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Old 07-17-2011, 04:34 AM   #1
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a few general questions about basement framing


I'm in the process of planning my basement. This is the first time for me and I have some basic question about framing to start off with.

1.) I've seen a lot of people recommend placing a piece of composite decking under the bottom plate. Is this necessary even if the bottom plate is pressure treated? I assume this is to prevent water from wicking up the wall in the case of moisture but i think my baseboards would do a good job of that anyways...thoughts?

2.) I have to build a bulkhead in the center of the room to cover supply/return trunks and a steel beam. The bulkhead will be about 4' wide and 10-15' long and I'd like to have a light in this bulkhead since it will be kind of a hallway. My approach to this would be to build sides out of 2x4 with top & bottom plate and cripple studs except every other or third stud would extend past the top plate and screw onto the floor joist. The bottom plate of the bulkhead side would extend down long enough for me to put a box under the ducting for a light and I'd have to fasten 2x4s across between the two bulkhead sides. Could I fasten these 2x4's with L brackets since I'd have to nail/screw across the width of the 2x4 or risk bringing the whole thing down by trying to toe nail into the sides. Part of this bulkhead will be supported under the strapping with a partition wall...thoughts? I think my only other option here is to enclose the part of this that isn't over the partition wall in drop-ceiling and have the hall light in a wall.

3.) We have to upgrade our electrical service panel since the current one is still fuses. Currently it's attached to a piece of plywood that's attached to the slab concrete wall. Can I insulate and frame behind the new service panel or does this have to remain the way it is?


Sorry this is so complicated. If I didn't explain myself well enough in question 2 then i can take some pics and try again.

Any thoughts, suggestions, or experience would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 07-17-2011, 06:47 AM   #2
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a few general questions about basement framing


1. A treated bottom plate is all you need---skip the deck boards--

2.Your bulkhead is also called a soffit.---Making and attaching a 'pony' wall is an option,however I prefer to make the soffits out of plywood when ever possible.
I cut strips the Height needed--add 2x2 nailing strips and then screw the soffit sides to the joists.

Several bit extenders for your drill make this easy.

LIGHTS--consider wall mounted sconce lights---Hanging a light below a soffit is often a head banger.

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Old 07-17-2011, 09:12 AM   #3
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a few general questions about basement framing


Thanks mike! I thought of 2x2 but I didn't think it would be strong enough to hold the weight of the drywall...I guess it is :-) Would it be acceptable to attach the header of a partition wall to your lighter soffit or should I beef that part up a bit?

The wall sconce is a good idea. For some reason on paper I was thinking a box mounted to the framing but in my head I was picturing a recessed light...those don't add up in reality.
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:44 PM   #4
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a few general questions about basement framing


Partition wall can be attached to the soffit---Use screws ---
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:56 PM   #5
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a few general questions about basement framing


Just some further thoughts on #1 above. Composite is just that, plastic and wood dough, from 30-60%, which when wet, will mold. Much better to use a poly sill sealer for a thermal/capillary break. The basement is heated, the walls conduct the heat to the bottom plate, to the much colder concrete slab under the walls-touching plastic or earth. Without it you are building a heat sink..... It also serves as an air barrier, though you could lay a few beads of caulking under the bottom plate to stop any air from reaching the colder concrete walls behind the foam board. That still wouldn't deter any rising damp that goes right through p.t. lumber, hence the capillary break; http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/...-building-code unless there is plastic under the slab.....for sure. Be sure to stop the conditioned air at the drywall and under the plate; http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...wall-approach/

Remember to insulate the rim joists.....

Gary
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Old 07-18-2011, 01:56 AM   #6
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a few general questions about basement framing


Thanks Gary...insulating the rim joists is in the plans...also a 2' cantilever (containing plumbing and HVAC)

As for the sill sealer...would that pink foam sill gasket work okay for thermal break and air seal or should I be looking into something more substantial?
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:07 PM   #7
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a few general questions about basement framing


That will work, long as it's poly......
Start a new thread in "Electrical" if needed.

Gary

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