Finishing a Basement Part 6 - Framing Corners, Doors, and Ceilings

wall frame
  • 40 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 1,000
What You'll Need
2x4-inch Lumber
1x3-inch strapping
Nails
Screws
Safety glasses
Hammer
Power screwdriver
Circular saw
Square
Lever
Plumb bob

In order to finish your basement, you will need to frame corners, doors, and ceilings. These tips will help you with the job.

Framing Corners

Build a 3-stud corner where the framing meets at the corners. When you start framing your walls, nail three studs together and place them at the end of the plates, then install your other studs on their 16-inch centers from the end.

Fasten the first wall section in place, then build your second wall section. With the second section, install a single stud right at the end of the plates, where it will butt against the three studs on the other wall section. Fasten the corners together by nailing through the single stud into the three studs.

If you need to run any wires or cables through your corners, you can alter the design slightly by using 2x4-inch pieces sandwiched between the two studs, rather than a full stud. Using pieces will give you an opening through which you can run cable.

Framing Doors

Your framed walls will likely need to accommodate doors. Make sure your finished door openings are large enough to easily move furniture in and out of the room. You should install at least a 32-inch wide door.

To allow for the installation of the door as well as the 3/4-inch casing, plus have room for shimming the door, you should frame the opening 2 inches wider than the door itself. For example, when using a 32-inch wide door frame the opening at 34-inches.

Frame extra space above the door, about 1.5-inches more than the height of the door. Since standard doors are 6-feet, 9-inches tall, your framed height should be 6-feet, 10.5-inches from where your finished floor will be. Use straight studs to frame the doors. Adding some extra side bracing will help stabilize the door.

Framing Ceilings

If you are planning to install a drywall ceiling, you must provide structure to attach the drywall. The easiest way to do so is to run 1x3-inch strapping or 3/4-inc boards perpendicular to the ceiling joists on 12-inch centers. These can be either nailed or screwed into the joists, although screws will provide much more reliability than the former. Doing so provides a solid foundation to hold the drywall as well as lots of room for running wires or plumbing pipes above the ceiling.

If you are going to install a suspended ceiling, you lose more headroom but you will not have to worry about framing the ceiling.