DIY Basement Layout and Design just got a whole lot easier!

Basement Layout and Design is a very important step to finishing your basement. It is important to decide where all walls, lights, switches, outlets and other mechanicals will be located before you start building. When laying out doors and walls in a basement, great care must be taken as to where they are placed. You always want to be sure you include space for all utilities, built in fixtures and plan ahead for door openings. Click here to watch a Video: Basement Layout and Design

Spacing of wall studs must also be considered. They cannot be placed just anywhere. Keep in mind that most drywall sheets and other wall finishes come in 4'x 8' sheets. You will want to layout your walls carefully to avoid floating joints and not waste material.

Layout and Design for your Basement

The most common layout for wall framing is 16" on center. When laid out and framed correctly, the edge of the drywall or other finish will break on the center of the studs in 4' increments. This will keep your waste to a minimum.

To layout your basement walls, you will first need to mark the top and bottom edges of the first wall. I usually like to start near the corner of the basement and layout my longest wall first. I use a laser level and a tape measure to mark this wall both on the basement floor and the ceiling. After marking this wall, I will use a tape measure to mark openings where doors and other openings will go. Then I will go ahead and mark the floor where studs, outlets, and other fixtures will go.

After marking my first wall, I will continue to one of the walls on the end. I always like to layout the outside walls first. This will make it much easier to layout closets, bathrooms and other rooms. For example, When I am marking my closet and I realize that the wall is going to fall between 2 studs, I can easily make the closet 8" bigger or smaller and save myself from framing in an extra corner joint.

Wall layout is a fairly simple process with the proper tools. Don't forget to plan ahead so the edges of the drywall don't end up in the center of the studs. After you get a floor plan together you can go on to the next step which is: How to Frame a Basement

Tips & Tricks I will always try to set my openings so they fall within the wall studs. I know this will make my framing much easier.

Tips & Tricks When you need a measurement between two walls, and you canít reach the whole way across with a tape you can use a laser tape. Set the laser in the middle of the room and use it to measure to one wall. Rotate the laser and measure to the opposite wall. Add the two dimensions for the total length.

Tips & Tricks Buy a top-quality 30ft. tape with a 1-in. wide blade. The extra stiffness provided by the wide blade allows you to extend the tape farther before it buckles. This is a great help for all kinds of measuring tasks but is especially useful when youíre working alone or from a ladder.

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