Helpful Tips For Framing Out Your Basement DIY-Style

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There are two ways to frame a basement wall, and both have adherents. (We’re assuming wood framing here, though using metal studs is increasingly accessible for DIY projects.) You can construct the wall on the floor and raise it into position, or frame it in place (often called stick framing). @benderhomes advocates for the assemble-and-lift approach, so long as you have room in your basement to do it.  It is definitely faster to build your wall on the floor and stand it up. But some, like YouTuber @theweekendbuilder, conclude that it’s better to build basement walls in place because things can get tight when you’re trying to lift a wall or add a second top plate if any of the floor joists are sagging.

Better yet, stick with assemble-and-lift but carefully measure from the floor to each joist along your wall, and use the smallest measurement, minus ¼ inch you can shim on a non-bearing wall. Building in place comes with pitfalls like the need for lots of toe-nailing, that can cause a DIYer’s wall to get out of whack pretty quickly. Be sure to build walls small enough to lift on your own if you’re working alone. Make sure the wall is plumb front-to-back and side-to-side, then simply secure it to the floor with construction adhesive and (unless you have in-floor heating) anchor fasteners rated for damp concrete. Note that the bottom plate should be pressure-treated when used on concrete.

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