the studs to secure them.
Raise the wall frame and slide it underneath the beam. Tap the top plate flush with the face of the beam with a hammer if necessary.
Verify that the bottom plate is on the chalk line.
After confirming that the wall is plumb, nail up through the top plate and into the beam.
Use a powder-actuated nail gun to secure the bottom plate to the basement floor; shoot one nail between each pair of studs.
To frame, install, and secure the next wall, repeat the previous steps.
Maintain the 16-inch on-center stud spacing, and make sure the wall frame is plumb before nailing it to the beam.