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I had a french drain / water management system in my basement to deal with leaky walls, and as part of the installation the contractor had to cut in around my foundation. To give themselves room to jackhammer, they cut the bottom 6-8" off of the walls all the way around one side of the basement.

Now I'm left with 3 non-load bearing walls that are essentially just hanging from the ceiling. I'd like repair the walls, but I'm looking for some advice. I was looking to put down a new pressure treated 2x4 across the floor, then add 2x4 to extend the studs down to the floor again.

Frankly, I was pretty surprised by the whole thing, so I'm happy to hear suggestions how to fix this mess. Attached is a picture in case I'm not clear.

cut off wall

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I would do exactly that using PT lumber for the plate and the extensions. You'll need a powder load gun to fasten the plate to the concrete. I would cut the extensions to go under the existing studs (tightly) and sister a piece to tie the stud and extension together. How do you plan to fix the wainscoting/paneling? My guess is you will probably end up tearing all of that off. In which case--it may be simpler to replace the entire stud (depending on how the electrical/plumbing is routed)?.

  • This answer is spot on and I can't imagine that the paneling was in good condition to begin with given the water issue. – MonkeyZeus Nov 5 at 15:17
  • Thank you. I'll give that a go. You can't tell from the pic, but the beadboard is really just below a chair rail, and I'm trying to avoid ripping out the rest of the wall above it and the drop ceiling. I'll follow your advice. The beadboard itself is trash, and I'm going to replace it. – Maxwell Bottiger Nov 5 at 20:29

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