Step 2 – Frame Basement Wall
Framing the basement walls is very straight forward. Use traditional wall framing techniques with two slight modifications. First I recommend installing a piece of composite decking (Trex, TimberTech, etc.) on the slab (use a Powder Actuated Tool to shoot the decking into the slab) below where the wall bottom plate will rest.
By installing a piece of composite decking (see arrow in photo) you will ensure that water does not “wick” up into the wall should there ever be any water leaks in the basement. Next just frame the wall with a pressure treated bottom plate and stand it up. Nail the top plate into the first floor joists and then nail the bottom plate into the composite decking. Be sure to plumb the wall with a builders level.
Step 3 – Insulate Stud Wall Cavity
Now you’re ready to insulate the stud wall cavity. There are a couple of options here as well. You can insulate the wall with fiberglass insulation, you can use wet sprayed cellulose insulation or you could use spray foam insulation. I insulated my basement walls with fiberglass insulation. For this house we’ll be using wet sprayed cellulose insulation. I’ll be sure to write several posts about the spray applied cellulose insulation when we get to that step of this project.
Rim Joist Insulation
Don’t forget to insulate your rim joists. Rim Joist Insulation is a very important component of the basement insulation process. There are several options including spray foam, foam board and fiberglass insulation. We recommend using rigid foam board insulation if you’re going the DIY route.
There have been tons of questions about whether or not to use a vapor barrier. The discussion is complicated so we wrote another article about the topic. Please check out: Vapor Barriers For Basement Insulation.