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Old 02-28-2012, 09:00 AM   #1
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basement walls


I'm developing my basement as and per code, I have to leave a gap of to 1 between the top of all interior basement walls and the floor joists. I live in the priaries in Canada so we have very cold winters and dry summers so the house does "move" a fair bit throughout the year. This is why I'm supposed to leave a gap to accomodate this shifting. My question is this: What is actually moving? Is it the concrete basement floor or the exterior concrete walls (and therefore the enitre house) or both?

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Old 02-28-2012, 09:02 AM   #2
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Nothing is moving. This I have have seen on Holmes show and thought it was dumb. No reason I can see for it.

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Old 02-28-2012, 09:17 AM   #3
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Is it actually code?

I do this cause its easy to frame the wall on the ground and tilt it in place.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:21 AM   #4
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It is code in Saskatoon and I have framed it this way but for other reasons I was curious to know what moves, the concrete floor or the the exterior walls?

http://www.saskatoon.ca/DEPARTMENTS/...lts_to_oud.pdf
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:35 AM   #5
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I see that it is recommended but not necessarily required. I do not believe there would be any significant movement. What is frost penetration depth in Saskatoon? Regardless, you footing drainage should take away any water causing frost action. The framing will expand and contract, but it does that throughout the entire house, and yet the upper levels and roof come down and meet the walls without a gap.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:54 AM   #6
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Sounds very similar to the concept required in parts of Colorado and some other areas where they have soil that moves with moisture. Not all footing drainage systems are always effective unless they have a discharge that is not susceptible to freezing.

Much depends on the basement structure also. There is a big different between a reinforced "raft" floating slab that is rigid compared to a system with footings, walls and slabs depending on the soils. Around here, we do have some cold -10F to -25F, but reinforced raft type foundations are rare because of the local soils.

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Old 02-29-2012, 07:42 AM   #7
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How do you fasten the wall to the ceiling joists? Blocks, shims, or you fasten it to the wall?
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Old 03-08-2012, 02:19 PM   #8
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Have you asked the question of the Building Department? Only reason I can think of is an expectation that there might be continued settlement of the exterior load bearing walls which is not uncommon for a period after placement of a newly constructed foundation wall. Might have something to do with building in a region that has 30 to 100 ft. of topsoil.
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:28 AM   #9
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In that region (and some others), the basement concrete pad (slab) moves (very slightly 1" +/- ) due to frost heaves and/or possible soil compositions.

More Information Here (on floating basement wall construction): http://www.homeadditionplus.com/base...nt%20Walls.htm

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