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Old 01-13-2008, 09:43 AM   #1
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Basement Framing Questions


Hello all,
I am so glad I found this forum and it's wealth of knowledge. I recently started framing out my basement and have most of the outside walls done. Now on to the tricker things. I have three metal i-beams that run across the span of the basement, one is right next to the HVAC main run along with gas and water lines. I measured the finished i-beams on the second floor and they were about 4 3/4" and the physical beam is 4" wide. This tells me that they probably just put drywall right around the beam and did not use OSB board. In my situation, the i-beams have 2X4 top plates with electrical wire stapled to it. Should I just use 2X2 for my soffit top plate and then back with OSB board extending down 1 1/2" + 1/2" below i-beam for supports and dry wall?

Now when I get to dry-walling the ceiling, is it ok to just attach to the floor joists, or do I need to frame the ceiling with 2X4's?

Thanks,
Brent

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Old 01-13-2008, 10:21 AM   #2
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Basement Framing Questions


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Originally Posted by xlr8tn View Post
....In my situation, the i-beams have 2X4 top plates with electrical wire stapled to it. Should I just use 2X2 for my soffit top plate and then back with OSB board extending down 1 1/2" + 1/2" below i-beam for supports and dry wall?
Sorry...you lost me. A Picture or two would help.

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Originally Posted by xlr8tn View Post
Now when I get to dry-walling the ceiling, is it ok to just attach to the floor joists, or do I need to frame the ceiling with 2X4's?
You could attach the vertical wall studs to the floor joists...however, you are more likely to have irregular wall surfaces when it comes to drywalling it. Floor joists are not completely straight, even, or uniform. As they dry out and age, they will cup, twist, shrink, etc - slightly. When you attach your studs directly to them, there is high probability of "irregularities" at the points where you attach. Example, a slightly cupped and twisted joist may slightly "bend" the stud you are attaching and cause it to be "off" from the alignment position of the previous one. Figure that factor in on a longer length of wall and you may end up with a few areas of "waves" on the wall. Sheetrock (in general) is pliable and will shape itself to the framing.
By installing a top plate, you can eliminate that possibility. That top plate becomes a more uniform nailing surface for you studs, and also creates a straight plane of backer surface for your sheetrock to align onto, especially where you will have horizontal corner lines and soffits.


Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 01-13-2008 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 01-13-2008, 10:28 AM   #3
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Basement Framing Questions


So, if I have done stick framing with a bottom plate and top plate for my walls (no cap plate and top plate), then I will have problems if I now decide to put framing on the ceiling joist to level every thing out. Or when it is time to drywall, could I do the walls first, then ceiling? If I did the ceiling first, then I would not have anything to screw the at the top of the drywall (missing extra top plate).
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Old 01-13-2008, 09:09 PM   #4
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Basement Framing Questions


As to the basement ceiling, getting ready for drywall.
No worries about adding anything to your joists above. Just drywall, glue and screw. Yes they may not be all in perfect alignment with each other but neither are the ones upstairs.

As for building your soffits around your main beam. It sounds like you are wrapping them with OSB so you can attach drywall to them. Do I have that right?

People use this technique to maximize headroom and to minimize the size of the soffit. They are built, often, with 2x2s at the inside and outside corners and OSB. So, if thats what you are doing then to answer your question about the wires. Yes, just use a 2x2 next to the wires to attach your OSB to.

BTW, I have a question for you. What book are you using to guide you? I might like to get your opinion on it and consider adding it to my top recommendations at my store. (see sig)
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Old 01-13-2008, 09:14 PM   #5
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Basement Framing Questions


I finished one of the soffits this evening. I ended up making a ladder out of 2X2's at the top and bottom and then 1X4's spaced 16" o.c. towards the inside. I decided to not use the osb for these skinny ibeam. I will most likely use the osb for the larger soffit that covers an i-beam as well as HVAC since it is a larger span. Thanks for all the input.

-brent
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