Basement walls

mike24June 11, 2006

I am in the process of finishing my basement and I'm on a budget. Would like to save money where ever I can. Is there any code that says you have to use 2x4's for framing your walls or can I use 2x3's? I will be building them away from the cement walls so no worries about not having enough space for electrical boxes. House is only 4 yrs old.

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Sure you can use 2 x 3's since your wall is non-structural. It just won't be as solid when pushed against as compared to 2 x 4's. If your foundation walls are really smooth, you can even use 1 x 2 furring strips though they won't allow depth for electrical - most paneled basements of old were done this way. Be certain to use pressure treated for what contacts the floor.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 7:46AM
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Thank you (fnmroberts). Couple questions about 1x2 furning strips. Will be using them for the wall coming down the steps that has cement wall. Do I put them right upto to wall and how do I secure them? Will be using drywall, What do you use to secure that to the 1x2? Not sure if screws would be to long. Thanks for the help.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 5:33PM
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You could use 2x3's but my experience is that it is much harder to find straight ones. And all but impossible to find 2x3 pressure treated for the bottom plate. Of course, you could just hold the 2x3's flush with one side of the bottom plate.

There's several options for attaching furring strips to a concrete wall. One is just to use construction adhesive and masonry nails. Quite frankly they're a royal pita to drive. The next option is concrete screws (Tapcon is probably the best known brand). A hammer drill makes the job a lot easier. The last is to use power actuated fasteners and construction adhesive. For lack of a better description it's a gun that shoots nails. They're pretty cheap, ~$40 for the kind you hit with a hammer to fire the load. If you go that route, eye and ear protection is an absolute must.

They sell 1" drywall screws.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 10:26PM
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Frankly, there's not much to save when buying different sized studs in the overall scheme of things.

Having first hand expererience framing my basement now - I would stay with 2X4 and MAYBE instead spaced them 24" only on the perimeter wall.

The economy of producing a 2x4x8 studs should be as cheap as a 2X3 (haven't check on the 2X3 prices).
Also as mentioned before, most anything dimensioned less the 2X4 is harder to get in straight length, especially in 8' or longer.

That hammering tool to drive a nail into a concrete slab is called a RAMSET, costed about $21.

I find you saved more by using the 10% off coupons that is available out there.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 2:48PM
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