If you are wondering how to increase the value of your home, the answer may be sitting right under your house. Basement renovation projects can drastically increase the value of any home, and basement framing is one of the most important aspects of every basement renovation project.
Which Framing Dimension is Right for My Project?
Every finished basement idea must incorporate framing to one extent or another, utilizing 2X2, 2X4, or 2X6 lumber for the frame walls. The planned use of the basement often determines which thickness will be used. In addition, framing provides the means for installing the finished wall surface - whether wall board or paneling.
A 2X2 basement finish wall may be adequate for sheetrock or paneling in a family room or game room, but a 2X6 frame wall may be necessary to provide extra wall thickness for soundproofing insulation in a home theatre.
Since most basements are constructed with concrete walls and a concrete slab for the floor, special procedures must be followed when framing a basement finish wall. If concrete basement walls are fairly straight and plumb, a homeowner can anchor 2X2 framing to the concrete as a DIY project, providing a means to install wallboard.
The standard method of basement framing utilizes a top and bottom plate, with framing studs running vertically, spaced 16-inches on center. The bottom plate is anchored to the concrete; the top plate is nailed to the bottom of the floor joists above. Both plates are carefully positioned parallel to each other so that vertical studs are plumb. Blocking must be added between joists in order to secure the top plates, which run parallel with joists.
Securing the Framing to Concrete
Regardless which method is used, basement framing must be secured to concrete using an anchor fastener. There are several ways to accomplish this:
- Concrete nails which are driven thru the framing using a 22-caliber stud gun. This drives 2 ½-inch nails thru the framing into concrete using a gunpowder charge equivalent to a 22-caliber bullet. â€œGunâ€ nails and charges are readily available at building supply or hardware stores. Note: 20 or 30-year old concrete may be too hard and brittle for this type method to work properly.
- Concrete screws. Using a hammer drill, a hole is drilled through the frame and into the concrete. Be sure to use the recommended size bit for the screw you will be using. The hole is drilled at least ¼-inch deeper into the concrete than the screw will penetrate; screws are power driven into the hole.
- Expanding anchors. A hole is drilled through the frame, into the concrete, and an anchor is inserted into the hole. There are numerous types of anchors available. A bolt, screw or impact fastener is then driven into the anchor, which expands and wedges into the hole; creating a solid anchor to the concrete. While more time consuming, this is the best method for anchoring basement framing to concrete. Framing is fastened securely in place and there is less chance that it will come loose with time.
Basement framing also provides a means to hide unsightly HVAC, electrical, and plumbing service components. Note: be sure to follow local building code requirements for minimum headroom space when installing basement framing.
Getting Your Basement Framing Project off the Ground
If you are unsure about some aspects of your basement renovation project, you may want to enlist the services of a general contractor, building contractor, or a carpenter contractor; all of which have the expertise required for any phase of framing a basement finish wall.
One excellent resource for locating reliable contractor service providers in your province or community is TrustedPros.ca. An online matchmaking service that connects project owner to service provider members.
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