One of the biggest downfalls of living in an unfinished or partially finished basement is how little you can do with the space. Most contractors only finish it out enough to be able to use it as a semi-permanent area for storage. However, you may have a home that has a nice open space that is just begging to be turned into a full-fledged basement. If this is the case, you’re in luck because we’ll show you how to frame your unfinished basement and create a space that works for any number of activities:
The first step should be an inspection of your existing space and taking measurements. You’ll need to know how long and how wide the area is as well as the height. This will be used to figure out how much framing and sheeting you’ll need for the project.
Next, determine if you want a full wall or freestanding posts on this level. If you want freestanding posts, make sure these are spaced far enough apart to give them the support they need to stand up straight. Otherwise, the post will lean toward each other. A good rule of thumb is to make sure they are at least 6 feet apart or they are touching if there is no load-bearing wall behind them.
Once you have the type of support system decided on for your basement framing, measure out where they will be placed using a tape measure and speed square.
It is a good idea to install a doubled 4-inch by a 4-inch top plate that spans the entire width of the basement in order to properly support any wall framing that will be attached to it. Make sure this plate goes all the way into the ground and extends above the frost line if there is one in your area. If you live in a cold climate, it is also recommended that you install a sill pan to keep the water out.
Next, use screws or nails to attach 2-inch by 6-inch supports on top of the doubled 4-inch by 4-inch plate. If this is not possible, any type of support will work as long as it spans the entire basement width.
You may also like: Tips for Finishing Basements
Once the supports are attached, you can start to build your stud wall on top of it. Ensure that you use a good mixture of full-length and cut studs in order to have a strong structure for your finished basement framing. This means there should be at least one full piece of lumber every 16 inches or so on each wall (depending on the length).
A good way to attach drywall over this stud wall is to use 4-inch-wide strips of adhesive-backed mesh tape that has a paper on both sides. Spread a thin layer of an all-purpose joint compound onto the studs and place the mesh tape with half covered and half not covered by the mud. Press it down firmly with your taping knife and allow it to dry.
Once this is done, you’re ready to install the drywall on top of the mesh tape. Make sure that you are generous when taping joints, as these are what hold everything together. Lastly, do the same for corner bead where two walls meet at an angle if this type of wall framing is part of your basement finishing plan.
For more information on how to do the framing in a basement, contact a professional Cumming basement finishing contractor.