How to Build Walls in a Basement Using Pressure Treated Lumber

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In most locations building codes call for the use of pressure treated lumber for any construction within a basement environment. The pressure treated lumber will hold up much better in a wet or damp environment. This will help insure the integrity of your home and investment. When finishing a basement and adding interior walls, careful planning and preparation is required to insure satisfactory results.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape Measure
  • Level
  • Square
  • Hammer
  • Hammer drill
  • Anchor Bolts
  • 3 1/2 inch screws
  • Plan the layout of your walls. Using 2 inch by 4 inch boards, cut a board to lay out the diagram of your walls on the basement floor. This lay-out should include opening for doorways. When completed, check the lay-out to be certain it reflects your needs and desires for the space. This is the time to modify your plans, not after the walls have been erected.

  • Assemble one wall at a time, beginning with any long walls such as hallways. The walls will have a single 2 by 4 across the base and two 2 by 4's across the top of the wall. Since the basement ceilings may not be a standard 8 feet, take careful measurements before making any cuts.

  • Place studs on 16 inch centers. This will allow for easy installation of drywall or paneling. Screw the walls together for added strength. This will also make the walls much easier to take down should it ever become necessary. For larger wall sections have someone help you raise the walls into place. They should fit snugly against the overhead joist and in some areas may need to be hammered into place.

  • Use a level and square to make certain the walls are level and square When the wall is level and square, anchor it to the overhead joists using 3 1/2 inch screws. Check the level once again, then mark the location of the base of the wall on the basement floor.

  • Drill holes in the base plate every 24 to 28 inches. Use a hammer drill to drill through the stud and concrete until the hole is at least 2 inches into the concrete floor. Insert an anchor bolt and hammer it down. With the short anchor bolts hammering them down will normally set them in place. To be certain use a wrench to tighten the anchor in place.

  • Repeat this for each additional wall. At doorways you will want to install an anchor bolt on each side of the opening. Secure the walls where they intersect using 3 1/2 inch screws.

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  • Photo Credit lumber 1 image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com
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