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Why 2x4's?


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20 replies to this topic

#1 of 21 Steve James

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Posted April 17 2003 - 12:46 PM

OK, this may be a silly question, but why frame out using 2x4's or 2x6's, instead of just using furring strips attached to the concret block walls with rigid insulation, then drywall when finishing a basement? Is it just for accoustics?

Thanks,
Steve

#2 of 21 Tom Moran

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Posted April 17 2003 - 04:14 PM

I'm not sure there are any acoustic benefits to studs vs. furring strips but I would expect that you might have a difficult time meeting current building codes for R value of insulation with anything smaller than about 2" of rigid insulation. Also keep in mind that you need to wire an outlet roughly every twelve feet to meet electrical codes and doing this without stud walls might be difficult as well.

If you are not going to get your space inspected these might not be issues but if you are I would check local building codes first.

Tom

#3 of 21 Dave Milne

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Posted April 18 2003 - 01:18 AM

Tom's right. I used 2x4s so that I could fit R19 insulation (for thermal, not acoustic, reasons. By itself block is a poor insulator; like maybe R3). More importantly, it could be wired like a conventional wall. With furring strips, you would need to run the wire inside the block and knock out openings for electrical boxes... a real pain.

#4 of 21 Steve James

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Posted April 18 2003 - 01:21 AM

OK, just saw it in a book. I have an issue on one wall due to the vents above and a pipe that runs almost the length of the wall allowing no place along the 18' wall to secure the top plate to the celing joists. I have no idea how to frame that wall with reg 2x4's

#5 of 21 NathanH

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Posted April 18 2003 - 02:56 AM

You could build a soffit around the pipe and vent, then attach the frame to the bottom of the soffit. I'm going to have to do that in a few places in my basement.
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#6 of 21 Steve James

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Posted April 18 2003 - 03:10 AM

hey nathan, i think i responded to a post of yours in the AVSforum...

I'm looking to do the same thing you are, with the PT lumber base plate, then metal everywhere else. Any sturdiness issue with attaching the wall to the soffit? Do you attach the underside of the soffit to the concret wall?

thanks...

#7 of 21 NathanH

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Posted April 21 2003 - 05:49 AM

Indeed you did! Thanks Posted Image

Quote:
Any sturdiness issue with attaching the wall to the soffit?


Nope. In fact, the two serve to reinforce them. It did stop minor lateral movement in the soffit. Obviously, if both were weak, you might have some issues.

Quote:
Do you attach the underside of the soffit to the concret wall?


I did not attach it to the concrete wall - mainly because I want to avoid weakening the concrete, but also because it wasn't necessary. I constructed the soffit independently, by creating a three-sided 2X2 box, 16" on center, using screws to fasten everything. Then, I screwed the soffit to the floor joists above (open end up Posted Image) with 2 1/2" drywall/wood screws. I can hang from the thing and it doesn't move.
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#8 of 21 Steve James

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Posted April 21 2003 - 05:52 AM

thanks nathan, by the way, i didn't get your zip file on AVS...

#9 of 21 NathanH

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Posted April 21 2003 - 07:29 AM

I'll repost Posted Image
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#10 of 21 Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Posted April 21 2003 - 11:48 AM

Quote:
OK, this may be a silly question, but why frame out using 2x4's or 2x6's, instead of just using furring strips attached to the concret block walls with rigid insulation, then drywall when finishing a basement? Is it just for accoustics?
If nothing else, whatever you put on the concrete wall has to be thick enough to drive a nail or sheetrock screw into – unless you plan to glue the wallboard in place.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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#11 of 21 Steve James

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Posted April 22 2003 - 01:04 PM

Ok, check out the pics below to see what issues I will have. also, I just measured the height, and looks like I have to go the no permit route due to the 7 ft I will have in the theater area. The rest of the basement will be 7'8"...

My Basement Issues

#12 of 21 NathanH

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Posted April 22 2003 - 01:50 PM

Finally got them uploaded here.

Can't remember which response gets posted on which forum.... Hmmmmmm maybe I should create something that will post to both forums..... hmmmmmmm
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#13 of 21 Steve James

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Posted April 22 2003 - 01:54 PM

thanks Nathan, your pics are going to be a big help. What will be the height of you ceiling?

#14 of 21 NathanH

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Posted April 22 2003 - 02:36 PM

Let's see...

From concrete to ceiling joist is 7'10"

Minus the 7/8" flooring

Minus 3 or 4 inches for the drop ceiling

I guess about 7'6".
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#15 of 21 Mark McGill

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Posted April 23 2003 - 03:31 AM

In most parts of the country (if not all), you must allow a dead air space between the foundation and your insulation. The reason for this is moisture. Cement is like a sponge which means it holds a lot of water. Make sure that your foundation is water-proofed, preferably from the outside. Now keep you studs away from the foundation a couple of inches. When you insulate make sure you don't push the insulation tight against the wall. Now you can use a vapor barrier over the studs and then drywall. If you live a very wet climate you can also water-proof directly on the cement in addition to the above.

For the sill plate, make sure you use pressure treated lumber. Most codes require this.

#16 of 21 Kurt_M

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Posted April 23 2003 - 10:56 AM

Looks like a lot of the same issues I ran (am running) into. To frame around the ducts I would frame the walls underneath the ducts and nail to the floor. I would also get some pliable metal strips that can be formed around the 2x4's and screw them into the concrete block close to the top of the wall every 4th or 5th stud. I would even consider a double top plate so you can attach the soffitt to the wall framing as well as have some wood left over to screw the drywall to.

I made the mistake of buying 2x4's, bringing them home and start nailing right away. I've learned to let the wood "rest" where they will be used so they get acclimated to the climate. The wood I used must have lost moisture and some pieces started to bow which messed up all my measurements.

Just remember that planning is the worst part but once you get started it will go quickly.

km

#17 of 21 NathanH

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Posted April 24 2003 - 02:47 AM

Quote:
Just remember that planning is the worst part but once you get started it will go quickly.


No kidding - I planned and designed over the course of 3 months before I started anything. My family and friends thought I was full of dreams and that was all until I started pounding away. Now they're amazed at how much progress I'm making! IMO, I'm making progress because it is much easier to execute a well thought-out plan, than to "shoot from the hip" Posted Image

Quote:
I would also get some pliable metal strips that can be formed around the 2x4's and screw them into the concrete block close to the top of the wall every 4th or 5th stud.


Agreed - I like the idea of fastening a P/T 2X4 to the wall under your HVAC a few inches. Then you can attach the framing to this P/T wall plate and the floor P/T plate below.

Quote:
I've learned to let the wood "rest" where they will be used so they get acclimated to the climate.

Agreed! I brought home a bunch of 2X2's with which to frame the soffits. They were straight at the store, but after a few days of storage in the basement bowed tremendously! Aaaaaargh! All that picking through time wasted! Posted Image


Quote:
Now keep you studs away from the foundation a couple of inches.

Quote:
For the sill plate, make sure you use pressure treated lumber. Most codes require this.

I live in Indianapolis, and this is the code here.
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#18 of 21 Mark McGill

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Posted April 24 2003 - 03:16 AM

One other option for the soffits is to use steel studs. They are fairly easy to work with and are always straight. I used this for my soffits. Basically I dropped the ceiling about six inches all the way around the room except in the front. This way I could hide the ducting and a beam and it looks even or symmetrical. I then put rope lighting up in the soffit for the indirect look with crown molding to finish it. The soffits are also a great place to run wire. If I can figure how to post a picture I will.

#19 of 21 Steve James

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Posted April 24 2003 - 03:33 AM

I'm planning on using steel studs all the way around, so I'll probably frame the soffit with steel. Problem is my finished ceiling height is going to be a little more than 7' (which, I found out, does meet code in my county). Right now, I can barely stand under the duct, and I'm 6'6".

I like the idea of attaching a PT plate to the cinder block wall, then attaching the framing to that. Would I put the PT plate on the wall right under where the bottom of the soffit will be, and attach both the bottom portion of the soffit, and the top plate of the wall to it?

#20 of 21 Mark McGill

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Posted April 24 2003 - 03:45 AM

If I understand you correctly, don't attach anything to the cinder block. The studs need to be away from the wall so that moisture doesn't contact it. This means that if you are using 2x4's, you should keep it out maybe an extra three inches so that your insulation doesn't touch the cinder block. So to make it easy you attach your sill plate to to floor and frame straight up. Rent yourself a hilti nail gun and shoot it in or, some people have used a constuction adhesive.


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