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Old 12-02-2008, 12:51 PM   #1
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Basement Sofits - 2x2 or Metal framing


Hey everyone, I am new to this forum and have found tons of useful information. I am finishing my basement and have a couple of questions, I have attached some current pictures for your viewing pleasure ... any insights are appreciated.

I am analyzing my soffit needs at this point. There appears to be two ideologies when it comes to boxing around ducts and beams. Traditional 2x2 and 2x1's or using the metal framing which is a little more expensive but is true in terms of straightness. (The basement will have drop ceilings)

Also, the builder has insulated and vapor barriered to the frost line, I plan on insulation from the vapor barrier down with pink bat insulation and vapor bar, but i was also thinking about slitting the vapor barrier above and double insulating from top to bottom ... any thoughts ?

The last pic is the current bathroom rough in.
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Basement Sofits - 2x2 or Metal framing-basement01.jpg   Basement Sofits - 2x2 or Metal framing-basement02.jpg   Basement Sofits - 2x2 or Metal framing-basement03.jpg   Basement Sofits - 2x2 or Metal framing-basement04.jpg   Basement Sofits - 2x2 or Metal framing-basement05.jpg  

Basement Sofits - 2x2 or Metal framing-basement06.jpg  

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Last edited by whirly; 12-02-2008 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:50 PM   #2
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Basement Sofits - 2x2 or Metal framing


The best way i have found to do soffits is to frame the bottom of the soffit out of 2x2 or 2x4 layed flat ant then use 3/4" plywood for the sides of the soffit attached at the top by nailing to a 2x2 or 2x4 nailed to the floor joists. It will give more strength than framing the sides out of 2x2's.

As for your insulation if it were me i would remove the existing plastic and insulate the whole new wall and then put new plastic up.

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Old 12-04-2008, 02:41 PM   #3
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You want to have 1 single continuous vapor barrier from floor to ceiling.
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Old 12-04-2008, 06:36 PM   #4
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Basement Sofits - 2x2 or Metal framing


I generally just frame with 2"x4"s laid flat to maximize space. Ponch's idea with the plywood is also good........could get a bit pricey if you have a lot to do.
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:49 AM   #5
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Basement Sofits - 2x2 or Metal framing


Thanks Guys ... All great suggestions.
I will have to rethink my Insulation situation ...
I have also noted that the 2x2x8 actually cost more then the 2x4x8 at my local HD ..... May be cheaper to do it this way as well.

Is it enough to slit the Vapour Barrier at different locations (to allow air transfer) and then insulate and use one VB floor to ceiling or is it best to remove all the existing VP??? Kind of a pain now that the walls are up ...
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Old 12-05-2008, 09:22 AM   #6
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Basement Sofits - 2x2 or Metal framing


Only other concern is it appears as though the plates on the floor are not treated.
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Old 12-05-2008, 09:39 AM   #7
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Basement Sofits - 2x2 or Metal framing


You should remove all of the old vapor barrier, it's just plastic so should be able to rip it off pretty easy. butlersprints pointed out something imporatant, anywhere you have wood touching concrete you should have used pressure treated wood. Concrete has moisture in it and it will eventually rot the non treated wood touching it, also if you get any water in there it will rot the non treated wood and could cause mold problems.
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Old 12-05-2008, 09:47 AM   #8
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Basement Sofits - 2x2 or Metal framing


Quote:
Originally Posted by butlersprints View Post
Only other concern is it appears as though the plates on the floor are not treated.
There appears to be a foam gasket underneath them so they are not required to be treated. That would be my read on it.

RE Vapor Barrier - I'd remove the whole thing if I were you. Won't be as hard as you think, I bet.

I'd always be hesitant to use 2x4s with the "x4" side being the "visible" side. 2x4s like to twist a lot, and all that twisting will be highly visible with the "x 4" side facing the living space. I'm using metal framing for my soffits and personally (so far) I think it's way easier then using wood, and it comes 100% straight and true and the framing should stay that way forever. Can't say the same for wood.

EDIT If it helps I can take pics of my metal framed soffits and post em here.

Last edited by Garasaki; 12-05-2008 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:02 AM   #9
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Basement Sofits - 2x2 or Metal framing


good call on the foam gasket, after looking again you can kinda see the shadow from it and also there is a roll of it in the 3rd picture.
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:41 AM   #10
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Basement Sofits - 2x2 or Metal framing


Don't forget that you'll need to sheetrock the inside of the storage space under the stairs now that you're finishing the basement...Requirement in the International Residential Code. Now would be the time to install any necessary nailers for rock attachment.

The best way to build soffits is to install 3/4" plywood against the studs the full height of the soffit. This takes care of the firestopping requirement (minimum 3/4" ply) and gives you something to fasten framing members to in one step. Otherwise you're faced with adding a good amount of blocking to effectively firestop the soffits.

I like to build furdowns and soffits with metal studs. I rarely use them for wall framing however. I think they beat a 2x2 hands down for soffits...No cracking, no sagging. On soffits, a stud track can be screwed to the aforementioned plywood backer.
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Old 12-05-2008, 07:30 PM   #11
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Basement Sofits - 2x2 or Metal framing


I was interested in the existing wall insulation as I have just completed installing the same type, if not the same brand of insulation.
It comes in 100 ft.rolls has a steed band on the bottom for fastening to the wall. The top has an apron to swing up into the joist cavity.
The insulation is bonded to the vapor barrier. So DO NOT TRY TO REMOVE IT!
The insulation appears to be R12 and if R12 is placed between the studs it will give a R value of R24 which is good your climate (mine too!)
I would suggest that the vapor barrier would be perforated, rather than slashed. The vapor barrier is in fact supporting the insulation and slashing would weaken this!
To perforate, I would drive a bunch of screws through a plywood square, put some sort of handle on the back and then start punching.
Or perhaps you may have a machine gun on hand that you could use to shoot holes in it!
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:04 AM   #12
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Basement Sofits - 2x2 or Metal framing


Quote:
Originally Posted by Garasaki View Post
There appears to be a foam gasket underneath them so they are not required to be treated. That would be my read on it.

RE Vapor Barrier - I'd remove the whole thing if I were you. Won't be as hard as you think, I bet.

I'd always be hesitant to use 2x4s with the "x4" side being the "visible" side. 2x4s like to twist a lot, and all that twisting will be highly visible with the "x 4" side facing the living space. I'm using metal framing for my soffits and personally (so far) I think it's way easier then using wood, and it comes 100% straight and true and the framing should stay that way forever. Can't say the same for wood.

EDIT If it helps I can take pics of my metal framed soffits and post em here.

Pictures and a quick DIY of installing the soffits with metal would be fantastic .. Thanks

Great updates, thanks guys .... As someone already pointed out the foam gasket is being used along all bottom plates. I think i am definitely swing towards metal soffits and perforating the existing vapor barrier. Although i jstill may just insulate the bottom half and leave the top alone ....

Last edited by whirly; 12-07-2008 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 12-07-2008, 10:44 AM   #13
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Basement Sofits - 2x2 or Metal framing


Quote:
Originally Posted by whirly View Post
Pictures and a quick DIY of installing the soffits with metal would be fantastic .. Thanks

Great updates, thanks guys .... As someone already pointed out the foam gasket is being used along all bottom plates. I think i am definitely swing towards metal soffits and perforating the existing vapor barrier. Although i jstill may just insulate the bottom half and leave the top alone ....
I think that it could be argued that it would be better to double up the insulation at the top, rather than just insulate the bottom.
I'm looking forward to reading other opinions!
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:47 AM   #14
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Basement Sofits - 2x2 or Metal framing


I'll head down to the basement to take some pics tonight.

I would go ahead and insulate the entire wall too. I dont' think a half insulated wall would be effective, plus your not going to save a signifigant amount of time or money to do it all.

Believe me, I know that sometimes it's hard and you just wanna take the easy way out, but you only get one shot at doing this project, you might as well take your time and do the best you can. It'll be worth it in the long run.
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:41 AM   #15
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Well the top half is already insulated. My plans was to insulate and Vapor the bottom half and tuck tape the Vapor barriers together. This as opposed to perf'ing the top portion or trying to remove the barrier completely and starting over.

I am looking forward to those pics Garasaki !

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