How to Finish Basement Support Posts

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When finishing a basement room, there is a difficult matter to deal with in the form of how to go about hiding the support posts. These posts are used to support the main floor beam above. Covering them with wallboard involves first building a wood stud frame for mounting the walls, often in the center of a large, open room. Making these small walls straight and sturdy is the key to a good support framing and finish.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Construction square
  • 2-by-4 boards
  • Concrete nails
  • Plumb bob
  • 2-inch framing nails
  • 3-inch wood screws
  • Drywall
  • Drywall screws
  • Corner flashing
  • Drywall tape
  • Joint compound
  • Sandpaper
  • Determine the size for the finished frame, but don’t go smaller than 10 inches on all sides. Twelve inches is a good number and is easy to work with. Use a construction square and a pencil to mark out the location of the bottom frame. It is important that this frame be perfectly straight and square.

  • Lay two 12-inch 2-by-4 boards on opposite sides of the pole aligned perfectly with the squared line. On the other sides, fit two 5-inch wood pieces tightly into place on the other lines. Attach the longest bottom plates first using concrete nails or other fastener depending on the type of flooring. Attach the other two in line with the first.

  • Hang a plumb bob from the ceiling and align it over the outer edge of the bottom frame. Note the location on the ceiling joists with a pencil. Use the construction square to note the outline of the top plate and connect the plates with framing nails following the same method as the floor.

  • Measure the distance between the top and bottom plates and cut 2-by-4 stud boards. Each corner needs two boards for a total of eight. Connect two boards together using 3-inch wood screws and fit them into place at the corner of the frame. Place a toe nail into the base and one at the top to hold the studs in place. Repeat for the other three corners and then go back to mount the studs permanently with 3-inch screws.

  • Verify that the studs are square and then cut drywall pieces to fit the four sides, and secure them into place into the studs with drywall screws. Add metal corner flashing and use drywall tape and joint compound before sanding the walls smooth to complete.

Tips & Warnings

  • Have help when working with studs or drywall to avoid accidents or injury.
  • Use eye protection when working with lumber and a face mask for drywall dust.

References

  • “Remodeling a Basement: Expert Advice from Start to Finish;” Roger German; 2004
  • “Black & Decker Complete Guide to Finishing Basements: Step-by-step Projects for Adding Living Space without Adding On;” Editors of Creative Publishing; 2009
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images
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