Is this the year you've promised yourself you're going to organize your
basement once and for all? It's a noble goal, but difficult for
one reason: if you have an unfinished basement, organizing it will always
seem like an unfinished project. One way to begin bringing order to your
basement--and to begin the process of finishing your basement--is to build
interior walls along your basement's exterior walls. (Note: If your
basement is prone to flooding or excessive moisture on the exterior walls,
you should deal with that problem first.)
How to Build Basement Walls
Building walls in your basement is simple, if not easy. The first step is
to attach the lower wall plate--usually a 2x8 or larger board--to the
basement floor, 3/4 of an inch from the exterior wall. You can anchor the
wall plate to the concrete floor by drilling through the wall plate and
two inches into the floor using a hammer drill with a 1/4-inch bit. Do
this every four to six feet. Hammer two 16d sinker nails through each
hole, and the wall plate should be secure. Attach the upper wall plate to
the ceiling joists so it is plumb with the lower plate, then install wall
studs every 16 inches on center. With this done, you're ready for
insulation and drywall.
Why to Build Basement Walls
Basement walls can aid in organization in tangible and intangible ways.
The presence of the walls and the studs behind them make it simple to add
built in shelves, hooks, and peg boards that make organization easier.
Insulating the walls will moderate basement temperatures, making it a more
pleasant place to work and lowering heating bills to boot. And even if you
don't choose to paint the walls, the wall board itself will brighten the
space much more than masonry walls, which also makes it a more pleasant
place in which to work. Finally, if you hope to finish your basement some
day, with the walls installed, most of the heavy work is already done.
About the author
Brett Freeman is a freelance journalist. He also owns a landscaping
and irrigation company in North Carolina. Previously he has worked as a
beat reporter, a teacher, and for a home improvement company, and he used
to own a bar/live music venue.