DIY Removable Basement Walls

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Finishing a basement usually includes paneling your basement foundation walls to cover the masonry surface. While most of the time you’d want to make your paneling permanent, you may want to be able to remove the basement wall when you need access to the surface beneath, or to utilities that may run through the wall cavity, such as wiring or pipes. With the aid of a couple of strips of Velcro, you can create a removable wall section that fits perfectly between any permanent wall panels and is easily removed to access the foundation walls.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Handheld power planer
  • Drywall panel
  • Pencil
  • Velcro tape
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Baseboard molding
  • Attach any permanent wall panels that will sit adjacent to the removable wall in the usual way, nailing them to the wood furring strips on your masonry wall so that the ends of the panel are at the center of the strips that frame the portion of the wall you wish to access.

  • Measure the distance between the permanent wall edges with a tape measure.

  • Cut a panel of drywall or whatever material you’re using as a wall covering to the measured width. Make certain the panel is tall enough to run from floor to ceiling. Mark the cutting line onto the panel with a pencil, and then score the line with a utility knife. Snap or cut the panel along the scored line.

  • Use a handheld power planer to remove a layer of wood from the uncovered halves of the furring strips equal to the depth of two of the Velcro strips of tape when pressed together. Set the depth of the planer to half that needed, then make two runs across the wood to remove the wood to the required depth.

  • Cut strips of Velcro tape long enough to run the full height of the wall furring studs. Remove the protective backing from the tape, and then place the tape onto the wall studs. Place strips of the Velcro tape on the back of the paneling to match the locations of the studs.

  • Press the paneling in place between the permanent wall pieces. The Velcro should hold the paneling securely against the furring strips. With the layer of wood removed from the furring strip, the panel should fit flush with the surface of the adjacent panels.

  • Paint the entire drywall surface the same color, and then apply any baseboard or trim to the drywall, using a separate section of trim for the removable wall section.

Tips & Warnings

  • Build longer walls in paneled sections no wider than three or four feet to avoid the weight of the panels pulling them down.
  • Wear safety goggles and a face mask when planing the strips to avoid inhaling wood dust or getting dust into your eyes.

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