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DIY Basement finishing - where to start

Posted by kimbhoot (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 2, 12 at 13:38


So I've finally decided to take on the basement project and had an architect friend put together a plan for me. I'm planning to start the framing in a few weeks and wanted to put together a list of tools I would need for the job.
I'm looking for a used nail gun on craigslist and an air compressor.

Can anyone please help me choose the right type of nailgun and provide tips for other tools that may help get the job done easily as I don't have any help and will be doing this part myself.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: DIY Basement finishing - where to start

The first consideration for renovating a basement is employing the right insulation and moisture management techniques. I hope your designer didn't limit himself to floorplans only.

As for tools:

If you're going to power nailers, I'd look at cordless models, such as those from Paslode More expensive, but a lot easier to use than dragging around hoses and a noisy compressor.

Light metal framing is a lot cleaner and easier to work with than wood once you get the hang of it. That way, you'll only need a power trim nailer and a ramset for anchoring the baseplates. Or just use a drill and concrete screws for the plates.

Here is a link that might be useful: Building Science Corp. on Basement Renovations

RE: DIY Basement finishing - where to start

Thanks for the reply. I do plan to add some moisture barrier on the concrete walls. No insulation tho as we haven't had any issues with the basement being too cold in winter. the basement is not walkout and is 9' high. I am considering metal framing. How is the cost compared to wood framing? how do you tackle those duct works and plumbing?

RE: DIY Basement finishing - where to start

No insulation tho as we haven't had any issues with the basement being too cold in winter.

The 2012 International Residential Code, the Code in effect for most of the United States, requires insulated basement walls in all climate zones of 3 and above. As well, insulation is cost effective in those Zones.

(See climate zone map below.)

Light steel framing runs 20%-30% more than wood in my location. But check your local big boxes for prices in your area. You can use the steel to box around intrusions the same as lumber. Once installed, you won't have shrinkage and warping as you will with wood, especially if you're using 2x2s.

Here is a link that might be useful: Green Building Advisor: How to Insulate Basement Walls

RE: DIY Basement finishing - where to start

You need a framing gun. You just need to find a compressor that will run a framing gun in terms of air output.

Remember that just like firearms when you pull the trigger on a nailer, the nail isn't stopping. If your finger happens to be in the way, it will go right through the bone. If the nail happens to hit something solid enough, it can do a 180 and come back at you. So you hand needs to be at least as far away from the nose of the gun as the length of the nail you are using.

Beyond that a caulk line, tape measure, level (at least 4', 6' would be better), ordinary hammer, and miter saw come to mind. Along with eye and ear protection.

RE: DIY Basement finishing - where to start

Get a framing hammer and spend the savings on material.

RE: DIY Basement finishing - where to start

I'm in Kansas City. So looks like according to code, I'm required to insulate. What would be best to use as moisture barrier?

I'll get a price quote for metal framing as that sounds like an easier option. still not sure how to frame around those plumbing lines and etc but I'll cross that bridge when I get there. So with the metal framing, I need a trim nailer?

RE: DIY Basement finishing - where to start

Unless there is actual bulk (running) water in your basement, no special barrier is needed.

However, do not use fibrous insulation by itself, but instead any of the moisture resistant alternatives shown by Building Science Corp. Usually, the most efficient material is extruded polystyrene (XPS). The easiest method is to put the XPS on the walls, followed by the framing with fibrous insulation in the bays.

So with the metal framing, I need a trim nailer?

To attach light steel to itself, use self-tapping screws. The metal framing also employs wood around doors and for blocking for cabinets etc.

To attach wood baseboard, you can: nail into the drywall then use adhesive; install a wood backer to nail into between the studs; use metal trim screws at the studs and adhesive. Rubber/vinyl baseboards are attached as usual with special adhesive.

Really, the light steel is much easier to use than lumber. See this sheet for typical details.

Here is a link that might be useful: Renovating Your Basement

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