How to Firestop Your Basement

One of the most common things a DIYer neglects to do when finishing a basement is to install proper firestop per code.  Firestop is required by building code to impede a potential fire from spreading- which could come in handy if you’re doing your own electrical work.  :)

You will not pass your inspections from the local building department if you don’t install firestop as required.  So don’t forget to firestop!  If you don’t know how to install it, I’ll explain the code and how to meet these firestop requirements.

Basement Firestop Code Requirements

In the International Residential Code (IRC) section R602.8 it explains that firestop is required in basements:

  1. to form a fire barrier between stories.
  2. to separate wood-framed vertical chases from horizontal chases including soffits, drop ceilings, and cove ceilings, etc.
  3. in walls, every 10 feet minimum.
  4. at openings around vents, pipes, ducts, cables, and wires at ceiling/floor level.
The next section of the code, IRC R602.8.1, provides a list of approved firestop materials including:
  • 2-inch nominal lumber (2×4, 2×6, 2×8, etc.)
  • double layer of 1-inch nominal lumber (1×4, 1×6, 1×8, etc.)
  • 3/4″ (22/32″) OSB, or double layer of 1/2″ (7/16″) OSB
  • 3/4″ particle board
  • 1/2″ drywall
  • 1/4″ cement board
  • mineral or rock wool, installed securely in place
  • unfaced fiberglass batt insulation, tightly packed

Requirement #1:  Form a fire barrier between stories

This first rule is intended to prevent a potential basement fire from spreading to the main level of the house.  The top of exterior basement walls is one place where this rule applies.  Installing firestop at the top of exterior basement walls prevents a potential fire from spreading from this wall through the gap between the top plate and foundation wall, to the basement ceiling (or main level floor) above.

The typical way to firestop this area is by installing pieces of 3/4″ (or 22/32″) OSB at the top of all exterior basement walls.  It needs to be pushed tight against the mud sill and extend out above the top plate.  Here’s a section drawing of the top of a typical exterior basement wall (as if you sliced through it and looked at it from the side), showing the location of the firestop:

Start by laying out the exterior walls on the basement floor with chalk lines, then transfer these layout lines to the bottom of the floor joists above using a level and chalk line.  Then measure from the mud sill to this chalk line to determine how wide to cut the piece of firestop. Once cut, the strip of OSB firestop is nailed to the bottom of the floor joists.

Here’s what it looks like installed, before building the exterior wall:

If there’s a pipe in the way, just notch the firestop material to fit around it like this:

Here’s how it looks after the wall is framed:

Finally, seal any penetrations through your firestop, such as voids caused by pipes or wires passing through the firestop.  This can be done with firestop spray foam, such as this (that can be purchased at a home center for around $5 per can).

firestop foam

The firestop spray foam works great for filling small voids and penetrations, but if the void is too big, you might have to stuff rock wool or compressed unfaced fiberglass batt insulation (which are also approved firestop materials). Here’s how it looks after this is done:

Interior basement walls don’t need this type of OSB firestop because the 1/2″ sheetrock on both sides of the wall and the 2×4 top plate contains a potential fire, preventing it from spreading to the main level floor above.  (There is no air gap for the fire to pass through like there is at exterior walls).

Requirement #2:  Separate vertical chases from horizontal chases

The second rule requires an approved firestop material to separate vertical chases from horizontal chases. Stud cavities in your basement walls are considered vertical chases.  Fur-downs, bulk-heads, or drops (whatever you call the framing over ductwork and pipes) are considered horizontal chases.  So this second rule requires a firestop material to separate your basement wall stud cavities from adjacent drops.  (For this article I will refer to fur-down/bulk-heads as drops).

There are two typical methods to do this.  The first is to use a piece of 3/4″ (or 22/32″) OSB between the wall and the drop.  The other way is to use blocking in the wall along the bottom of the drop.

If you are using 3/4″ (or 22/32″) OSB for the firestop, you cut and nail pieces to the wall from the bottom of the floor joists above to a chalk line marking the bottom of the drop, as shown here at the end of the drop in this basement:

Sometimes the ductwork or pipes you are covering with the drop are right up against the wall you are trying to firestop, preventing you from sliding in a piece of OSB.  In this case, the other method (using blocking in the wall along the bottom of the drop) is the way to go.  Nail blocks in the wall along the chalk line marking the bottom of the drop as shown here:

Even though they look different, both the OSB and blocking methods separate the wall from the drop. With the blocking method, the space in the stud cavity above the blocks just becomes part of the drop’s horizontal chase.  The key here is to separate the wall from the drop with a firestop material.

On this basement job there was an existing ABS plumbing pipe that would be difficult to notch a firestop block around, so I used the OSB method instead for just that stud cavity:

Here’s what the finish drop framing looked like using both the OSB and firestop blocking methods to separate the vertical chases (the stud cavities) from the horizontal chase (the drop):

Finally, seal any penetrations through the OSB or firestop blocking with firestop spray foam like this:

Requirement #3:  Firestop walls every 10 feet

In typical basements, the place this rule applies is the gap between the exterior framed wall and the basement foundation wall.  At least every 10 feet horizontally, a firestop material is required to prevent a potential fire from spreading horizontally behind these exterior framed walls.  Common materials used for this requirement are 2×4 lumber, 3/4″ (23/32″) OSB, or compressed fiberglass insulation.  In the picture below, a 2×4 was placed behind a 2×4 in the wall to create a fire barrier.

I nailed pieces of OSB to the stud and the 2×4 firestop to hold it in place, then foamed any voids or penetrations in the firestop.

A firestop like this is then placed at least every 10 feet horizontally in exterior framed walls.  If there isn’t room to put a 2×4 directly behind a stud, nail it to the side of an exterior wall stud, like the picture below.  Just make sure the firestop is pushed tight against the foundation wall or compressing the batt insulation behind.

It doesn’t matter whether you use a 2×4, OSB, or compressed insulation, or a combination of these approved firestop materials, just make sure you firestop exterior framed walls at least every 10 feet horizontally along your exterior basement walls.

Requirement #4:  Firestop openings around vents, pipes, ducts, cables and wires at the ceiling and floor level

The last step to installing firestop in your basement is to foam any penetrations with fire stop spray foam insulation to seal off any voids around wires and pipes through your top plates as shown in these pictures:

foam wires at top plate with firestop foam

foam wire penetrations through top plates

foam around pipes at top plates

seal voids and penetrations


Following these steps will help you meet firestop code requirements, pass your inspections, and give you peace of mind that you’ve taken approved measures to prevent a potential fire from spreading.

49 Replies to How to Firestop Your Basement

  1. Don Hall says:


    Thank you for the firestoping article – I now understand the requirements and can get on with my basement. One related question: what does one do to firestop around the jumble of electrical wires going in and out of the electric panel?

  2. Kevin says:

    Kurt – Great article on fire stopping!!!! I’m in the process of finishing my basement and this by far has been the best piece I’ve found on how to do it.

    I do have one question however. You recommend placing a piece of OSB tightly against the mud sill and mounts your wall header to that. But I have one section of my basement wall where it’ll be impossible to do that because I have a toilet drain that follows almost the entire length of the wall. It’s very similar to the 3rd picture you have with the black pipe which you notched out but mine runs the length of the wall before it comes down to the floor. It pretty much hugs the floor joists too so there’s not way to squeeze anything above it. I was planning on building my wall about 3.5″ from the poured basement wall so I can hide the pipe in the wall cavity. Any recommendations? I was thinking of building a two-piece wall…the first would go from the floor to just below the pipe and would be capped with a fire stop across the length of the wall directly UNDER the pipe. And then I’d build a very small, probably 8-10″ wall structure right above it. Would that work? Also, for the majority of the basement I plan on using metal studs if that makes a difference. I’m thinking wood might be better for this wall however. Ugh – so confused on this one darn wall. Thanks for your help.

    • Kevin, The pipe issue your having is a fairly common challenge, and your idea of running a wall from the floor to just below the pipe with firestop at the top of this wall would be a great approach. Sometimes, just a 2×4 for backing can then be used above the pipe that is nailed to the bottom of the floor joists. Most inspectors would then consider the pipe area a horizontal chase- so you wouldn’t need to separate it from the joists above. You can definitely use metal studs placing firestop in the same locations as you would with wood framing. (I used metal studs on some of my basement framing).

  3. Chris Werle says:

    Can you expand your photos and explanation to include how to properly fire block when installing a drop ceiling? Thanks, Chris

    • Out here in Utah dropped ceilings are uncommon. We sheetrock our basement ceilings, so I’m a little unfamiliar with dropped ceiling applications. However I believe that no matter what kind of ceiling you have, the firestop requirements would still need to be met in a similar manner.

  4. Chris Werle says:

    I used an incorrect term for this………should have said draft stopping. As I understand it approved material must be installed parallel to the floor joists above the suspended ceiling to block fire movement between the ceiling and floor above. I assume that means the entire length of the floor joist but only at 10 foot intervals along the length of the room……….is that correct? Thanks, Chris

    • I’ve heard the terms draft stop and fire stop used synonymously. I’m not sure how the code would apply for dropped ceilings. I would recommend calling your local building department to ask what they require.

  5. Jeff says:

    Requirement for a horizontal firestop every 10 feet.
    My basement wall is not straight and has a couple of bump outs and bump ins that are only perhaps 3-6 feet in length. My question is how is the 10 feet measured…a straight line from the front of the house to back or around inside and outside corners along the perimeter no matter how many jogs there happens to be? Thanks

  6. Kent says:

    Great article!! I have one question about the horizontal firestop every 10′. I am using 2″ foam board insulation glued to the concrete wall. Does the firestop that is attached to the studs need to go through the foam board all the way to the concrete, or just butt firmly against the foam? If it needs to contact the concrete wall directly, then shouldn’t it be treated lumber? Thanks in advance!

    • Great questions Kent- I would find out from your building department if they consider the foam board you have an approved firestop material. If so, you can just butt the 2×4 you’re using for firestop firmly against the foam. If not you’ll need to run it through the foam to the concrete. As a general rule of thumb, it is a good idea to use treated wood anywhere it’s in contact with concrete. Where I live, inspectors allow framers to use untreated lumber for firestop against the foundation wall. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s non-structural and just serving the purpose of preventing fire from spreading or some other reason. (Maybe it’s just that they haven’t realized it’s probably a better idea to use treated there- I’m actually not sure on that).

  7. David Clay Gonsalves says:

    Hi Kurt, Great write up. Too many people tackle projects and have no idea about fire stop.

    I have done a ton of ceiling drops and they are typically done exactly as you have shown in some of your photos of bulk heads/horizontal chases.

    Again, great job on the write up!

    Dave – Claygon Construction

  8. Jim Ellis says:

    Kurt, I have a kind of unique situation. The main beam in the 1950’s house (made up of 4 2×8’s) has the floor joists nailed directly to it, with a 1×1 sill beneath the joists for support. Wiring crossing from front to rear wraps down under the main beam. We built 2×4 walls about 4 inches off the main beam, and nailed into the joists above, but now there is that 4″ opening leading into the ceiling above the new room. We weren’t planning on finishing the ceiling but now believe that wallboarding it would be the only way to close it off from the mechanical room on the other side of the wall. would that work ? There are a lot of cables and heating pipes to work around otherwise…Or maybe insulation batts fitted around and between would be easier ?

  9. Max says:


    Great article and photos. Question for you…. if the exterior walls are filled with fiberglass insulation, and the wallboard (drywall) covers the entire wall cavity, is the 3/4″ OSB firestop between the top plate and the floor joist necessary? Thanks for your help!

  10. Jessica says:

    Thank you for posting this article and photos. Does this requirement and materials vary by state?

    • The IRC or International Residential Code developed by the ICC (International Code Councel) has been adopted throughout most of the United States, so the code should be the same regardless of where you live, but I have found that sometimes the local jurisdictions interpret code a little differently from place to place. I would recommend asking any questions you have to the local building department as you apply for a permit for your project.

    • Steve says:

      Actually, inspections vary not just by state, but by county, and sometimes by municipality. But usually there is more agreement in a state than between states, and most everything goes back to national building codes and international standards, but sometimes with variations and especially variations in enforcement.

  11. Jessica says:

    Thank you. What would you do if you lived in a home that had a finished basement but the previous owners didn’t install the fireblocking? (The basement isn’t completely finished and you can see that it wasn’t done). We also checked with the county, no permits were pulled.

    • This is a great question Jessica- If you are buying a house, I think it’s a good idea to find out first if a permit was pulled when the basement was finished. If a fire were to start in the basement and burned down the house, you run the chance of having trouble with the insurance company not wanting to pay for the damages because the home owner didn’t fulfill their responsibility to firestop per code and have it inspected and approved by the building department. Even though it’s required by law to pull a permit when you finish your basement, it seems like there are a lot of people that don’t do it.

    • You could also talk to your building department about it. They may be able to issue you a permit to retrofit the firestop. The downside is you’ll most likely have to pull off or cut out sheetrock, and in general, it’s just more difficult to install after the fact.

      I was asked by a customer to finish a basement that they had already started. I told them even though the framing was “done” that I would need to bring a framer back to install the firestop to pass inspections. And then I remember instead of being able to do 3/4″ OSB at the top of basement perimeter walls we had to use blocks between the studs that extended back to the foundation at the top of the outside walls. Then we had to foam to voids left inbetween all the blocks. It was pretty tedious. It’s a lot easier to do it the first time.

    • Steve says:

      This might be worth a sit down with the building dept in your jurisdiction. But the bottom line is that in order to get it permitted, they are going to want you to meet code, so you may be faced with either living with unpermitted improvements or redoing them so that they meet code. I think if I knew the firestop wasn’t done, I might just plan on removing and replacing the drywall. That is actually not a super huge thing, just messy, and probably the drywall isn’t that well done either given what you know, and you’ll probably find other things that should be improved when you pull the drywall off. This also will make your inspections much more straightforward and get you off on an excellent footing with your inspectors.

  12. Steve says:

    I just read through this article and all the comments. All my questions were answered. Thank you!!

  13. Steve says:

    Non fireblocking related, is there anything else I need to know about framing with inspections? Until recently, I didn’t even know of the fireblock requirements.


    • As long as you’re not changing the existing framing, the stuff you’ll be doing in a basement finish is typically non-load-bearing and non-structural. You’re really just providing backing and support for the drywall and any finishes to be installed later. Be sure to provide proper backing for sheetrock- check all the corners of the ceiling and walls to make sure the edge of the sheetrock will have backing and something to secure the drywall to along the edges. Use treated lumber where your framing is in contact with concrete (bottom plates). Some building departments will be more picky about your pin & washer spacing for fastening the bottom plate to the concrete floor and some will require coated nails (that you can find at home improvement stores) that resist corrosion from the chemicals in the pressure-treated wood. Other than that, I would recommend chatting with the building department when you go in to apply for a permit to see if there’s anything else to keep in mind.

  14. Mark Hays says:

    Thanks Kurt for this great article on fireblocking — which helped me avoid a major inspection problem on a recent project.

    One question: you highlighted DOW “Fireblock” Great Stuff foam, which led to a discussion with our inspector. I was surprised to discover that Fireblock Great Stuff ignites at 240 degrees, and DOW does not recommend it as a “firestop”!! Here is a quote directly from the DOW website:

    “This product is defined by the International Building Codes as the use of approved building materials installed in concealed spaces to resist the migration of fire and hot gases. GREAT STUFF™ FireBlock is tinted orange to be more recognizable to building code officials. This product is not approved for use in firestop systems.”

    Note that the third sentence contradicts the first two, and the label on the can. (Source: See the “reviews” option.)

    I contacted DOW and asked them for clarification, with no luck. Maybe you can convince DOW to reply.

    Based on what I learned about Great Stuff, it would be a good idea to recommend another option. There are a number of good fireproof caulk products that are also easy to apply, e.g. 3M Firebarrier and DAP Fire Stop caulk, which are both available at Home Depot and Lowes. If you read their MSDS data sheets, you will see that both are nonflammable and 4-hour fire rated — unlike “Great Stuff”!

    Thanks for all of your helpful advice and info!


    • Mark,

      I recently had a final inspection on a home that failed because firestop foam was used to seal some penetrations in the ceiling above an upstairs mechanical closet. The inspector explained to me that the reason it failed was because the firestop foam wasn’t protected (by sheetrock) like it is in other areas of the home and inside sheetrocked walls. (It was an unfinished closet with a couple interior, non-fire-rated closet doors).

      The inspector explained that the fire-stop foam is NOT fire-rated, but acts more like a draft stop (an air barrier). It does meet firestop requirements to seal penetrations and gaps where it is protected by other fire-stop approved materials, but doesn’t count as one by itself.

      We had to remove the foam at the mechanical closet ceiling penetrations and use a fire-rated (and fire-stop approved) caulk instead to meet code. Fire-caulk is also required to seal penetrations at fire-stopped areas against gas furnace and gas water heater B-vents, and fireplace vent pipes. In other words- to seal against vent pipes that get hot. The firestop foam is not approved for sealing penetrations and gaps at these types of locations. The inspector said the foam doesn’t hold up to high temperatures and fire.

      But again, if the firestop foam is contained in a wall with sheetrock, or even in an exterior basement wall where you have the concrete foundation on one side and the sheetrock on the other, it is an approved method for sealing penetrations required by the code.

      You should be able to find fire-caulk in your local home improvement store in the caulk section.

      • Mark Hays says:

        Thanks for the update on the home that failed inspection due to “fireblock foam”. More builders and home owners will probably run into this problem, as inspectors become better informed about the flammability of all foam-based fire stop / block products, e.g. Great Stuff Fireblock. During a fire, they might block airflow for a while — until the temperature reaches ~240 degrees F and the foam ignites. This could also extend the fire, because that temperature is lower than the ignition point for pine / fir studs. It is interesting that he also noticed that this spray foam must be covered under the IRC because it is so flammable, just like the poly spray foam products commonly used for insulation. In short, standard firestop caulk is a much better solution. It is not flammable and is firestop rated. This is required in commercial buildings — and hopefully will become the standard in residential as well.

  15. Steve says:

    There are different levels of requirement here in Colorado for residential and commercial. Residential construction is approved using the foam, but commercial requires the caulk. Obviously the caulk is going to end up covering less and costing more per area, but it is definitely “beefier”.

    Also note that there is a technical difference between “firestop” and “fireblock”. The idea of firestop is to not allow any air to flow through. The idea of fireblock is the “2 hour burn.” So you make your barriers with materials that will not burn through faster, but you seal any air passage so that the air can’t fuel fire between sections.

    • Mark Hays says:

      Thanks Steve for your reply and info. As you noted, there is a key difference in the IRC between a “fire block” and “fire stop”. This highlights the confusion behind the DOW Great Stuff Fireblock product. If you believe the name on the can, this should qualify as a “fireblock” — which it definitely does not. In fact, it will ignite and burn faster than the wood studs. Plus, according to the post from a DOW tech rep, “This product is not approved for use in firestop systems.” That’s right — it doesn’t work as a basic “firestop” either!! OK, so what should it be used for? I asked DOW this question and received no reply.

      Frankly, I am surprised that this flammable foam is approved by any inspector. They probably read the name on the can and the directions on the back — not the MSDS data sheet. No more orange foam for me; the 3M and DAP products are clearly superior fireblock solutions for residential and commercial applications.

      • I recently found out that using firestop foam is an approved method for sealing penetrations in fire-stopped areas only if it is protected by sheetrock or another fire-rated and fire-stop approved material (See my comment above). The fire-caulk is required to seal directly against vent pipes that get hot (like a fireplace or gas water heater vent) at fire-stopped areas. You are correct that the foam by itself isn’t an approved fire-stop material, but can be used to seal penetrations when it is protected by other approved materials. (The exception being if it’s sealing a pipe that gets hot- where the foam wouldn’t hold up).

  16. Marie Hespen says:

    Thanks for the great article and photos! I am in the basement finish research and planning stages and have unanswered questions about fire stops. I want to have both a finished family room and an unfinished storage room in my basement. The wall separating the two spaces will run perpendicular to the floor joists so if a fire were to start in the unfinished side it could travel up the wall into the joist cavities. My building inspector sent me a diagram but it only illustrates fire stops at the foundation walls which I understand. Do I need to install individual fire stops between each joist at the top plate along the entire perpendicular wall? That makes sense but that is a lot of cut pieces and fireblock foam. Should I drywall the ceiling in the unfinished space (my hesitation is that my main duct will then have to be framed, fire blocked, etc too).
    Also, I was unable to get a good answer from the inspector about a similar problem. My electrical panel is installed directly on the foundation wall and is parallel to the joists…what is the best way fire stop the electrical panel?
    Thanks in advance for your answers!

    • Marie, great questions- As far as I understand you don’t have to fire-stop an unfinished space like your storage room, so you wouldn’t need to put joist blocking in the wall separating the adjacent finished and unfinished rooms. As far as the electrical panel goes… I think you could install a wall where the electrical panel is located and then firestop the wall. You may have to just frame as close the wires as you can and then stuff the cracks/openings the best you can with rock wool, compressed insulation, firestop foam etc. I would recommend speaking with your local building official or inspector about both areas to be sure.

    • Steve says:

      Marie, there are actually two separate issues. One is the movement of fire between pieces of wall–it is to be blocked into areas of no more than 100 sq ft by installing fire stops. The other is the movement of fire through a ceiling. It is to be limited to areas of no more than ???1000 cu ft is what I remember. The point is that you can have much bigger spaces connected across the floor than between the walls. As a result in most residential situations you have to do little or no blocking between rooms above the ceilings or in the joist cavities, just around the foundation. This was confusing to me as well when I did the basement finish, and provoked a little anxious thinking along the same lines you are going. Where you do have to watch is when those pipes, ducts, and wires transition from ceiling to floor, as it only takes two holes on either side of a fire stop to compromise the fire stop. This is especially true at the ends where the joists parallel the walls. The joists themselves are typically not fire blocks as they are too thin.

  17. Galen Smith says:

    Nice Article. One of your pictures shows a blue plastic electrical box. Does that box meet firestop requirements – Shouldn’t the electrical boxes be metal or fiberglass? Thanks.

    • The blue plastic and blue fiberglass electrical boxes have a 2-hour fire rating. So the blue boxes do meet firestop requirements. Typically metal boxes are used in conjunction with EMT (electrical metallic conduit).

  18. Virgil says:

    I have my framing done 2″ from the concrete basement walls. That area will be filled with closed cell sprayed foam insulation. I’ve done the fireblocking at the top of the wall using 3/4″ osb. Do I also have to do fireblocking every 10′ horizontally? That will defeat the benefits of spray foam installed on the concrete.
    The spray foam MSDS states that it is combustible in the presence of fire but can not sustain flame when fire source is gone.

    • I’m not sure Virgil. I would think the spray foam insulation would satisfy the requirement to fire stop every 10′ horizontally, so you wouldn’t need to install 3/4″ OSB for this requirement. I strongly recommend talking with your local building department about it to be sure.

  19. ryan says:

    My inspector for the rough electric mentioned that I would need to firestop the stairs going into the basement. I asked for clarity and he didn’t give me much…how is that done? The stairs are closed off on both sides with walls and those walls will have drywall. I thought the drywall was sufficient but he said no.

    • Ryan, Fire taped 5/8″ type X sheetrock is required under the stairs. Could that be what he was talking about? If not, I’m stumped on what he was talking about too. Could you call in to the building department or ask to speak with him to clarify? Let us know what you find out.

  20. Nick L. says:


    Great article. Quick question related to boxing around duct work…which I now know is a “horizontal chase” thanks to your article. Do I need to put a fire block or batt type insulation like Roxul fire resistant insulation above the duct work (in each of the floor joist cavities) or only at the end that meets the wall as described in your article? Thanks. Nick

    • Nick- great question. The inspectors I’ve worked with consider boxes around duct work horizontal chases, almost like they are part of the floor above, so you don’t need to firestop in-between the dropped box and the floor above. You either need to firestop the sides of these boxes with an approved material where they touch a wall, or fire block any adjacent walls at the bottom of the dropped box. Either of these methods are approved for separating the duct work box (horizontal chase) from the adjacent framed wall (vertical chase).

  21. Steve B. says:

    Wow – what a terrific article!!! I have, possibly, a more generic but related question. I notice that. The studs in your pictures are far enough from the walls to where a 2×4 fits for the fire blocking and I also notice the insulation is behind the stud walls. I am used to placing the stud walls agains the cement basement wall and filling the stud cavities with insulation (the normal rolled insulation with vapor barrier). Is this incorrect? The county I live in only requires pressure treated for the bottom plate.

    Thanks again for the terrific article!!!!!

    • Steve, you can place the 2×4 wall closer to the foundation and then insulate the framed wall just as you described. In the home with the framed wall pictured farther out from the foundation, the house came with a draped fiberglass batt insulation that met all code requirements. Instead of pulling it down to place the wall closer to the foundation, they opted to leave it and use that as their insulation and frame the wall a little farther out. That wall may have also had a large plumbing drain coming down where we decided it would look better to bring the entire wall out far enough to cover it completely rather than keeping it tighter and then having a pop-out where the pipe was, if that makes sense.

    • Pressure treated is only required when it touches concrete. So you are correct Steve- using it just for the bottom plate, because there is typically a little space between the studs and the foundation wall, even if you are going fairly tight to the foundation. That way if the foundation wall is out of square, plumb, or curved, etc. you can still make the framed wall as straight, plumb, and square, with the other walls in the basement.



    • Can you have the handyman come back and get it to code? It seems like a paid contractor should do things to code. I would suggest you try to work something out with the handyman if possible. That’s disheartening though to have to tear out what you’ve done in order to add the fire-stop. It might be worth talking to your local building department as well to see if they have any recommendations or suggestions.

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