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Captivating 07-15-2012 02:55 PM

Basement Framing Help
First time DIYers here (I'm sure the most dangerous kind).

So we decided to drywall the basement in the house we recently bought. It was already framed and insulated, but only covered with cheap wood paneling. However, after removing the drop ceiling and paneling, I'm a little confused as to what is going on with the framing.

Most of the framing has a metal top plate which is about 1" below the joists and not attached to anything that I can see. But some areas have no top plate. I'm hesitant to put drywall up given how movable the framing is, particularly around the windows. I can pull it out about 4-5 inches since there is nothing attaching it at the top.

Also, the insulation has me concerned as well. In most of the 16" joists it's sealed with it's paper barrier, but in any smaller areas it's only sealed on one side with the other cut to fit and no seal. There is no vapor barrier or XPS at the concrete block wall or stud. The basement has been professionally waterproofed, but this area is clay soil with chronic water issues in basements.

I'd appreciate advice on what I need to do to fix this studding before I hang drywall.


Most of the long stretches look like this at the top:

But around the windows it looks like this:

At where the paneling had abutted a closet which we removed, it looks like this:

joecaption 07-15-2012 03:06 PM

I do not see anything there worth even saving.

shadytrake 07-15-2012 06:13 PM

Hi there,

I'm no expert on this but I've seen enough Holmes on Homes and Holmes Inspection to know that there shouldn't be movement. If you are a first time DIY'er, a basement with water issues is not the first project I would tackle. The mold potential alone can be hazardous to the health.

In my non-professional opinion, I would call in a structural expert to look at that framing. It may cost a few hundred up front but at least you will know your starting point.

Nothing wrong with taking on a large project, but you need to know what is going on with that framing and the water. While you are at it, I would check with the permit office to see if they pulled a permit for the "professional water-proofing." It isn't always necessary, but with basements and the amount of mold you see when the job is done poorly, it is worth the extra research.

Just my 2 cents.

Beepster 07-16-2012 02:15 PM

I would tear out everything down to the concrete walls and start over. If whoever built the walls like that, what other goofy things did they do?

Also, take some time and properly plan everything out.

Will any work need to be done to higher floors that will require basement access?

In my first basement finish off, i wanted to start building right away. My architect friend showed me all the detruction (bathroom rough in) that I had to do before i did any contruction.


Captivating 07-16-2012 07:19 PM

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I suspected this framing was going to be useless once we got the paneling off and could actually see it. I'd love to know what the guy was thinking when he installed these walls!

At this point, we've decided this project is bigger than our scope of knowledge at this point... time to bring in the professionals :-)

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