GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted

Community and Q&A

Basement wall framing-double top plates?

PLIERS | Posted in General Questions on

About to frame my basement walls with 2×4.  The house was built in 1903, the joists of first floor sit on concrete foundation walls on each side with a carrier beam supporting the middle.  There are 3 windows that go right up to ceiling, there’s no concrete on top so there is a joist in the middle of each window sitting on nothing. I want to beef up 2×4 wall to help with structural support.  Should I use double top plate walls?  If I use 8 foot lumber, do I just stagger top plate breaks every 4 feet?  If I stagger it may be too heavy or complicated to build walls on floor and then lift them up.  What is a good method here, should I use the double top plate?


GBA Prime

Join the leading community of building science experts

Become a GBA Prime member and get instant access to the latest developments in green building, research, and reports from the field.


  1. Expert Member
    NICK KEENAN | | #1

    I'm trying to picture what you're describing. Are the joists parallel or perpendicular to the faces of the windows?

  2. PLIERS | | #2

    I attached a picture of one of the windows. This is the only one that has an actual 2x4 under the beam in window. Considering filling this in with concrete and ditching this particular window. It is exactly across from another window so if I get rid of this at least only 1 side of beam is unsupported

Log in or create an account to post an answer.


Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |