We are novice DIYers attempting to finish our garage walls in a 10 year old Ryan Home with a poured concrete foundation. I had planned to lay the 2x4s flat against the wall, meaning I need a fastener of 1.5" for the lumber and additional length for the concrete.
Initially I purchased a Ryobi hammer drill and two packs of Tapcon 2 1/4" concrete anchors which came with a drill bit. We were able to drill one hole with difficulty and the bit was burnt out by the time our second hole was barely started. I tried drilling several different places in case I was hitting reinforcement. At this point I was concerned I had done something wrong and damaged the bit.
I stopped at Ace hardware and asked their advice and they weren't sure what was causing the problem. They recommended I try a powder nail gun, which I purchased along with Ramset 3" pins and yellow loads (listed as 4/5 power, the strongest Ace had). When I tried this the nail was still protruding 3/4" from the wood, which means that it made it less than 3/4" into the concrete. This has led me to believe that there is some sort of reinforcement in the wall or in the way the concrete was mixed that is causing problems.
Is there something special about some concrete walls that needs to be taken into account and worked around when finishing them out? What could cause the standard methods of securing lumber to concrete to fail like this? Should I simply try again with the same powder load and a 2 1/2" pin?
Given the difficulty in getting through the concrete, would it work to treat it more like an interior wall and completely frame it on the floor, then lay the whole thing against the wall? That would allow the 2x4s to provide structural support against each other instead of the wall, minimizing the concrete anchors I need. It would also address issues with the concrete wall not being completely flat.
Or would that not be a good idea?