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Old 01-16-2008, 12:41 PM   #1
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Framing a plumb wall in the basement


In the not-too-distant future I hope to be starting the framing of my basement. How does one go about getting a plumb line from the ceiling to the floor? Just an old-school plumb bob and make a mark on the floor I assume? If I get the ceiling cap (or whatever it's called) put up, I just hang something or use a self-leveling laser line to mark the floor?

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Old 01-16-2008, 01:34 PM   #2
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Framing a plumb wall in the basement


For step by step instructions, surf:

http://www.hometips.com/articles/buildwall.html


See its lower page step 3 for "blumb bob" method. For me, I install the 2 x top plates (by screwing upwards into upper ceiling joists), I "guess" at where the bottom 2 x plates should be. Yes. I use 2 x bottom plates with cement floor gasket materail instead of the minimum code 1 x bottom plate. At this point in time, do NOT anchor the bottom plates. Install a few vertical studs (each with same bow direction) and use a long 6 foot level. If needed, kick the bottom plate with a hammer to make the wall vertical vertical level. When vertical level, then install the bottom plate anchor bolts. I use long cement screws for best results.

Some folks like steel stud walls. For basements, I like 2x4s the best.

Hope this helps...

.

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Old 01-16-2008, 01:48 PM   #3
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Framing a plumb wall in the basement


I recently did such a project and used just a plumb bob on a string. I had to do some tweaking of the exact position of the framing so the spots where the plumb bob were hung from ended up "in the middle of nowhere".

I measured from both top (on the joist where the string was fastened) and bottom (the mark I made on the floor) the same amount to get the framing lined up.

I can see the point of a 5 or 6 foot level. I only have a 2 foot level and that was not accurate enough for either level or plumb measurements.

Last edited by AllanJ; 01-16-2008 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:49 PM   #4
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Framing a plumb wall in the basement


So you're saying that you have 3 inches of 2x4 horizontals between the floor/ceiling and the studs?
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Old 01-16-2008, 02:31 PM   #5
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Framing a plumb wall in the basement


I don't remember what the IRC (International Residence Code) says about load bearing walls but I used single plate (1-1/2 inches of 2x4 horizontal), pressure treated required at the floor and single top plate (1-1/2 inches of ...) at the ceiling for my framing, all of which was non-load bearing.

One wall of this basement project was directly under a joist, but pipes passed directly under that joist too. I framed the wall with the top plate 1-1/2 inches below the joist, and put 2x4 cripples laid flat (for a total of 3 inches of horizontal 2x4) here and there to hold the framing to the joist and the pipes passed through the gaps left for them.

Last edited by AllanJ; 01-16-2008 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 01-16-2008, 02:46 PM   #6
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Framing a plumb wall in the basement


Ok, that makes sense to me. I've got the pressure treated lumber and 1600 board feet of 2x4s that have been sitting around for me to pay attention to them. Most of it should be straight forward walls and stuff. The 45 degree angled walls I want to do will be trickier. I'm not sure how to marry the studs together so that the drywall has supports at the ends.
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Old 01-16-2008, 08:22 PM   #7
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Framing a plumb wall in the basement


You can plumb walls even with a two foot level. In fact, better than with a 5 or 6 foot level.

Take a 2x4 that reaches from the floor to the ceiling and and a piece of 1x2 to the each end. Tape your 2 foot level to the middle of the long 2x4. Set it against a smooth wall and plumb the level bubble and make a mark on the top and bottom of the wall where the 1x2's touch. Flip the 2x4 left to right and put on the marks.

If the bubble reads level, you are done and can use it as is. If the bubble is off, shim the end of the 2 foot level by loosening the tape and putting a small wedge under it. Test and adjust again and again until it read plumb both ways. The amount of difference of the two lines is double the error.

The 1x2 off-sets the stick from touching the possibly bowed studs that would trick a level set against them. The 1x2 only touches the top and bottom plates.

For 45 degree corners you can rip a 4x4 or a pair of 2x's or there are backing tools like Straitflex's X-Crack.

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