How to Finish Basement Jack Posts

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Many basements include jack posts as part of the framing. Because they are metal, you must know how to frame around them and finish them in a way that enhances the overall design instead of detracting from it. When it fits in with your design plans, bury a jack post in a wall. Many times, however, they are located in the open and must be finished in a way that minimizes their profile.

Things You'll Need

  • Circular saw
  • Drill
  • Rotary hammer drill
  • Construction adhesive
  • Caulking gun
  • Level
  • L-brackets
  • 2 two-by-six studs
  • 8d framing nails or 2 1/4-inch drywall screws
  • 1-inch concrete drive-in anchors
  • 1/4-inch masonry bit
  • 1 1/4-inch drywall screws
  • 1/2-inch drywall
  • Joint compound
  • Corner bead
  • 100 grit sandpaper
  • Sander pole or sanding block
  • Cut two two-by-six studs to fit between the floor and the top of the post. Use treated lumber or cut a bottom plate out of treated lumber whenever contacting a concrete floor with framing members. Cut the studs a little long so that friction will help you hold them in place while attaching the L-brackets.

  • Apply construction adhesive liberally with a caulking gun to the side of the post. The adhesive helps to hold the stud firmly against the post and keeps the stud from bowing out and cracking the drywall.

  • Wedge the two-by-six in place and align it with the beam above. Use your level to set it plumb.

  • Attach the top of the two-by-six to the framing above with 8d framing nails or 2 1/2-inch drywall screws. If using screws, drill a pilot hole to keep the lumber from splitting.

  • Slide an L-bracket up to the bottom of the post and attach it with 1 1/4-inch drywall screws. If your brackets are narrow, install a bracket about 3/4 inch from each side.

  • Drill through the brackets into the concrete with a rotary hammer drill and a 1/4-inch masonry bit, then drive in the concrete anchors. Verify that the framing is set exactly vertical or plumb.

  • Install the other two-by-six on the opposite side of the jack post as described in Steps 2 through 6.

  • Install 1/2-inch drywall around the post. Run a corner bead with the caulking gun, finishing with joint compound, and sand smooth.

Tips & Warnings

  • To keep the finished post as narrow as possible, cut the studs to a width that is about 1/2 wider than the jack post. This allows you to set the post exactly vertical if it is not already. In some applications, you may need to attach L-brackets to the two-by-six studs and the beam above to firmly hold the post in place.

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References

  • Photo Credit couch and fire image by Charles Jacques from Fotolia.com
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