How to Add a Wall in Your Basement

Lead Image
  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 150-300
What You'll Need
Measuring tape
2x4-inch lumber
Drywall sheets
Spirit level
Concrete nails
Joint tape

To make the best use of your basement, you may have to add wall partitions to divide the space up. Building a new internal wall in the basement often means building around obstructions on the ceiling, so it's important to take your measurements very carefully. It's quite a simple task to undertake on your own if you follow these instructions.

Prepare Perimeter Walls

Before you build an internal wall, make sure that the perimeter walls have been dry-walled or at least sealed against water. Doing so will protect the new wall from mold and mildew. If you are going to use the new room as an extra living space, it is also recommended that you insulate the walls to make it more energy-efficient.

Install Plates

Although you can add a new wall to a house by framing it and raising it into position, the irregularity of a typical basement makes it more efficient to use the stick build method. In this method, the wall is built in place.

Position a top plate of 2x4-inch wood the length of your intended wall perpendicular to the floor joists of the room above. Install a parallel piece of 2x4-inch lumber on the concrete floor and hold it in place with adhesive and concrete nails. Use string to form a plumb line and ensure that the bottom plate is perfectly lined-up with the top one.

Use pressure-treated lumber for the bottom plate, as it isn't uncommon for it to soak moisture from the concrete over time, causing untreated wood to expand.

Install Studs

Attach a piece of 2x4-inch lumber as a wall stud every 16-inches along the new wall from floor to ceiling. Measure the required size for each stud as many basement floors are uneven and the distance to the ceiling may vary.

Install Electrical Points

Once the stud work is complete, install any electrical or light sockets required. You may want to hire a professional electrician to complete this work if you are not experienced.

If you do complete the work yourself, make sure that you turn off the main supply while working to prevent injury. Normal building codes call for an electrical socket every 4-feet along the wall.

Add Drywall

Attach a moisture-resistant drywall product to the stud work. Cover the points where the drywall sheets meet in joint tape and smooth the walls by applying sheetrock mud. Let the mud dry thoroughly before sanding it lightly and applying a second layer. Once the second layer of sheetrock mud is dry, sand it, then apply a coat of primer before painting the wall.