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I'm looking to finish my basement and simply want to wall off the concrete blocks that make up the wall. I want to insulate it as well so that it becomes a usable family room when I'm done. How do I go about installing a wall given wooden beams in the ceiling and a concrete floor?

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You're in a basement - are there any traces of damp? –  Jeremy McGee Jul 21 '10 at 19:18
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up vote 11 down vote accepted

You shouldn't have to do anything too special, but here are a few tips from my experience:

  1. Use a treated board for the bottom of the wall where it touches the concrete. This will help to prevent rotting from any moisture that may seep up from the concreate.

  2. Build the whole wall on the ground just a bit shorter than the lowest joist/beam so you can easily raise it into place without it getting stuck.

  3. At the bottom secure it with cement nails/ramset/tapcon screws to the cement floor.

  4. At the top, if the wall is perpendicular to the joists, you can shim between the bottom of the beams and the top of the wall and nail through those to attach it to the joists/beams.

  5. If the wall runs parallel to the beams/joists you can either put scraps between the beams and nail to those or you can attach a scrap of 2x4 flatwise to the wall and up against a stud, attach it to the cement wall, then nail through the stud and into the side of the scrap. Do that for every other stud or so.

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+1 except for just using treated wood. Wrap the bottom of the wall so the wood does not touch concrete, even treated wood can rot. –  Tester101 Jul 21 '10 at 19:40
    
@Tester101 - yes, Ideally you would want to wrap it with flashing or something. Treated wood will last for a very, very long time though - probably 30+ years as long as it doesn't get too wet down there. –  Eric Petroelje Jul 21 '10 at 19:42
    
Good note on the treated wood, i didnt even think of that. I have a stack of framing boards in my basement but none are treated. I'll invest in some better boards for the bottom. –  JoshReedSchramm Jul 21 '10 at 19:56
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I'd like to also add : when it comes time to sheet it, if using drywall, do not run it to the ground, but leave a few inches of void space, and cover over with the base boards -- this way should you get standing water, you're less likely to have it wick into the drywall and have to tear it out. –  Joe Jul 21 '10 at 22:31
    
Typically treated lumber is required by code for slab-contact applications. –  Mike Powell Jul 26 '10 at 5:10
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It's just an ornamental wall it sounds like, so do it as cheap as you can :)

Since you've got a beam in the ceiling, I'd just build a minimal frame out of 2x4s, nail it into the ceiling beams where you can, stick fiberglass insulation in the spaces between studs and then drywall over that.

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If you're in a basement with any sign of damp, I'd at least make sure that the void behind the drywall has ventilation of some kind. That might be as simple as knocking through to the void in the ceiling. –  Jeremy McGee Jul 21 '10 at 19:29
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It might be a good idea to wrap the bottom of the wall as well, wood and concrete don't mix and should never touch. –  Tester101 Jul 21 '10 at 19:37
    
+1 for simplicity and not overworking the solution. Non-load bearing is the key. –  allindal Apr 27 '11 at 2:15
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