How do I convert to floating walls in Colorado?


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Old 02-26-21, 10:21 AM
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How do I convert to floating walls in Colorado?

First time posting on here, so forgive me if this is addressed on another thread. I am purchasing a home in Colorado Springs. The previous homeowner finished the basement themselves without a permit and never got it inspected (although it looks like good work in general). I want to file the permit and get everything approved. However, it appears they did NOT float any of the walls. So, I have two questions:

1. What is the best way to convert the existing walls into floating walls?
2. Do the perimeter walls have to be floated (there seems to be differing opinions) to pass inspection, or just interior walls?
 
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Old 02-26-21, 11:13 AM
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Why do you need floating walls? Is that a local code requirement? Is the bottom plate in the existing walls pressure treated?
 
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Old 02-26-21, 11:30 AM
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It IS required by code here in Colorado for basements. It appears that the bottom plates are treated from the small section I could see in the utility room.
 
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Old 02-26-21, 12:04 PM
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My understanding of a floating wall is there is supposed to be an air gap between the bottom of the wall and the floor beneath which in a basement is probably cement. If the wall bottom sill plates (usually PT lumber) are attached to the cement, I see no way of accomplishing the air gap without destroying some portion of the walls.
If you haven't signed the purchase agreement, get the seller to bring the walls up to code or reduce the price in kind. If he won't, walk away.
 
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Old 02-26-21, 12:57 PM
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If they do reduce the price, what's the best way for me to bring it up to code?
 
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Old 02-26-21, 01:40 PM
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Did you have the home inspected? They should be able to tell you what doesn't meet local code. Difficult to respond about fixing without seeing it in person. Pictures may help. Things I would look for is how are the bottom plates attached to cement floor, are walls finished on both sides, how are walls attached at joists, what are my options for securing the bottom plates, etc.. Regarding interior versus exterior walls, my opinion is any wall in the basement is an interior wall. In my opinion, the reason for floating walls in the basement is if the basement floor rises or the foundation settles or both, the basement walls don't torque the construction above.
 
 

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