By finishing a basement or concrete wall, the area becomes livable. You can approach the process in two ways: installing a foam filled 2×2 wall that saves space or using a fiberglass-insulated 2×4 wall that is easier to put together. Each type of wall creates a ¾-inch thick moisture barrier that protects the foundation wall from absorbing exterior moisture and eliminates condensation created by interior humidity. After deciding on the preferred material, follow the steps below to add a room to your house.
You will need:
• Fiberglass insulation
• 2×4 or 2×2 lumber
• Circular saw
• Rigid insulation
• 2×4 treated green lumber
• Conduit or cable (for all electrical boxes)
• Utility knife
• Screws (either 3-inch concrete or drywall, 1 ½-inch concrete, or 1 ¼-inch drywall, based on wall used)
• Hammer or hammer drill (based on wall used)
• Tape measure
Step 1: Determine whether moisture issues are present in your basement and address any problems. Grading may need to be adjusted to direct the water runoff from the house or gutters or downspouts might need to be added or repaired. If you have a more serious water problem, drain tiling or waterproofing the exterior of the home may be necessary. Resolve all water issues before finishing walls or moisture may get trapped behind a finished wall, causing damage.
Step 2: A simple approach involves framing 2×4 studded walls with pressure-treated bottom plates and filling each of the walls with a fiberglass insulation. The installation process is fast and there will be enough space for electrical wiring. It is not difficult to cut fiberglass insulation and no furring strips need be fastened to concrete.
Instead, use concrete screws to push the walls against the fiberglass insulation and anchor them to concrete slabs. Anchor the walls to the ceiling with 3-inch screws for drywall. Since the wall traps moisture, a vapor barrier becomes unnecessary. The main negative point is that each of the walls takes away approximately six inches from the floor.
Step 3: An alternate approach involves attaching 2x2s to the wall and installing foam insulation, which saves some floor space. Nail or screw a 2×2 board atop your wall. Attach another to the bottom of floor joists. Put a single treated 2×4 up to the bottom of your wall and use 3-inch screws for concrete to attach it to the foam type insulation and screw into your concrete. Determine the stud positions on bottom plates and screw the pressure treated 2x2s into your basement wall using three screws that are spaced evenly.
Rip foam insulation so it fits between these boards and use it to fill the area. Hang drywall using 1 ¼-inch screws for drywall. Electrical boxes should be steel and 1 ¼-inch deep. Run all electric cable through metallic electrical tubing, running tubes between the furring strips. Use 1 ½-inch concrete screws to screw boxes and conduit strips through insulation into concrete.