Author Topic: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?  (Read 8537 times)

zolotiyeruki

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Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« on: March 29, 2016, 08:42:37 AM »
We are blessed with a deep pour basement--from the floor to the underside of the joists is 103", and to the underside of the beams is 93".  I'm hoping to start framing in the basement later this year, and I'm wondering about the best way to account for that extra height--I'd like to keep it, and use it if possible.

I'll start by furring out from the joists with 2x lumber--unfortunately, our building code requires copper supply and EMT for electrical, so all those pipes run under the joists.  Around the outside, then, I'll have 3/4" ply for fire blocking.  That brings the height of the wall section down to (103 - (1.5 + .75)) = 100.75".  Normal wall sections would be 99" high (96" stud plus bottom and top plate).  That leaves me with an inch and a half to fill, plus a quarter inch to make it easy to stand the wall sections up.

I'd prefer not to pay the premium for 9' or 10' studs for the sake of a 1" gap.  I could just use a double top plate, but is there an easier/faster/better way to handle it?

One more question:  is it better to build wall sections and stand them up, or to put in the top and bottom plate, then stick the studs in between?  And is it better to do it with a longer (like 16') continuous sill and top plate, or 8' sections?
« Last Edit: March 29, 2016, 08:46:08 AM by zolotiyeruki »

Drifterrider

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2016, 09:32:25 AM »
How many studs will you need?  It might be more cost effective to have them cut to size if there are a lot of them.

As to standing up the wall.  If you leave a space at the top to "make it easier to stand up", how will you fill that space?

How long are your wall sections and how much help do you have? 

If it were me I'd probably anchor the top and bottom sills and then add the studs one at a time.  I'd either use a pneumatic nailer or screws. 

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2016, 10:06:39 AM »
How many studs will you need?  It might be more cost effective to have them cut to size if there are a lot of them.

As to standing up the wall.  If you leave a space at the top to "make it easier to stand up", how will you fill that space?

How long are your wall sections and how much help do you have? 

If it were me I'd probably anchor the top and bottom sills and then add the studs one at a time.  I'd either use a pneumatic nailer or screws.
The longest uninterrupted wall section will probably be close to 25', and there are plenty of other places where there will be longer (15'+) walls.  There's about 180' of exterior wall, and another 100' or so of interior walls. With a small (1/4" or so) gap, I won't actually worry about filling the gap continuously.  I'll shim it enough to hold it place while I drive the nails.

I'll be doing most of the work single-handed.  I'll borrow/rent/buy used all the tools I'll need (that I don't already have).  I nabbed a used Paslode framing nailer a while back for $40.  I personally prefer building complete wall sections, then standing them up, since it'll be faster for me.

Drifterrider

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2016, 12:07:52 PM »
If you can handle long sections by yourself, go for it.  I find it easier to install the top and bottom plates, then place the studs one at a time.

Sounds like you are framing in not for structural support but in order to hang drywall.

Fishindude

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2016, 01:33:42 PM »
If you want to buy 8' studs, just double up the top or bottom plate with another 2x and strip of plywood filler in the proper thickness to create a super thick plate.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2016, 02:23:13 PM »
If you can handle long sections by yourself, go for it.  I find it easier to install the top and bottom plates, then place the studs one at a time.

Sounds like you are framing in not for structural support but in order to hang drywall.
That's correct--none of these walls are load-bearing.  Well, except for the weight of the drywall :)  When framing, do you just use a plumb bob to make sure the sill and top plate are aligned?  What makes your approach easier for you?  I'm not trying to argue, I just want to make sure I understand the advantages/disadvantages of the two approaches.

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2016, 02:46:05 PM »
If you use a double top plate and build on the floor, you'd need some long nails to hit the joists.

Personally, I built on the floor and stood up FWIW, but if you use a double top plate see above.

Have you considered using 2x3's instead of 2 x 4's?  Saved me quite a bit on lumber and picked up a little extra floor space.

paddedhat

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2016, 03:41:25 PM »
Couple of thoughts. Studs are studs, 8' and 10' lumber is not. The difference is that a stud is typically 92-5/8" or 92-1/4" depending on what part of the country you are in. They are also "PET" or precision end trimmed, so they will all be exactly the same length. Dimension lumber just needs to be at least the length it is sold as, so a unit of 8' 2x4s could have everything from dead on at 96" to pieces that are 3/4" longer. Now you might find that the 8'ers you buy are also PET, but it is something to be aware of. Second, I would make a "story pole" that is the height of your theoretical wall, and us it to gauge exactly how far off your desired height you are, all over the floor slab. Chances are that the bottom of the floor joists create a very flat plane, but the concrete floor can be a wild card. large shallow dips and slabs that slope, slightly, from one end to the other are pretty common. Finally, I typically build these walls a 1/4" short and tilt them up. I then drive shims between the floor joist and top plate, at 32" on center, and use timber screws to secure the plate to the ceiling. I would secure a plate to the floor with TapCons, and stand my wall on top of that, using pairs of 10D nails to secure the bottom of the wall to the bottom plate.

EDIT: I'm guessing that you are furring the bottom of the joist to install sheetrock?  It sounds like you are in a really restricted area, code wise. Don't forget that you will need an access hatch in the ceiling for every junction box, water valve, and hvac damper or other serviceable mechanical item (tub drains, sewer clean-outs, motorized dampers, zone valves, door bell transformer, etc) Pretty much why drop ceilings are SOP in a basement build-outs, since a rocked ceiling, with a couple dozen hatches often looks like crap.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2016, 03:54:10 PM by paddedhat »

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2016, 05:10:37 PM »
Yeah, I'm in NE Illinois, so pex and romex are banned, despite the utter lack of statistical justification. So I have copper pipe and EMT all over the place.  The during is for drywall, and to get below all of that. Fortunately, there are no junction boxes or valves in the basement ceiling, other than the basic  lightfixtures (which I will be removing when I run the new electrical). Dampers are all by the trunk line, so not as big of a deal to leave accessible.

Your point about the length of dimensional lumber is a good one --I will have to watch out for that.

Drifterrider

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2016, 06:50:02 AM »
If you can handle long sections by yourself, go for it.  I find it easier to install the top and bottom plates, then place the studs one at a time.

Sounds like you are framing in not for structural support but in order to hang drywall.
That's correct--none of these walls are load-bearing.  Well, except for the weight of the drywall :)  When framing, do you just use a plumb bob to make sure the sill and top plate are aligned?  What makes your approach easier for you?  I'm not trying to argue, I just want to make sure I understand the advantages/disadvantages of the two approaches.

I usually work alone.  I can't handle long lengths of framing alone.  It is a case of bulky over heavy.

I use a plumb bob.  And a 4 foot level when setting uprights.  And another plumb bob (measure 4 times, cut twice).

I don't finish drywall because it take me four times as long and the same amount of mud :)

Since your basement floor is concrete I assume you will drill and screw the bottom plate (or use impact).  In your situation I would use a double floor plate to space up AND prevent myself from driving a nail that is long into the concrete floor.

Are you going to run wiring?

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2016, 06:59:11 AM »
I usually work alone.  I can't handle long lengths of framing alone.  It is a case of bulky over heavy.

I use a plumb bob.  And a 4 foot level when setting uprights.  And another plumb bob (measure 4 times, cut twice).

I don't finish drywall because it take me four times as long and the same amount of mud :)

Since your basement floor is concrete I assume you will drill and screw the bottom plate (or use impact).  In your situation I would use a double floor plate to space up AND prevent myself from driving a nail that is long into the concrete floor.

Are you going to run wiring?
Yeah, I can do drywall, but not very fast.  Or well.  That's one thing I'll be outsourcing. :)  Tapcons or Ramset for the bottom plate.  And I plan to run all the plumbing (we'll be adding a bathroom) and electrical myself.

lthenderson

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2016, 08:39:36 AM »
A method for setting up walls that I have used before is to attach your studs to the top plate but don't fasten the bottom plate on. Lift the section with the top plate and studs so that it is against your joists and slide it over your bottom plate. Fasten the stud bottoms to the bottom plate. This allows you to get rid of any gap needed to set up a prebuilt wall. However, I like paddlehat's suggestion of just using shims. Sounds much easier.

I would never sheetrock a basement ceiling. You will forever be repairing water damage especially if underneath bathrooms or kitchens. I've seen too many toilet overflows, splashed water out of tubs from kids, leaking ice dispenser hookups, etc cause stains on downstairs ceilings. Also, it really hamstrings future rewiring or replumbing efforts. There is an alternative to a drop ceiling. They make ceiling systems (CeilingMAX being one) that look like a drop ceiling but attach directly to firing strips or joists so that you only loose about an inch of height instead of closer to four inches of a drop ceiling. These allow you to access junction boxes, valves and such and also if the inevitable water stain happens, fixing it is just a matter of swapping out the affected tile.

Chris22

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2016, 08:47:35 AM »
I'm framing my basement out now.  Most of it I put in the header and footer, and then attached the studs.  For certain walls, it made sense to put in the header and footer AND build a wall off to the side and then slide it into place.  I did this for a wall I might have had to move out of the way to accommodate plumbing for a bathroom.  That would solve your problem of needing the extra height, you'd have the double-thick header/footer to make up the height. 

The other thing I do that's a little cheesy looking but works just fine is build a "foot" on the top and bottom of each stud, and then use the foot to anchor the stud to the header/footer.  That way you don't have to toenail it in as precisely, it's a little easier to work with and more stable. 

The walls that were prebuilt and then tied into the header/footer (this will be a shower):



With the "foot" on each stud (header/footer were put into place and then studs added):


zolotiyeruki

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2016, 08:48:54 AM »
A method for setting up walls that I have used before is to attach your studs to the top plate but don't fasten the bottom plate on. Lift the section with the top plate and studs so that it is against your joists and slide it over your bottom plate. Fasten the stud bottoms to the bottom plate. This allows you to get rid of any gap needed to set up a prebuilt wall. However, I like paddlehat's suggestion of just using shims. Sounds much easier.

I would never sheetrock a basement ceiling. You will forever be repairing water damage especially if underneath bathrooms or kitchens. I've seen too many toilet overflows, splashed water out of tubs from kids, leaking ice dispenser hookups, etc cause stains on downstairs ceilings. Also, it really hamstrings future rewiring or replumbing efforts. There is an alternative to a drop ceiling. They make ceiling systems (CeilingMAX being one) that look like a drop ceiling but attach directly to firing strips or joists so that you only loose about an inch of height instead of closer to four inches of a drop ceiling. These allow you to access junction boxes, valves and such and also if the inevitable water stain happens, fixing it is just a matter of swapping out the affected tile.
What do you suggest for going around beams and ductwork?  Should I just build a soffit and sheetrock around those, and use ceiling tiles for the larger expanses of ceiling?

I agree with the sentiment about accessibility, but DW doesn't care for the look of suspended ceilings.  I'm not sure if it's worth the effort to change her mind :)

Chris22

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2016, 08:53:42 AM »
I usually work alone.  I can't handle long lengths of framing alone.  It is a case of bulky over heavy.

I use a plumb bob.  And a 4 foot level when setting uprights.  And another plumb bob (measure 4 times, cut twice).

I don't finish drywall because it take me four times as long and the same amount of mud :)

Since your basement floor is concrete I assume you will drill and screw the bottom plate (or use impact).  In your situation I would use a double floor plate to space up AND prevent myself from driving a nail that is long into the concrete floor.

Are you going to run wiring?
Yeah, I can do drywall, but not very fast.  Or well.  That's one thing I'll be outsourcing. :)  Tapcons or Ramset for the bottom plate.  And I plan to run all the plumbing (we'll be adding a bathroom) and electrical myself.

I predrilled holes for the footers with a $50 hammer drill bought from Harbor Freight, knock on wood it's going strong still after probably 50 holes drilled.  Worth the investment, probably even cheaper than renting.  Also, I used pressure treated/womanized wood for all the base plates in case I ever get water down there.

We're doing similar projects by the sound of it.  I ripped down a fully wood paneled basement, relocated the washer/dryer, am adding a 3/4 bath (stand up shower, no tub), and re-drywalling it all.  We also replaced all of the mechnicals (HVAC and water heater) and most of the galvanized plumbing with copper.  Doing everything myself with my father in law except the plumbing rough-in and the drywall mudding/taping/sanding.

Midwest

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2016, 08:55:03 AM »
I looked at nice drop ceilings when doing the basement.  They were pricey and lost ceiling height.

With the price difference, I can get it fixed a bunch of times and still break even.  Have yet to need to open the ceiling or fix plumbing leaks in the basement.

MW

lthenderson

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2016, 09:06:15 AM »
A method for setting up walls that I have used before is to attach your studs to the top plate but don't fasten the bottom plate on. Lift the section with the top plate and studs so that it is against your joists and slide it over your bottom plate. Fasten the stud bottoms to the bottom plate. This allows you to get rid of any gap needed to set up a prebuilt wall. However, I like paddlehat's suggestion of just using shims. Sounds much easier.

I would never sheetrock a basement ceiling. You will forever be repairing water damage especially if underneath bathrooms or kitchens. I've seen too many toilet overflows, splashed water out of tubs from kids, leaking ice dispenser hookups, etc cause stains on downstairs ceilings. Also, it really hamstrings future rewiring or replumbing efforts. There is an alternative to a drop ceiling. They make ceiling systems (CeilingMAX being one) that look like a drop ceiling but attach directly to firing strips or joists so that you only loose about an inch of height instead of closer to four inches of a drop ceiling. These allow you to access junction boxes, valves and such and also if the inevitable water stain happens, fixing it is just a matter of swapping out the affected tile.
What do you suggest for going around beams and ductwork?  Should I just build a soffit and sheetrock around those, and use ceiling tiles for the larger expanses of ceiling?

I agree with the sentiment about accessibility, but DW doesn't care for the look of suspended ceilings.  I'm not sure if it's worth the effort to change her mind :)

For the vertical surfaces, I generally use sheetrock in those places although the CeilingMAX system that I've used has instructions on how to use their stuff for those kinds of situations. I generally find the sheetrock much easier and a cleaner look when finished. My wife wasn't sold on the look of suspended ceilings until I took her to the local box store and she saw all the multitudes of styles she could choose from that didn't look like the industrial cork like tiles you see used in most places.

As for cost, I've generally found that the cost of doing it with the CeilingMAX to be about a wash when compared to doing sheetrock if you include the effort of installing the sheetrock, taping, mudding, sanding and painting. I can install a large room ceiling in about 4 or 5 hours and be completely done. Can't do that with sheetrock.

Chris22

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2016, 09:23:01 AM »
A method for setting up walls that I have used before is to attach your studs to the top plate but don't fasten the bottom plate on. Lift the section with the top plate and studs so that it is against your joists and slide it over your bottom plate. Fasten the stud bottoms to the bottom plate. This allows you to get rid of any gap needed to set up a prebuilt wall. However, I like paddlehat's suggestion of just using shims. Sounds much easier.

I would never sheetrock a basement ceiling. You will forever be repairing water damage especially if underneath bathrooms or kitchens. I've seen too many toilet overflows, splashed water out of tubs from kids, leaking ice dispenser hookups, etc cause stains on downstairs ceilings. Also, it really hamstrings future rewiring or replumbing efforts. There is an alternative to a drop ceiling. They make ceiling systems (CeilingMAX being one) that look like a drop ceiling but attach directly to firing strips or joists so that you only loose about an inch of height instead of closer to four inches of a drop ceiling. These allow you to access junction boxes, valves and such and also if the inevitable water stain happens, fixing it is just a matter of swapping out the affected tile.
What do you suggest for going around beams and ductwork?  Should I just build a soffit and sheetrock around those, and use ceiling tiles for the larger expanses of ceiling?

I agree with the sentiment about accessibility, but DW doesn't care for the look of suspended ceilings.  I'm not sure if it's worth the effort to change her mind :)

How firm is your layout, and how spread out is your plumbing?  The way my house is laid out, all the plumbing is on one wall, and so I'm keeping an unfinished utility room where all of it will be wide open and accessible.  Closing up the ceilings everywhere else is no big deal as long as I plan ahead on the wiring and don't hide boxes, which I won't do.  I find that with a finished basement, it's always good to not finish the whole thing, and leave some unfinished space for storage, etc.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2016, 03:40:39 PM »
I looked at nice drop ceilings when doing the basement.  They were pricey and lost ceiling height.

With the price difference, I can get it fixed a bunch of times and still break even.  Have yet to need to open the ceiling or fix plumbing leaks in the basement.
The price difference of just the materials (sheetrock vs drop ceiling) is pretty big--drywall would be something like 1/3 the cost.  Since I plan to hire out the drywall, though, the cost difference to me will basically be a wash, as lthenderson pointed out.
How firm is your layout, and how spread out is your plumbing?  The way my house is laid out, all the plumbing is on one wall, and so I'm keeping an unfinished utility room where all of it will be wide open and accessible.  Closing up the ceilings everywhere else is no big deal as long as I plan ahead on the wiring and don't hide boxes, which I won't do.  I find that with a finished basement, it's always good to not finish the whole thing, and leave some unfinished space for storage, etc.
We've gone through many, many different layout possibilities over the last 5 years.  We're pretty settled on our current layout.  The plumbing in our house stretches from end to end, literally.  Furnace and ejector pit at one end, powder room at the other end, 53' away.  And hose bibs front and rear.

Yes, there's a sizable storage area in the plans.
We're doing similar projects by the sound of it.  I ripped down a fully wood paneled basement, relocated the washer/dryer, am adding a 3/4 bath (stand up shower, no tub), and re-drywalling it all.  We also replaced all of the mechnicals (HVAC and water heater) and most of the galvanized plumbing with copper.  Doing everything myself with my father in law except the plumbing rough-in and the drywall mudding/taping/sanding.
Heh, when we moved into our house, the previous owner was about 50% done finishing the basement.  rough plumbing, electrical, framing, sheetrock.  Unfortunately, none of it was done well.  It was a mess.  He pulled a permit, but never had any inspections done (if he had, the inspector's visit would have lasted about 15 seconds).  I ripped out the entire basement, back to bare concrete walls.

Midwest

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2016, 04:01:23 PM »
I looked at nice drop ceilings when doing the basement.  They were pricey and lost ceiling height.

With the price difference, I can get it fixed a bunch of times and still break even.  Have yet to need to open the ceiling or fix plumbing leaks in the basement.
The price difference of just the materials (sheetrock vs drop ceiling) is pretty big--drywall would be something like 1/3 the cost.  Since I plan to hire out the drywall, though, the cost difference to me will basically be a wash, as lthenderson pointed out.

Interesting it came out like that.  My drywall was done in late 2009 at the height of the recession.  21 a sheet to hang and finish so maybe that's why my numbers differ from yours.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2016, 06:19:11 PM »
I looked at nice drop ceilings when doing the basement.  They were pricey and lost ceiling height.

With the price difference, I can get it fixed a bunch of times and still break even.  Have yet to need to open the ceiling or fix plumbing leaks in the basement.
The price difference of just the materials (sheetrock vs drop ceiling) is pretty big--drywall would be something like 1/3 the cost.  Since I plan to hire out the drywall, though, the cost difference to me will basically be a wash, as lthenderson pointed out.

Interesting it came out like that.  My drywall was done in late 2009 at the height of the recession.  21 a sheet to hang and finish so maybe that's why my numbers differ from yours.
I was looking purely at the material cost, so $21/sheet installed and finished lines up fairly well with the materials cost of the dropped ceiling.

kendallf

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2016, 06:43:41 PM »
Paddedhat gave some good advice, especially about checking for irregularities in the slab.  I would preassemble the walls, nailing top and bottom plate to studs, then stand them up as he suggested.  Nailing through the top and bottom plate is much stronger and makes it much easier to place the studs precisely, as well as much faster, than toe-nailing.  Check all of the studs for crown and assemble them with crown up on the floor.  Standing up even a relatively long 2x4 wall isn't hard for a single person in my experience; they just aren't that heavy.

hankscorpio84

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2016, 10:16:16 PM »
To echo what chris22 said, be sure to use treated wood for the bottom plate.  Untreated wood will rot laying next to the concrete.  As far as fastening the walls down, I have had good luck with just liquid nails on non load bearing interior walls.  I framed a house with in-floor heat tubes that were installed with no knowledge of where the interior walls would lie.  We didn't want to risk drilling through a tube while fastening the walls down, so we cleaned the slab well and generously applied the liquid nails to the slab just before standing the interior walls.  Worked great and only costs a few bucks per tube.

As far as the height of the walls is concerned, I would just buy 16' 2x4 for all the studs and cut them to length (if you have a way to haul them and a place to deal with them, of course).  If you go with 8 footers you might still have to trim them, plus they'll cost a bit more.  Going with studs and the extra top plate costs more and will be more work to drill any holes in those plates to bring plumbing and wiring down into the walls. 

Another thing to consider is the drywall.  Conventional sheets are 4x8, so whether you lay them horizontal or vertical, you're going to be up off the slab by a few inches.  This can be masked by taller baseboard trim, but it will make installing the trim a PITA.  You can use 9' sheets hung vertically, but there will be some waste.  I would just be sure to tell the drywall contractor about your taller than normal walls before he give you a price, it may be a wash on the money but it will definitely affect his strategy.   

Metric Mouse

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2016, 02:43:28 AM »
All suggestions so far are good:

Crown your studs so they all crown one way.

Use pressure treat on sill plate - code in my area.

Measure the floor to each joist - if your floor isn't level and you're building your wall to a single height, you could be too tall in an area. Not cool when you've just built and hoisted your wall.

You'll have to buy 9' sheet rock for the walls.

I would personally bolt down a sill plate, and then set the wall sections on top of it, shimming where needed.

I used a Powder Actuated Nailer for my basement - cheap and works pretty well. Much faster and less mess than drilling and pounding tap-cons, but perhaps not as stable. I would probably nail and glue if I did it again.

I'm not sure you'll be able to hoist a 25' section of wall yourself. Even with 16 footers, you've still got a splice. I did a 25' section of knee wall by myself - not only was it heavy, but the section wanted to split and twist at the spliced. Very difficult to do by oneself.  If you don't stick-build that section, you'll probably need ten minutes of help from someone else.

Good luck!

Drifterrider

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2016, 05:28:17 AM »

You'll have to buy 9' sheet rock for the walls.


I have never seen 9' sheet rock.  Is that something regional?

Fishindude

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2016, 05:37:51 AM »
Much faster and less mess than drilling and pounding tap-cons,

Tapcons are not pounded in.
You trill a hole with a masonry bit and hammer drill, then "screw" them in with a drill, screw gun, or the same hammer drill.

paddedhat

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2016, 11:02:39 AM »
Much faster and less mess than drilling and pounding tap-cons,

Tapcons are not pounded in.
You trill a hole with a masonry bit and hammer drill, then "screw" them in with a drill, screw gun, or the same hammer drill.

Yes, Tapcons work so well that powder actuated fasteners have pretty much fallen by the wayside in my area. Years ago I tossed a Hilti pistol style multi-shot gun and a hammer style ramset in the garbage, since I couldn't find any subcontractors of mine who even wanted the things, for free. Setting a tapcon is as simple as standing on the plate and drilling right through, and into the slab, using a hammer drill and the correct bit. Next you drive the screw in with a battery impact gun. No ear plugs needed, no paper plate sized blowouts to fix when the ramset pin hits a piece of aggregate, no need to continually add pins in an area where the concrete is spalling and not holding, just a nice clean way to do the job well. 

On another issue, any time you build walls by installing a bottom plate and top plate, then individually toenailing studs in place, you are exponentially increasing the time spent, degree of difficulty, and the possibility for a less than plumb wall. Bottom line is that, unless it is absolutely required due to odd circumstances, it's best avoided. Build the wall a 1/4" shorter that the ceiling height, stand it up, shim the top every 32" and screw it tight to the bottom of the floor joists. In a basement build out, nothing you do is structural, and nothing is gained by wasting time, and making the job a lot more difficult for yourself. If you need to do a wall in sections, break the plates at the middle of a stud, then toenail that one stud in place after you get the walls up and secured to the floor and ceiling.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2016, 11:06:56 AM by paddedhat »

Fishindude

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2016, 11:44:23 AM »
Paddlehat - Maybe you've seen these?  Using the Tapcon "Condrive" tool, you can drill and drive Tapcons rather than switching to a second impact gun.   Hard to beat powder actuated tools for speed, if you have a whole lot of wall to frame and anchor to slabs.   If you select your loads and fasteners properly, blowouts aren't an issue.

paddedhat

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #28 on: April 02, 2016, 08:29:25 AM »
Paddlehat - Maybe you've seen these?  Using the Tapcon "Condrive" tool, you can drill and drive Tapcons rather than switching to a second impact gun.   Hard to beat powder actuated tools for speed, if you have a whole lot of wall to frame and anchor to slabs.   If you select your loads and fasteners properly, blowouts aren't an issue.

Well, when it comes to blowouts, it's a bit more involved that selecting loads and pins. A big issue is concrete age and quality. A lot of folks on sites like this are dealing with older homes with less than decent concrete floors. The other issue is the whole beginner, to moderately skilled, DIYer and powder actuated tools in general. IMHO, they are best avoided for that crowd. I wasn't allowed to operate one, as a tradesmen, without being certified by a manufacturer's rep, and it was a good policy. They have caused everything from fatalities in innocent bystanders, to serious injuries in users.  IMHO, for the average DIYer, doing their own basement buildout, Tapcons are the best choice.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Easy way to frame slightly-taller basement walls?
« Reply #29 on: May 14, 2019, 01:00:42 PM »
OP here.  Well, it's been another three years, and we've finally decided to take the plunge.  It'll be a TON of work, and I'll be working solo for the lion's share of it.

Step 1 is all the prep work.  That includes fixing all the things that will be harder to fix once the basement is finished, including insulation, moving ductwork around to maximize ceiling height, grinding off the leftover thinset from the old bathroom, and removing some half-finished framing.  The ductwork is already done, and I've started in on the grinding (followed by some hasty ventilation mods and hanging plastic sheeting!).

I've attached a layout that we're pursuing.