2014 Basement Renovation 04 – Rough Framing

Rough framing is not particularly glamorous, but I do feel pretty good about having accomplished it. It took a little longer than I expected, but I’m betting that’s mostly because I was more anal about it than I needed to be. And also because I’m not very good at it yet. For example, I was consistently cutting things about 3/8″ too long for some reason. Still not sure if that was because the clip on the end of my tape measure is bent at an extreme angle, or because I don’t know how to measure, or because I don’t know how to work a table saw. Any way you cut it (har) it was annoying to have to always go back and trim studs by the width of a sawblade. On the plus side of that, it meant that all my fits were nice and snug, probably more snug than they really needed to be. It all got done, and I’m even pretty sure that the door fits where it’s supposed to.

BR04_RF Complete

The two most exciting things for this part of the renovation happened at the beginning. First, when I was making my shopping list, I remembered that the toilet flange was only 14″ off the masonry at the rear of the house. This meant that I couldn’t build with full studs in that part of the powder room because if I did that my toilet wouldn’t fit. In fact, no toilet would have fit, at least not one that I wouldn’t have to order special. Toilets usually have their rough-in location 12″ off the wall, which means I only have 2″ to work with.

BR04_RF Toilet

In the picture above, the entire wall assembly (studs, substrate and finish, in this case, tile) has to fit between the end of my tape measure and the block wall. If you look all the way to the right, I would have already been over this limit if I had used full studs at this location. (If you’re wondering why I have a scrap piece of wood and a rock on top of the toilet hole, it’s to keep the stink in). You might remember that I was loath to use furring strips because it meant I would have to puncture the waterproof barrier I just installed. What I did was fasten the furring strips at the top into the wooden sill plate, and then use liquid nails and pressure to stick them to the rest of the wall. You’re supposed to fasten them at the bottom, too, but I didn’t. Half because I didn’t want to puncture the barrier, half because I was sick of the hammer drill. Hopefully my powder room doesn’t collapse.

The other “exciting” thing was that I would have an excuse to buy a hammer drill. A hammer drill is the tool that you use to drill into masonry and concrete. As it turns out, though, the hammer drill is not actually all that much fun to use. It’s really loud (which is pretty cool), but it doesn’t exactly tear through concrete like butter. You really have to put your weight behind it, and I have plenty of weight and it was still difficult for me. I got the hang of it, though, and it went a little faster when I learned to just abandon the holes that wouldn’t go through for some reason. Hopefully nobody will ever open the walls and discover my failure to penetrate where the concrete was too dense.

BR04_RF Shame

Hopefully this turns out to be the most important thing about rough framing: that you remember to build your corners so that you always have something behind your substrate to fasten into.

BR04_RF Corners

Otherwise something else is the most important thing and I forgot to do it.

Electric-wise, the only thing that I changed was the location of the outlets. I also replaced the outlets themselves with new properly grounded ones. I didn’t have to run anything back to the panel, which is good because I don’t know how to do that. I did have to open up all of the boxes so that I could chase the wires through the holes I drilled through them. And I only shocked myself twice! Success!

BR04_RF Electrical

Next is installing the … wait. Impromtpu reader poll!

Hopefully that works. It looks like you can only vote for a week, so do that now. And tell everyone to put their Christmas shopping on hold and answer, too.