This week I tackled the framing for the basement wine cellar and it’s week 2 of the One Room Challenge. I really wish I would have started a little early because building walls is no joke and the doorway may or may not be attached right now, but I’ll get to that. If you missed week one and the full plan for the basement wine cellar, check it out first to see what’s in store. Let me walk you through this week and how to frame basement walls.
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As a reminder, this is what the room or lack thereof looked like last week when I started.
How to Frame Basement Walls
I started by clearing everything out of the space that will soon be the wine cellar. While the entire basement will get finished, right now I am only focusing on the wine room. Currently the whole thing is unfinished basement. Before starting a project like this, it’s a good idea to check your local building code. I will cover some of the requirements I encountered as I go through the process.
The first step I took was marking out my floor plan for the interior walls with painters tape on the basement floor. This really helped me visualize the space I am working with. Since the square footage of this room will only be about 24 square feet, this was the best way for me to get a feel for the room. Luckily, the ceiling height won’t be too low for a basement.
Since this room is nestled in a corner and will be used as a wine cellar, I chose not to insulate the concrete basement walls with foam board or fiberglass insulation batts. The rest of the basement living space will be insulated, but I want this room to remain cool.
In Colorado, we are required to build a floating wall. I spent a lot of time researching this as it was the first time I have framed basement walls. Floating walls are common in areas that have expansive soils. I received a lot of questions on this part in my Instagram stories. If you want to see video on this, go check out my ORC highlight.
The first step is to mark out the placement of the wall studs on the top and bottom plates of the walls to ensure equal spacing. Since I had to float my entire wall, I also marked the floor piece at the same time.
I did this by clamping all three pieces together and pushed them against the wall on one end. I then used a scrap piece of wood that was 3/4 of an inch and placed it at the end up against the wall. Then I measured 15 1/4 inches and drew a line. Then I measured to 16 3/4 and drew another line placing an X in the middle. This is where my studs would go giving me 16 inches on center.
Next you will attach the bottom piece of the first wall to the concrete floor with construction adhesive. This helps keep the bottom of the wall from shifting as it is attached to the concrete slab. Since the lumber is in direct contact with the concrete, it needs to be treated lumber for moisture issues.
Before attaching, I cut an additional 2×4 to mark out the doorway and lined up the new wall with the basements concrete walls and used my speed square to make sure it was square.
Then I used a Ramset to attach the bottom of the wall directly to the concrete. I am not going to lie, this was a bit scary as this tool requires bullets and definitely kicks a little bit. It drives fasteners into the concrete to keep the wall from moving.
The next step was building the wall frame. For this part, it is important to select the straightest studs you can for the wood framing. You will need enough lumber for the bottom plate, the top plate, and the vertical studs. You may also need additional pieces to use as blocking between the floor joists if the existing joists do not line up with the placement of the walls. I measured out all the needed lumber with a tape measure and cut them down to size on my miter saw.
I attached the wall framing on the ground with a framing nail gun. I’m not going to lie, this is not my favorite tool. It’s heavy and also has a fair amount of kick.
Because the walls of the basement need to be floated, I left 1.5 inches between the top of the treated lumber anchored to the concrete and the bottom of the bottom plate. Because this gap is necessary, you will need to attach the wall framing to the ceiling joists prior to attaching the bottom plate to the anchored piece. I used clamps to help hold the wall in place while I made sure it was plumb. I secured the top of the wall to the ceiling joists with the framing gun, toe nailing where necessary.
Next up was the final piece of the wall float, 40D nails. These are huge nails driven through the bottom plate into the anchored 2×4. Before I drove these in, I marked where the concrete anchors were with painters tape so they didn’t intersect. I also predrilled holes and used a mini sledge hammer to drive them in. You will want to ensure there is pressure in this gap while you do this or you will pull the wall down. Adding a 2×4 in between the gap works well.
That my friends is how you frame basement walls! The simple version. There will be more to come when I get to the duct work, different options for the ceiling and the window frame, but you have to start somewhere.
The rest of the week was a bit of a blur. There were many trips to Home Depot and many early happy hours! But the good news is, I have a framed wall! The slanted ceiling under the stairs gave me a run for my money, but I think what I have in place should work for the type of wall I plan to install. I will share more about that once I know it works. To be continued…..
I should also mention, the doorway is currently not attached and it is indeed crooked. I realized I made a mistake on framing this but of course not until all the studs were completely attached. Go figure.
In the next week I hope to tackle the electrical work, drywall and fixing the doorway. I have to admit, I am dreading this one a little. I am not the best drywaller. What could go wrong, haha!
Join me again next week to see how the rest of the basement wine cellar is coming along! Fingers crossed I actually have walls in place to show you next week, haha!
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