I have a finished basement wall that has an exposed header since removing a drop ceiling. My goal is to replace the ceiling with a flush ceiling, perhaps drywall or a joist-mount grid system. The way that it was blocked to the joists would not allow for a flush installation, so I'm going to fix it. Access to the other side of the joist is only through the slit you see in the picture below, and the next joist sits on a concrete wall for my basement. Is there a way to attach the wall that will allow me to remove this block? Perhaps with some drywall damage, could it be installed to the concrete wall? Can I use a bracket of some sort that can be installed through this small area?

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  • Where does that 2x4 end? Can you draw a top-down diagram? – longneck Sep 22 '15 at 14:59

I am assuming that this blocking is help stabalize the framed wall on the basement walls. Normally the blocking would be inside the joists so that the 2x4 is even with the bottom of the joists. Your wall was not put up this way.

Therefore your new ceiling is that low. You could cut out the 2x4 blocking, install like I said and add another 2x4 under all the way to the drywall and this would stabilize the wall - if done a few times per span.

However you have not much to attach drywall too. So you would also have to add vertical blocking every couple feed and add more drywall to make this right. If all of your walls are like this... sorry. This is a full days work considering the drywall and extra mud and tape. And even doing this isn't the "right" way. Your walls should be touching the top of the ceiling for lots of reasons.

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  • No quick fixes, eh? The biggest issue is that I can't access the far side of the joist on this particular 20' wall. There is only one other built like this, and it is accessible on both sides so I think I'll be able to fix that one as described. I'm wondering if I should just rebuild this wall, and run duplexes where I want them while I am at it (and insulate them properly). I got the house at a discount expecting some hidden issues. In the same ceiling is a "register" that was created by ripping a duct open for the floor above. – Peter DeWeese Sep 22 '15 at 19:06
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    If the wall is moveable then I would take it out and put another top or bottom plate on it. If you plan on having a decent sized trim you could put a 3 inch piece of drywall in and not have to mud and tape it... But it is hard to secure a double 2x4 to concrete if that is what you are going in. For the top plate you would need to detach the wall to make sure the top plate is secure and then block normally. If you can unattach the wall without busting everything up you could have it fixed in an hour. – DMoore Sep 22 '15 at 19:14
  • The wall wasn't removable so I had to rebuild it, so the final part of this answer about having the wall be full height was key. No shortcuts. – Peter DeWeese Jan 2 '16 at 18:16
  • There is nothing worse than taking a short cut and then having to deal with it 10x over. You did the right thing and even if doing it half-assed would have worked - you now have peace of mind and you know how to do it right. – DMoore Jan 2 '16 at 18:35

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