New home owner. I need to wire some ethernet and coax across the basement up into to the first floor wall. The perimeter wall is cinderblock, it is a twin and this is the shared wall. It looks framed. I believe I would want to go up through the sole plate? of the framed wall but there are two joists that run lengthwise across the basement that I can't get through very easily, there is a very little crack in the back of it I can scope up and can see what I believe is the first floor and not the sole plate.

Can I drill an angled hole through these joists and up into the wall behind the drywall or should I be worried about the structural integrity? Can I reinforce them? Looking for options.


First Floor

Basement Wall and Joists

More basement

Poor drawing of what I think is going on

  • Wood is much stronger than most people suspect Oct 31, 2017 at 14:44

3 Answers 3


You can drill through the plate anywhere you want to.

Ideally don't put any notches in the top 2" or bottom 2" of the middle third of the joist span. You can put a notch on the right or left third of the span in the top of the joist up to a sixth of the joist depth. A sixth of the depth of a 2x10 is 1-1/2", do just don't go deeper than that.

Dimensional Lumber Notch & Bored Holes

  • So I found that the 2x4 in the wall / sole plate isn't horizontal, it's vertical. I was still going to drill through this but my question is regarding the notches/ outer 1/3s. Can I drill it diagonally up slightly in the upper 2" of the joist to come out almost like a notch in the top of the second joist? I suppose it's not easy to add a notch after the fact?
    – TEEKAY
    Nov 5, 2017 at 22:38

A 5/8" or 3/4" bore through the joists and plate are not a structural concern. Ideally the hole would be in the center third of the joist, but since it's so small it can go anywhere. Heck, you could have knots that large at any location in your framing. I see several in the photo.


Small hole no Problem, (Co-Ax size). When possible, we try to stay to the center of the joist. Carry on!

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