Basement framing

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Posted by: from Winnipeg
3/5/2012 at 12:55:38 PM

I live in Winnipeg and own a bungalow. I am an apprentice within the Interior Systems Mechanic trade and love doing renovations.

With my house, my basement is unfinished but there are walls framed. They are framed from slab to joists. I understand, in Winnipeg, we need floating walls to allow for expansion of the clay soils. Once I tear my walls down I will do this with no problem.

I am wondering about my exterior walls. How would I frame those? They are framed the same way right now but I do not trust the framing/drywall/insulating so I will redo as well.

Do I have to make those walls floating? How would I insulate/seal them properly and still allow for the expansion?

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Date/Time3/6/2012 at 3:14:02 PM

Floating walls are used to allow the house to settle. Never heard of clay expansion. Exterior walls are framed snug floor to joist. If you want a warm basement install 1"-2" foam insulation and then your wall in front of that.

First install a sill gasket of plastic underneath the bottom plate. I use pressure treated for the bottom plate ( some will disagree ). Frame the studs and top plate snug against the floor joists. If the house settles the foundation wall will sink, along with your wall. The interior walls need to be floating if they are running perpindicular to or directly under the floor joists. If you don't; when the house settles you will have humps on your main floor.

Hope this answers your question.

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Date/Time3/6/2012 at 5:29:51 PM

Hi Toney, I think that if you are required to do floating walls, all of them should be floating. When you go for your permits, they will surely let you know what is acceptable and what is not. You really should do the permit thing - I know it is an extra expense but it is mostly designed to keep you and your house and occupants safe now and in the future - not really a bad thing.

If you need info, you can do a search for "floating walls for basements" - I came up with over 4,000,000 hits, including photos and images of every possible scenario.

Sounds like a great project.

Good Luck with it!

Jim Kuzma

Kettleby Handyman Services

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Toney in Winnipeg
Date/Time3/6/2012 at 5:31:12 PM

Well, the floating walls here are for expansion and contraction of the soil (bentonite). The clay soil expands and contracts with moisture. I appreciate your help with this, but I hope someone with some experience with this type of soil would be able to help. I was thinking of the rigid, then framing infront, but that removes quite a bit of floor space. If need be, I guess I will have to revert to that though.

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Tyler in Winnipeg
Date/Time3/7/2012 at 8:25:16 PM

Hy Toney,

I am just north of winnipeg and have done what you are doing. Make the exterior walls floating too... use the same system that you would use on interior walls. Build your wall 3 -4 inches shrter than the space you are filling, attach it to the floor joists of your main floor and then run a sill along the floor. This will leave a 1.5 to 2.5 inch gap right? fill this space with insulation as you would a wall. Drive 4 inch nails from the sill of your "hanging" wall to the sill that is attached to the basement floor. This allows the floor to go up and down with heaving and not bust up your wall. Just remember not to attach your drywall to the sill that attached to the floor as you will get pops in your drywall and cracks in the wall. Email me for a phone number if you like.

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