The Basement Wall Framing Essentials Toolkit

The Basement Wall Framing Essentials Toolkit

The Basement Wall Framing Essentials Toolkit

Basement wall framing is essential factor when it comes to learning how to finish a basement. Having a planned out wall frame can free up more space in your home. There are different techniques on how to frame a basement wall and you will need to decide which the best method for your home is. You should also ask yourself how much it costs to frame a basement since this project will add to your finished basement costs. Here is some information on framing basement walls to help you complete your basement.

Perimeter Basement Wall Framing

When you start framing out a basement wall, you will most likely start with the perimeter. The basement walls should be framed using 2×4 construction. If studs are used for this project, you can incorporate insulation for a warmer basement. If you are not planning to use insulation, you can install drywall and furring strips to support the framing. Furring strips are 2×2 strips that are glued and nailed onto the walls.

Internal Basement Wall Framing

Internal walls do not have to be built into the foundation like external walls. You can work on them on the ground and raise them into place when they are finished. However, basement floors tend to vary in height in different places, so it is best to build your internal walls a bit shorter. If the walls are too long, you will have trouble raising them into place. Another thing to keep in mind with internal walls is that if your home is built on a clay soil floor, the ground may shift slightly up and down depending on the weather. You will need to build you walls accordingly and use steel framing clips to attach the walls to the floor joists. The steel clips will allow the walls to move up and down a little but will the basement walls the support they need to stay up.

Stick Build Walls

This method of wall framing is beneficial when there are many obstructions such as pipes in the middle of your basement ceiling that may get in the way of your internal walls. To stick build walls, you will first have to nail a top plate to the floor beams at right angles. Then you will secure the bottom plate to the floor using nails and adhesive. Use pressure treated lumber since it is on the concrete and exposed to moisture and can wick over time. Lastly you will install studs along the plates.

The Basement Wall Framing Essentials Toolkit


If the ductwork needs to be boxed in or you want to install lighting in your basement, you will need to build soffits. Soffits are similar to internal wall frames since they do not support the structure of the basement. They require parallel plates that connect with vertical studs. Start by securing a top plate to the floor joists. Then nail the bottom plate to the studs, creating a wall. Depending on your basement layout, you may have to create the same frame on the opposite side of the ductwork or lighting. Once you have the two soffits, you can install cross members pieces between them. You may want to use a level to make sure that the walls remain straight.

Ceiling Framing

If you are also going to be installing drywall on the ceiling, you will need to frame a horizontal wall as well. This will be done in much the same way as the soffits. The only difference is that you will use 2×4’s to create room for the pipes that are hanging from the floor joists. If your basement has no pipes or lighting wires, you may opt for 1×3 boards instead. They can simply be nailed to the floor joists or ceiling.

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