framed basement walls not straight

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Old 09-05-19, 08:17 PM
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framed basement walls not straight

Hello,

I am finishing a basement of a new to me house. When I moved in the exterior walls were framed and insulated. Now that I have started framing interior walls I have found that the extrerior are pretty far off due to the drain tile around the bottom. Whoever did this did not take into account the 1.5 inch gap on the floor so the walls lean out at the top if this makes sense. So wondering what my options are to make the drywall straight besides using some large shims? Has anyone seen this before or have any better ideas?
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Old 09-05-19, 08:29 PM
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First, establish plumb on each end of the wall (in front of the bottom plate) with a mark. Then snap a chalk line to connect those two points. That is where the bottom plate should be. If the bottom plate was shot down with a powder actuated gun, you won't be able to move it. But on the off chance that they used screws, you could unscrew and possibly move the plate over to the line. But if they glued it, that won't work either.

So, in that case you would want to rip wood down with a skilsaw to fit between the front of the plate and your chalk line. Pretty easy, really if you can measure and just transfer those marks onto a long 2x4 and then cut accurately. Then nail that board that you just scribed onto the front of the plate, and it will be straight as an arrow.

Then use a Sawzall and a thin metal only blade (very fine teeth, like the Milwaukee Torch blades) and cut under the bottom of each stud to cut the nails free... but do not cut anything off the bottom of the stud. Takes practice but you should be able to just follow the bottom plate along and zip off all those nails fairly quickly. Then just move them out to the "new" front edge of the bottom plate and use 3 fasteners to reattach them... 2 on one side, one in the other.

After doing that, the bottom of the wall will likely be even straighter than the top.
 
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Old 09-06-19, 04:08 AM
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Can't you just install inner wall to ceiling and floor and then fill the gap with inner wall sheathing. There will be a 1.5 inch gap at the top of the inner wall with the outer wall. Scribe the drywall (inner wall sheathing) to match the outer wall.
 
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Old 09-06-19, 04:16 AM
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It sounds like the bottom of the walls can stay where they are but the top needs to move out 1 1/2". If that is the case I would use a reciprocating saw to cut the nails attaching the top of the wall to the ceiling (floor above). Then hopefully you can pull the top of the walls out to make them plumb/vertical.
 
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Old 09-06-19, 04:31 AM
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I apparently misunderstood what he meant by "top of the wall leans out". I thought he meant the top leans out toward you. If the top leans away from you the try to pull the nails holding the top plate with a cats paw and see if you can pry the top plate out. Or use my suggestion earlier... but substitute "top plate" for "bottom plate" in the instructions.
 
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Old 09-07-19, 05:58 AM
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Thanks for the advice. I do believe my best option is to try to pull the top plate out. A much larger job than I want to deal with the walls are 12 ft and 20 ft. They also put up insulation and plastic. Not sure how or why someone would put up walls this far off...
 
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