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Old 01-26-2012, 09:22 PM   #1
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basement build out..exterior wall


ok...I have one wall to build so I am fairly lucky. I live in Alabama where we have alot of clay. I have been doing alot of reading on the net and came across the subject of "heaving". I can't prebuild my walls because there is too much stuff in the way, pipes, hvac, h20 lines, etc. I have installed the top plate and have my pt bottom plate on the ground (not nailed in yet) when i cut my vertical 2x4s for my wall studs I was planning to cut them to fit, not to leave a space in case of heaving. I have never heard of this but reading about it scared me to death. In no way would I ram the 2x4s in with a sledge hammer to make them fit but planned on them to fit snug. Mike Holmes always discusses the more structure the better so seems like a good idea. Any feedback would be great. The builder has the other walls prebuilt and some of the 2x10s are snug and others aren't because as you know not all lumber is perfectly straight with one another. It seems as if the wall was built like I plan on doing. The only gaps are 1/16th or less. Thanks for any feedback.......there is always more than one way to do something but I am 2nd guessing myself.

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Old 01-26-2012, 09:45 PM   #2
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basement build out..exterior wall


HI Mikey and welcome to the site.

I am not real clear on what you are asking.
What kind of wall is this that you have the top plate in already but not the studs and the bottom plate?


Andy.

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Old 01-26-2012, 10:12 PM   #3
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sorry i am not clear....i determined where the top and bottom plate should go. top plate is nailed in. bottom plate hasnt been nailed yet. i measured for all my studs. this wall is 6 inches from my poured concrete wall for air circulation. i cut all my studs and toe nailed them into place. wall is straight and looks great. my question is my wall is slightly snug from from to ceiling. many people build a wall on the floor and raise it into place so they leave a gap. i have no gap. is this an issue in case the floor heaves. i have neve heard about this and i am a worry wart. make more sense?
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:14 PM   #4
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basement build out..exterior wall


I think that you do not need to worry that your studs are bit snug, in fact, I think that that is a good thing.

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Old 01-27-2012, 08:41 AM   #5
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basement build out..exterior wall


Do some SEARCHing on this site on building basement walls. It has been covered ad nauseum. There is no need to leave a gap for air circulation.

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Old 01-27-2012, 08:56 AM   #6
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I think a few pictures would help immensely. I am confused about the exact construction of your wall. I think you said you put the wall on the ground, do you mean the PT bottom plate is directly in contact with soil? Or is there a poured concrete foundation under the bottom plate, or piers, or concrete block?

The heaving you refer to is due to the expansive properties of clay commonly found in the south. The clay will swell as it gets wet, and shrink when it dries out. The clay varies from place to place, so some areas have very active clay, other areas have less active clay. The activity of the clay refers to the percentage change in volume of the clay with changes in moisture content.

You can determine the activity of the clay in your specific area by taking a soil sample to a laboratory, where it can be tested. Alternatively, you can look at other houses in the area. Typically houses built on active clay which do not incorporate specific techniques for isolating the foundation from the clay, will show foundation cracking, out of level walls, cracking of internal plaster, and other telltale signs.

You really need to determine how much of a problem you are likely to have before you build the wall, as proper design of the wall foundation is totally dependent on the properties of the clay.

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