Back again with another framing question that I simply haven't been able to answer.


For Reference:

  • Gray - Concrete
  • Pink - XPS Insulation
  • Darker Browns - Existing Wood
  • Light Brown w/ Dashes - new wall placement)

The concrete foundation on one side of my house steps up as the outside grade rises. Above the concrete is the exterior load-bearing wall. My idea (to conserve additional space), was to frame knee-wall height non-bearing walls along these walls. I have seen this done in other houses and would provide me with useful space.

My questions is: How do I properly attach these new lower walls to the upper walls in a way that will meet code, or do I need to approach this differently?

  • why do they need to be attached? I have finished many basements and have come across this situation a couple of time and never thought to attach to upper-outer wall. You should attach that framing from above (nail it into joist or joist-crosses) and below (nail it into concrete). It isn't a load bearing wall so there is not a need of oversecuring. I almost think attaching there could cause issues...
    – DMoore
    Jun 14, 2013 at 17:16
  • Think of it as a half-height wall -- there would be no joist to attach to.
    – Jacob S
    Jun 14, 2013 at 18:27
  • why aren't you taking this wall to the ceiling? so there will be a few inches of extra space after halfway up? I think you are making this really hard.
    – DMoore
    Jun 14, 2013 at 20:38
  • @DMoore -- I agree it would be easier to take it all the way up, however, the additional 6"-8" will actually provide a huge amount of storage space (6" x 5ft x 20ft = 50ft of lost storage space). This will be a workshop where storage space will always be at a premium in order to have room for larger equipment.
    – Jacob S
    Jun 17, 2013 at 13:36
  • There is 5 feet between the two walls?
    – DMoore
    Jun 17, 2013 at 16:38

1 Answer 1


As I understand your question, you do not want to run the inside wall all the way to the ceiling so that you can keep the wall space above the new knee walls. If so you will certainly want to cap the space at the top of the knee wall to leave a good grounding for a finished surface. One way that you can do this is to attach a 2x2 to the inside of the exterior wall and then bridge across from the exterior wall and the top of the knee wall. The bridging plank can be cut to width from a standard sized plank such as a 2x10 or 2x12. Installation in this manner will both support the top of your knee wall and cover the gap between the two walls.

enter image description here

In terms of finishing you could choose to cover this area with drywall or a nice looking board that you would finish to suit your needs.

  • Thanks. This does look like a good potential solution. I'm going to mark it as accepted since it will take time for me to determine if this will meet my local codes.
    – Jacob S
    Jun 17, 2013 at 13:38
  • In the above picture, it looks like the knee wall ledge is significantly above where the cement block/foundation ends. Is this just for ease of illustration? I.e. would it be reasonable to set the ledge 3" above where the foundation ends (1" clearance over the block, ~2" of 2x2 for support).
    – Joseph
    May 27, 2014 at 23:39

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