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Old 01-03-2009, 02:32 PM   #1
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Is this totally incorrect?


I hired a handy man to help me finish my basement. We have spent about a week doing framing. I just realized that we have been using a brad nailer and 2" finish nails to do the framing. We also have used concrete nails hammered by hand. The walls still seem very sturdy.

Searching online, I find that we should be using a framing nailer and 3" 16d nails. I also found recommendations of using a shooting gun or masonry screws and construction adhesive on the bottom plate.

Do we need to redo the framing? Is this that much weaker with the different nails and the method we used to attach the bottom plate? If so, is there a way to correct it without restarting?

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Old 01-03-2009, 03:00 PM   #2
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Is this totally incorrect?


With basements, I use 10d common nails as none of the walls are loadbearing. You can rent a framing nailer for a day and shoot whatever you need. Fnish nailing is evidence of a ,"not so handy, Handyman." Everything this guy has plans on doing should be reviewed by someone who knows what he's doing. Cold climate insulation, done incorrectly, will cause you undue pain and suffering.
Did you put a pressure treated bottom plate on top of the concrete? There should be one.
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:08 PM   #3
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Is this totally incorrect?


Agreed, you need to go back and nail your studs with 3" (minimum) framing nails. As long as your concrete nails are holding, they're fine. Pressure treated bottom plates are a must....
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Old 01-03-2009, 05:06 PM   #4
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Is this totally incorrect?


Can you please give me more details? We did use a vapor barrier product that extends under the bottom plate of each section on the exterior walls. Would this be equivalent to the pressure treated wood (which, you can tell, we did not use)? What's the rationale behind the pressure treated lumber? What's the difference in the strength of 3 16d nails versus 4 or 5 finish nails? What are potential failure modes we might see due to the difference - especially for non-load bearing walls?

Can you also give me detail on cold-climate insulation and / or reference to building codes for these types of constructions in the mid-west?

Last edited by MBFingerhut; 01-03-2009 at 05:08 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 01-03-2009, 05:19 PM   #5
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Is this totally incorrect?


I am not sure anyone will quote building codes, it typically is not a good idea. You can and should get them from your town.

Good luck, I plan on starting my basement in the near future as well.
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Old 01-03-2009, 05:23 PM   #6
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You may not have a problem with the exterior walls since the plastic is under the plate, but any direct contact with the concrete (exterior or interior walls) should be pressure treated bottom plates. Besides moisture possibly coming up through the concrete and rotting regular wood, termites can tunnel through cracks in the concrete and they much prefer untreated lumber. As far as nail size, common sense tells you a longer nail of a much larger diameter has more holding power. I'd bet you can twist a stud out of the wall fairly easily with it being nailed with brads. Think what will happen when the studs start drying out. They tend to shrink, bow, twist, etc. Those brads won't do much to keep them in place.........
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Old 01-03-2009, 06:12 PM   #7
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Is this totally incorrect?


So... I can replace the footplates on the interior walls.

Then can I just, for a lack of a better term, "overnail" the studs and the joist connections with larger nails to shore them up (instead of having to rip out the studs)?

I did try to twist the studs on a few of the different types of joints (some had been stick framed and some laid out on the floor) and I can't rip out a stud. It does twist maybe about 1/16" in either direction, but doesn't come out and doesn't seem to cause the stud to "loosen" from the plates. Of course, I have no way to know how it will react when it dries.
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Old 01-03-2009, 06:22 PM   #8
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Is this totally incorrect?


Aside from the Lack of pressure treated lumber on any bottom sole plates, you can simply just add some long screws.
- You are creating non-load bearing partition walls. Nailing codes that you often see are for bearing/structural walls. There are no loads on the walls you are building.
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Old 01-03-2009, 06:53 PM   #9
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That might be the easiest way fix the nailing "problem", 3" deck screws.......
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:12 PM   #10
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Is this totally incorrect?


Don't know if it is code or even acceptable but in 1986 I built a 10'x20' addition on a concrete slab in the Tampa Florida area, the inspection failed because I did not know about pressure treated lumber then, the city building inspector told me to loosen the concrete screws I used to hold the sole plate down and using pry bars slide double pieces of tar paper (roof felt) under all wood that touched concrete and all would be good.

This is why it is good to have the multi phase inspections, I learned by failure every step of the way and never got too far along in the project that made it too difficult to remedy.
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hychesee View Post
Don't know if it is code or even acceptable but in 1986 I built a 10'x20' addition on a concrete slab in the Tampa Florida area, the inspection failed because I did not know about pressure treated lumber then, the city building inspector told me to loosen the concrete screws I used to hold the sole plate down and using pry bars slide double pieces of tar paper (roof felt) under all wood that touched concrete and all would be good.

This is why it is good to have the multi phase inspections, I learned by failure every step of the way and never got too far along in the project that made it too difficult to remedy.
I allow that in cases like this as well. It sure beats trying to remove the existing plate.

Great post about inspections. Well said.

As for this "handyman", part ways. The guy has no business charging you for this.
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:41 PM   #12
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Is this totally incorrect?


I'm not an expert but i can tell you this guy isn't a handyman. Tell him to spend a couple of days reading past posts on this site and ask questions and then come back to help you.
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MBFingerhut View Post
I hired a handy man to help me finish my basement. We have spent about a week doing framing...
FWIW - We usually frame out a basement between 1 day to 2 days...and 3 days max for the largest ones. Everything is done per code with the necessary fire blocking. There are no missing nailers as well, & guaranteed to pass a framing insection.

Sorry to say, but you sometimes get alot less skill, speed, and knowledge, when you hire a "handyman" (not all, but most).

You pay for it in the long run with the amount of time they take, stumbling thru the project, the amount of corrective work required when they are done, among other unecessary expenses....

That statement may burn some people's britches, but it's what we see repeatedly in the industry, and our dealings with Home Owners.

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