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Old 10-03-2006, 10:38 AM   #91
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you need a hammer drill.. there is no way to get around this... I got mine black and decker corded at Canadian Tire around $60.00 Canadian Dollars... It is not the best quality one in the market like Dewalt... but for one basement renovation, it survives it so far... and Canadian Tire offer 3 years replacement guarantee...

nailing is not a good option... you need to purchase those bullets and special nails... and special hammer... also quite expensive I believed... also sometimes bullets shoot not that well which can break the concrete surface making those small chips in your way, making floor not level unless you clean up it... it is considered a quick and dirty way of doing it, in my opinion, contractor like to use this approach as it requires minimum effort as the bullet do the force for them whereas screwing requires muscles and sweats... but it is cleaness...

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Old 10-03-2006, 10:59 AM   #92
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thanks for the advice.

Can you tell me what Tap Con is?
Does this have something to do with concrete?

Also, I think I have to buy more vapor barrier.
Is there a certain number that I have to purchase?
And is one better than the other?


thanks for the advice.

I really don't want to purchase another tool for the concrete as I will never need it again and it is only for the floor part of my renovation.

There must be something else I can do?
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Old 10-03-2006, 11:04 AM   #93
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tapcon is the screws you used to drive in the plate... after you drill the holes...which I bought a lot as well... I know they are quite expensive... I really don't know what else you can do ... unless you use those bullet nails...

vapour barrier are being sell at the same axiel selling insulation they come in rolls of 500 sq. ft, 1000 sq. ft.. 1500 sq. ft ... I only see one type selling at HD which I got recently.

I totally understand your concern about not buying the tools... but basement renovation indeed quite a costly project... I have stop my bookkeeping... but I just feel everything is expensive... now they said a good renovated basement cost $30,000 if done by contractor... I would think for home owner will be $10,000...
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Old 10-03-2006, 01:56 PM   #94
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Is there any thickness for the vapor barrier that I have to buy or are they one standard thickness?

Can I glue down the bottom plate only with construction adhesive?
Will that work?


How about if I just get concrete nails and hammer them down with a hammer?
How difficult would that be?

I just will use a lot of sweat.
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Old 10-03-2006, 02:09 PM   #95
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I think there is requirement on thickness, but HD sells those together with insulation and they are pretty thick... I just bought it... didn't find out the spec like you want to... I don't believe I can make a mistake on that and hopes inspector won't say I bought the wrong type... I wouldn't just glue the plate to floor... it is just not enough strength in my opinion... use hammer and to nail down the concrete nail is possible in theory, but not practical in my opinion... too much to do with too much strength and too difficult too... I just spent $30 on a stapler today with the similar reason you are struggling with "only used it for one time"... but if you think about it, even you only used it for one time, the driller probably drill close to hundred holes... in fact, my drill broke and I got replaced a new one from Canadian tire after using for a couple of weeks... the worn and torn on the equipments sometimes worth more than you thought...
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Old 10-03-2006, 02:37 PM   #96
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you know, you are right.
And besides, in the end, it will be a lot cheaper than having the contractor do it.
So, it looks like I will have to buy whatever I need.

Thanks for your advice.
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Old 10-03-2006, 02:39 PM   #97
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Atlantic: I would love your opinion on this also.

Any further suggestions to Kui****g's?
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Old 10-03-2006, 03:50 PM   #98
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I'm not sure where you are but, you should use a 4 mil thick plastic or thicker. As far as hammering the nails through the bottom plate into the floor, this is very difficult even for an experienced carpenter. See if you can rent a powder actuated gun to shoot the nails into the floor.
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Old 10-03-2006, 07:16 PM   #99
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Is there any thickness for the vapor barrier that I have to buy or are they one standard thickness?.
Yes there are different thicknesses. 4 mill to 6 mill is adequate.
However, that is only if you use 'un-faced' insulation.

Y.M., remember that you do not want to 'sandwich' your insulation between 2 vapor barriers. You are better off to just use the paper faced insulation since the paper is the vapor barrier. If you use the paper faced insulation, DO NOT install a vapor barrier anywhere on your newly framed wall. (Paper faced is also much easier to install by stapling it) Also, the paper face (vapor barrier) has to face the warm side...living area.
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Can I glue down the bottom plate only with construction adhesive? Will that work?
No, it will not work. Construction adhesive (glue) will not dry enough for you to do work, like attaching studs. It will move all over the place. Even if you let it dry, it can be ‘knocked’ out of position. You need to ‘fasten’ the bottom plate down.
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How about if I just get concrete nails and hammer them down with a hammer? How difficult would that be? I just will use a lot of sweat.
Forget it, you will be in a world of pain and aggravation. Even with hardened concrete nails, you won’t have the hammer swinging skill or the strength to whack those suckers in.
My advice: Go down to HD. Buy a ‘powder actuated fastener’ that you strike with a hammer. I believe Remington makes one that is sold there. They cost about $20.00.
Purchase #3 and #4 caps (22 caliber charges) and the 2/½ to 3 inch ‘pins’ (Ceramic coated nails with orange plastic collars around them) these are all located in the same area of the store.
Get some ear protection and …’go to town’ …..with that set up. Aside from the ‘bang’, it is the way to go. Much, Much, Much faster to use. Less expensive option too, than buying a hammer drill and tap-conning everything.
You load these one at a time. They can only fire if you strike it with a hammer. Very safe. The trick is to keep the tool clean by wiping down with a ‘carbon’ cleaner every 50 shots or so. The ‘cleaner’ is the same as used on firearms for cleaning. Wall Mt. sells it in the sporting goods dept.
I don’t know what area you live in, but in the US, you can buy these anywhere.
(We actually use the powder actuated guns…with triggers, they cost more, but do the same thing) In the construction industry, these 22 cal. tools are what is standard use by all contractors and carpenters for building walls in basements, onto concrete. I would not even think of framing off a basement without one. We keep one in all our work trucks. Very handy for attaching lumber to concrete.
Good Luck
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Old 10-03-2006, 09:58 PM   #100
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I did contact the contractor that did my house just to see if I could have him do it.

And what I told him I wanted was to have the basement studed and drywalled. No flooring, no painting, no trim ( I would do all that myself) and he quoted me $9,000 for that. The total area to be covered with drywall including the ceiling would be 1900 square feet.

I think this is too expensive, for just studs against the perimeter of the basement and drywall, including just the taping....nothing else.
I did not want any plumbing or electrical done.
I still think $9,000 is too expensive. (It's not that I don't have the $9,000, it just seems a little too expensive for what I wanted to do)
I guess maybe it is just not worth his time.

So, I am determined to do it myself.

The heating vents are in the ceiling and I think I will keep them there because I don't know how to do that stuff.
And basically I plan to use the basement as a very large play room for the kids, with a TV, computer, etc. Not to sleep in or anything like that.

The materials for that would probably go around 1600-1800. Thats to cover lumber, insulation, drywall and taping (mudding) materials. It might be a little high for what you are asking him to do. I would put that at somewhere 5-6k For labor and materials ready for paint, trim and carpet. It varies depending on how many doors and what there is for soffits and other factors that may change pricing. There are some companies that charge a basic price of 25$ per sqft to finish completely which quick math is 25k for your size basement.


Something else would be electrical. Is there any lights or outlets. this would also add to price which then gets very close to your 9k quote. Most electricians will be in the ball park of 2-3$ per sqft. there is 3k right there for electrical. It depends on how fancy you get but basics you could get it done around 1500-2000.

I personally for a BASIC basement finishing job that size would go somewhere around 12K-15k finished ready to use.

As far as fastening your sill plates i would recommend as atlantic did and buy the remington powder actuated fastener for 40-50$ that goes with a hammer. you should be able to get all the coated nails and shots with the tool for around 70$.

For DIY his leveling technique is probably the best. In the field i use a Pocket laser or spot laser. It shoots a point from the floor to the cieling for a plumb mark. More than you need and ther around 100$ for a good one but i think you can get one for around 60$ at the Home Depot.

Dont for get if you do enlist a contractor your paying for there expertise and time it would take to finish righ would be much shorter than DIY. I am not discouraging DIY since there is not one person on this planet that has not tried some Home improvment project on there own without some failure. I actually encourage it. It helps people see why and how contractors charge what they charge for quality work.
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Old 10-03-2006, 11:08 PM   #101
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Thanks for your suggestions:

I will go and purchase some fastners for concrete as you suggested and hopefully that will work.

As for the insullation,- I plan on reusing as much as I can the one that is already there now. I will try and "poof" it out if I can, and will purchase additional if I need to.

As for the vapor barrier--I will put the insullation against the concrete blocks (it has no paper on it presently) and then put the plastic vapor barrier on the warm side of the room that I will be using.


I plan on starting this next week.

(I told my husband I want a tool belt for Christmas)
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Old 10-04-2006, 06:30 AM   #102
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The materials for that would probably go around 1600-1800. Thats to cover lumber, insulation, drywall and taping (mudding) materials. It might be a little high for what you are asking him to do. I would put that at somewhere 5-6k For labor and materials ready for paint, trim and carpet. It varies depending on how many doors and what there is for soffits and other factors that may change pricing. There are some companies that charge a basic price of 25$ per sqft to finish completely which quick math is 25k for your size basement.


Something else would be electrical. Is there any lights or outlets. this would also add to price which then gets very close to your 9k quote. Most electricians will be in the ball park of 2-3$ per sqft. there is 3k right there for electrical. It depends on how fancy you get but basics you could get it done around 1500-2000.

I personally for a BASIC basement finishing job that size would go somewhere around 12K-15k finished ready to use.

As far as fastening your sill plates i would recommend as atlantic did and buy the remington powder actuated fastener for 40-50$ that goes with a hammer. you should be able to get all the coated nails and shots with the tool for around 70$.

For DIY his leveling technique is probably the best. In the field i use a Pocket laser or spot laser. It shoots a point from the floor to the cieling for a plumb mark. More than you need and ther around 100$ for a good one but i think you can get one for around 60$ at the Home Depot.

Dont for get if you do enlist a contractor your paying for there expertise and time it would take to finish righ would be much shorter than DIY. I am not discouraging DIY since there is not one person on this planet that has not tried some Home improvment project on there own without some failure. I actually encourage it. It helps people see why and how contractors charge what they charge for quality work.
In my area .... the cost of contractor finished basements (including electrical, heating source, flooring and paint) on the 'average sized' home's foot print start at $20,000 and easily go up to $30,000 (larger homes). Add a basic bathroom on top of that for $10K -$12K.
(Debt - it is the american way of life)
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Old 10-04-2006, 09:19 PM   #103
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Where in New England are you located Atlantic?
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Old 10-04-2006, 10:08 PM   #104
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Where in New England are you located Atlantic?

Boston area and around Boston....
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Old 10-08-2006, 10:29 PM   #105
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I have started with framing my first wall in my basement.

There is a pipe right in the corner, all the way along the entire wall, where I have to install my top plate.
It is approx. 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter.

Should I just put the top plate in front of it, which would mean that I would be leaving approximate 1 1/2 to 2 inches away from the block wall before I start my stud work?

Or is there something else that I should do?
I don't really mind losing that amount of space on this wall.


Also, when the studs are put 16 inches on center, does that mean that there is exactly a 16 inch opening between one stud and the other?


Thanks a lot, you have been an immense amount of help for me.

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