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Thread: Basement shop worth it to frame out walls

  1. #1

    Question Basement shop worth it to frame out walls

    I moved earlier this year and went from a garage shop to a basement shop. Granted it is a slightly larger area about 21x40 and has double doors with a ramp so moving equipment in was not an issue. It was a big mess up until now because I had to dump everything from my shed in there too. I just finished building a shed and now starting to get my shop set back up, but 3 of the walls are just the concrete foundation. I have thought about framing this out and would put 1-1/2" foam first then 2x4 wall. Any thoughts on pros and con on doing this. One big con is I see is I would loose about 32 sq/ft. Any advice from other basement shop people?
    Last edited by Matthew Sherman; 12-08-2021 at 5:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Framing out makes it easier to setup various kinds of storage and tool support setups because fastening things to a concrete wall is "not fun". Painting the block can also be "not fun" for some folks. But you don't have to do a full stud wall. You can use furring strips with foam insulation between them and then mount whatever wall covering you wish to use. I used half-studs 16" OC in my old shop building which had concrete block walls, insulated between them and the put up my wall covering. (Thinner T1-11 in that case on one end and painted OSB on the other end that was finished out later) I used a powder actuated nail device to fasten the furring to the wall. This method substantially reduces the impact on space. Do note that if you plan on hanging anything truly heavy, you still want to get proper anchors in to the concrete wall for that.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    I have concrete on two walls. So far I have left them bare. Although I think noise might be improved if I put a layer of sheetrock over them. But I am always worried about moisture/mold buildup if a trapped space. The temperature gradients may not be high for a basement wall, but moisture leaks might. The ability to monitor moisture is enough to sway it for me to not cover them.

    Hanging shelves/etc has been done with Tapcon screws.

  4. #4
    I would leave as is for awhile, at least until you find out if moisture is present.

  5. #5
    Glue 2" foam to the concrete, it provides insulation and controls moisture. I would then frame it out with 2x4's myself and finish with plywood or drywall if it was mine.

  6. #6
    I painted my basement walls with the UGL paint after using the UGL etch. The room was substantially brighter and I think it helped with humidity in the space too. Id paint it first and see how you like it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    I agree with Bryan, first give it a year to be sure you are dry. Even if there are no watermarks, seeing it dry at the spring melt will be reassuring. You might try heating the space this winter to estimate how much insulation to put in.

    Once dry I would insulate and frame have a place to run juictricity. Then cover the studs.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    My shop has both bare concrete and 2x4 framing over concrete. Both work fine, OSB over the framing sure makes it look more like a shop though and affords opportunities to hang stuff on the wall, at a price of reducing shop area.
    NOW you tell me...

  9. #9
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    Location would be helpful - you can add it to your profile and it will appear w/ posts.

    Id design walls very differently if I lived in South Georgia than if I lived in Upstate NY or Seattle.

    Not much advantage to a 2x4 wall other than it a place to put batt insulation - which prob. isnt necessary. A thin wall like Jim made or battens on foam into the walls is usually sufficient to cover the design goals.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2021
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    +1 on waiting. It may take a year to get a soaking rain to test for moisture penetration. The last thing you want is moisture hidden behind wood walls causing mold issues. Even if dry I would apply a waterproof barrier just in case. Even then I might pick Random sections for this treatment instead of 100%. You may want some partitions in places which will add some added wall space too.

  11. #11
    Sounds like it is good idea to wait for now. I am in Ohio and house is around 20 years old. I do have a little water intrusion is one little spot where there is a small crack near one of the tie strap when they poured the foundation, but I know it is from the corner downspout not draining water away far enough. I am planning to tie it into an underground drain tile this coming spring.

  12. #12
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    Good luck getting set up. A quick painting would brighten and might reveal moisture.

    One note to check your local codes if you cover as plywood may not be permitted as a covering in an interior residential space.

  13. #13
    I had a basement shop for 8 years and didn't need to frame it out. Temperature stayed consistent all year and didn't have any moisture issues, but YMMV. The only reason I thought of doing anything to the walls was because of the lighting I thought about painting it all white. I liked having the concrete walls because I had all my storage and shelves on wheels and I could move stuff around when and where I needed it and didn't need anything hung on the walls.

  14. #14
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    Foam plus sleepers then a wall covering--plywood if you can afford it-- is the way to go. You don't want insulation that can absorb moisture in a basement. Insulation will make the place much more comfortable as well as more efficient.

    No particular reason to wait, there's nothing particularly effective you can do from the inside to stop water infiltration. You either need to dig it up and repair or install the exterior water barrier or if there's serious water, dig a french drain around the perimeter, either inside or outside. First thing to do is to make sure your exterior grading is correct and downspouts empty well away from the building. Concrete in the ground in Ohio will almost always be wet unless you have really exceptional waterproofing, closed cell XPS foam is pretty impervious to water. The furring strips will hold the wall board out from the insulation, providing ventilation to keep the wall dry. As long as you keep the materialz that have the goodies the mold/fungus like to eat dry you won't have a mold problem.

    Vapor barriers in basements is a fraught subject; I believe they can work, but depend on perfect installation and no penetrations, so have come around to the view that it's better to leave them out. If I were to install one I'd put it up against the concrete.

  15. #15
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    The ridgid XPS foam if taped at the seams will act as a vapor barrier. Even w/o the tape it's still acts as a vapor barrier for all intents and purposes.

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